Projects funded through EPSRC IAA - 2018

Standard IAA Projects

Dr Jonathan Siviter, Prof Andrew Knox, School of Engineering
High Efficiency Cooling for Data Centres (£16,600)

Data-centre power-density has increased 200% in the last 4years due to rising data-processing, analysis and storage demand. With 40% of data centre energy consumption required for cooling electronics equipment, there is a need for the data centre cooling market to move to greener, cleaner and cheaper cooling regimes as expansion is forecast to continue for the next 5 years. Thermoelectric Conversion Systems Ltd proposes a scalable clean technology business to fill the void in present cooling technologies and aims to target data centre equipment suppliers to develop highly efficient industry leading technology.

Prof David Ireland, School of Physics and Astronomy
Mobile Muon Tomography (£33,000)

The objective of this project is the development and construction of a small-scale prototype for a Mobile Muon Tomography System. This development will feed into large-scale funding applications by Lynkeos Technology and the Glasgow Nuclear Physics Group, which in turn will lead to a new commercial product for Lynkeos Technology, a University spin-off company, who have  successfully developed Muon Tomography for nuclear waste containers since 2009. The first deployment of a Lynkeos Muon Imaging System on a UK nuclear site is funded through a £1.6 million Innovate UK contract and is scheduled for March 2018.

Dr Matthew Smith, School of Engineering
Dual-mode transistor for digital logic (£25,500)

This project, with the support of Semiwise Ltd., will create a prototype transistor design to demonstrate previously developed dual-mode transistor technology, on which the University has filed a patent application.

The generation of a device design with the outstanding simulated performance within the context of practical considerations (including compatibility with existing circuits/systems, especially CMOS, and to a lesser extent manufacturing infrastructure) will render the technology ready for prototyping and more visible to potential industrial sources of investment. This will position the technology for investment to develop first generation devices for real-world testing.

Prof Richard Hogg (PI), Dr David Childs, Dr Richard Taylor, School of Engineering
Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers (PCSELs) - Enhanced Performance All Electronic Beam Steering and Coherent Arrays Prototype Chips

In partnership with Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd., this project seeks to facilitate the commercial exploitation of photonic crystal surface emitting laser (PCSELs) technology developed by Prof. Hogg, Dr. Childs and Dr. Taylor.

Specifically, PCSELs allow conventional semiconductor lasers to be modified such that they become surface emitting. This not only reduces in-process test costs but provides superior laser characteristics such as beam quality and output power.

Prof Lee Cronin (PI), Dr Mark Symes, School of Chemistry
Development of a new battery and refuelling system for electric vehicles 

Working with ASTREA Power Limited on a de-risking project for a technology that will make electric vehicles practical in the mass market through a breakthrough in flow battery technology.

Prof Sandy Cochran, School of Engineering
Sonopill (£18,000)

The Sonopill programme works to add microultrasound and other modalities to capsule endoscopes, to improve detection of diseases. For example, bowel cancer is the third most common cancer with 41,000 diagnoses in the UK and 149,000 in the USA annually. It is believed that microultrasound can detect cancer forming in the bowel wall before it is visible to the eye.

In collaboration with Evolution Bioscience, this project aimed to map out the market, identify key IP, and produce a commercialisation roadmap for any resulting product.

Prof Stephen Brewster, Prof Jonathan Evans, Dr Matther Jamieson, School of Computing Science, School of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Developing ApplTree; Personalized digital reminding to support memory impairment after brain-injury (£32,000)

Brain injury is a leading cause of disability in Scotland. People with acquired brain injury (ABI) often experience memory difficulties that smartphone reminding apps could help overcome. ApplTree has been designed with features that our research shows can support independent use and increase the efficacy of prompting technology.

With demand from the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) to use the ApplTree app in their nationwide rehabilitation services, SwarmOnline aided the team in the creation a stable and functional version of ApplTree to make it widely available to people with ABI via the AppStore.

Dr Andrew Sutherland, School of Chemistry
Early Stage Commercialisation of a PET Imaging Agent for the Detection of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer (£29,000)

This project focuses on the development of a positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent that could be used for the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases associated with inflammation (dementia, brain cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease). PET imaging agents are widely used throughout the health industry and by pharmaceutical companies for the diagnosis of disease, the subsequent planning of treatment in patients and in the drug discovery process.

Dr Emily Draper, School of Chemistry
Analysing HA production for ophthalmic viscosurgical devices (£28,000)

Working with Hyaltech Ltd. to characterise and understand the properties of a number of multi-component gel-based materials, with a focus on hyaluronic acid based substances.

Dr Hadi Heidari, School of Engineering
Autonomous Power Harvesting and Conversion for Future Driverless Vehicles (£25,000)

In this project, the team at Glasgow University and West Coast Semi Design Ltd. aim to develop a novel, robust and ultra-low power harvesting and conversion system for future autonomous cars. Existing technologies for autonomous cars and electric vehicles (EV) suffer from driving range limitation and long battery charging time. Therefore, an ultra-low power harvesting and conversion system for future autonomous cars is needed. In this proposal, a novel DC-DC converter will merge a photovoltaic (PV) panel, a fuel cell, and a battery and connect them to the grid which enhance the gain and efficiency compared to conventional converters.

Prof Adrian Bowman, Dr Liberty Vittert, School of Mathematics and Statistics
Automatic assessment of facial surgery in the developing world (£31,000)

Approximately 170,000 children are born in the developing world each year with cleft lip/palate, a surgically treatable facial deformity that impairs health and prospects for survival. Smile Train is an international NGO committed to training local medical professionals to provide safe, high-quality, comprehensive treatment for children with this condition from poverty-challenged backgrounds. This pilot project aims to assess the potential for the new tools to re-define the standard of care by monitoring the surgeries in an objective and efficient manner. 

Prof Margaret Lucas, School of Engineering
An ultrasonic device for the surgical treatment of the Petrous Apex (and other challenging biopsy applications)

This project will develop the capability of an ultrasonic bone biopsy needle device for the surgical treatment of the petrous apex. Working in collaboration with a Consultant ENT and Skull Base Surgeon, from NHS GGC, alongside the NHS Medical Devices Unit and Ethicon, the aim is to transform the recovery of biopsy samples from the petrous apex.

The very significant advantage offered by an ultrasonic device is that it removes the requirement for the clinician to apply high force and torque – with the ultrasonic devices requiring a very low force, just sufficient to physically couple the device to the bone and make forward progress of the needle. This offers potential for increased precision, reduced sample damage, reduced injury to surrounding tissue, improved patient outcomes and, importantly, improved diagnosis.

Dr Craig MacDonald (PI), Prof Iadh Ounis, School of Computing Science
Application of Machine Learning in the CICERO project (£32000)

Historical government records must be sensitivity reviewed by an experienced sensitivity reviewer before they are released to the archives. The historical UK government records currently being reviewed are transitioning from those curated in paper files towards born-digital material. There are currently no commercially available solutions for digital sensitivity review. 

This project aims to trial developed machine learning technologies for sensitivity review along the CICERO platform within the FCO setting. This encompasses a partial secondment to SVGC IT consultancy, and accessing classified documents held on SVGC servers located within the FCO.


Research Associate Call IAA Projects

Dr Mark McGill, School of Computing Science
6DoF Digital Pen for Virtual and Augmented Reality (£20,000)

Virtual and Augmented Reality Head-Mounted Displays allow for users to be immersed in entirely virtual experiences or virtually augment the real world, and are seeing rapid development by industry heavyweights such as Oculus/Facebook, Microsoft, Google etc. Within years these headsets will encroach upon various industries e.g. being used for entertainment, collaboration and productivity. However, there are still significant unknowns regarding how we interact with, and create, virtual content. VR/AR HMDs can both render 2D planar content on any surface (be it virtual or physical), but also render content with depth in 3D, spatially located in the real/virtual environment.  Given this, existing interaction techniques such as mouse/keyboard input are not sufficient for the range of possible virtual content to interact with. Existing VR/AR interactions are currently enacted via mid-air hands/gestures and positionally tracked handheld controllers. These approaches exhibit notable problems in transitioning between 2D planar and 3D interactions e.g. no sense of touch in mid-air hands, relative inaccuracy/a lack of fine motor control in positionally tracked controllers. In this collaboration with Logitech the potential for new peripherals that could support transitions between 2D planar and 3D content and allow for rested inputs and fine motor control will be scoped out.

Dr Neil Findlay (PI), Dr Joseph Cameron, School of Chemistry
Small molecule organic down-converters for Red and Green Hybrid Light-Emitting Diodes (£18,000)

Hybrid light-emitting diodes (LEDs) offer an attractive alternative to both organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and inorganic LED technologies as they can harness the established strength of inorganic LEDs with the broad colour availability and fine-tuning ubiquitous with organic materials. This project will bring together the team at the University of Glasgow and their experience in partnership with Plessey Semiconductors to design and synthesise light-converting molecules, to develop green and red colour converting materials compatible with the micro LED arrays manufactured by Plessey. Ultimately, success in this project will provide access to all colours of the electromagnetic spectrum as an output from micro LED arrays.

Dr Elijah Nazarzadeh, School of Engineering
Nebuliser platform for precision drug delivery (£18,500)

According to the WHO, there are hundreds of millions of people suffering from respiratory disorders, including 300m people suffering from asthma, leading to 3m deaths/year worldwide. Estimates of treatment costs globally for such lung diseases is €400b/year. Generally, patients with respiratory diseases are treated by the inhalation of aerosols, where the effective delivery of medication is known to be crucially dependent upon the droplet size (1-5μm). Current technologies only achieve this for a small proportion of the medicine nebulised (<60%), leading to significant wastage, poor clinical outcomes and limiting the adoption of the next generation of new, advanced medicines (e.g. biologics based upon small RNAs). In this project, we aim to develop a demonstrator platform to increase the efficiency of pulmonary care. Our proprietary acoustic technology (protected by a granted patent and by a new application US15/525509) provides a unique, low-cost, low-power method to control droplet size soft medicines, enabling precise targeting of drugs.



Prof Matthew Chalmers, Dr Angus Ferguson, School of Computing Science & School of Social and Political Science
Ethical design of apps for assessing mental health (£17,000)

Dr Philip Leifield, Dr Helen Purchase, Dr Manuele Leonelli, Dr Mark McCann, Dr Alison Devlin, Dr Eric Silverman, Dr Vittal Katikireddi, Prof Jim Lewsey, MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, School of Computing Science, School of Social and Political Science, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment
Assessing the feasibility and usefulness of complex systems methods for the work of the new public heath body in Scotland (£23,000)

Prof Frank Pollick, Prof Stephen Brewster, School of Psychology & School of Computing Science
CarVR: Immersion in the journey (£30,000)


Fast Track Projects

Prof Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez, Dr Andres Alba Perez, School of Engineering
Industry day – In vitro models for pharma and biomedical R&D (£3,000)

A one-day industry engagement event to support ongoing activity and foster new relationships around the broad theme of in vitro tissue models for pharma and biomedical R&D.

Dr Richard Taylor, School of Engineering

  •  Industrial Engagement and Kickstart awards attendance (£355)
  •  Photonic crystal surface emitting lasers: Specification generation and Industrial Engagement (£3,000)

Supporting customer meetings, specification generation, and industrial engagement relating to the commercialisation of photonic crystal surface emitting laser technology. 

Prof Iain Thayne, School of Engineering
A UK Micro- and Nano-fabrication Community Event (£2,960)

The James Watt Nanofabrication Centre is exploring the possibility of establishing a UK research facility in the area of micro- and nano-fabrication. Feedback from EPSRC, one obvious stakeholder in such an entity, is that a key aspect to any bid of this type is demonstration of community need. These funds were to hold a 1 day community event to confirm the desire and need of the UK academic and industrial sectors to move forward with the proposition.

Dr Lucile Chatellard, School of Engineering
Bioluminescence as a light source for microalgae culture (£2,850)

This project supported the build of a new photobioreactor for the co-culture of microalgae with bioluminescent microbes. Such a bioreactor would demonstrate how bioluminescence can stimulate the growth of microalgae and could be used as a substitute for electricity for enlighten photobioreactor. It could solve the problem of insufficient sunlight energy in industries treating wastewater and producing biomass for renewable energy.

Dr Han Cui, School of Engineering
Road to Raman Microscope's Commercialisation (£2,885)

Developing a Raman microscope to measure the spatiotemporal delivery of growth factors to stem cells, in order to precisely control cell differentiation and fate. 

Dr Alice Miller, School of Computing
Collaboration Seeding

Visits to organisations to establish proof of concept programmes, and to strengthen long term relationships with partner institutions.

Prof Stephen Barnett, School of Physics and Astronomy
Chiral Rotational Spectrometer (£2,950)

Enabling a potential commercial relationship with a co-development partner and licensee of technology developed by Professor Barnett’s group.

Dr Pavan Konda, School of Physics and Astronomy
Miniaturised Microscopes for longitudinal study of spinal cord metabolism in rats (£2,900)

A miniaturised microscope is being developed to image the spinal cord in a mouse to study central neurons and glial cells using fluorescence microscopy. The new phase of the project will not only demonstrate the feasibility of longitudinal studies using our miniaturized microscope, but it will also allow serial observations made at different stages of development of the same lesion.

Dr Claire Miller, School of Mathematics and Statistics 
Investigation of the impact of GRTS river sampling designs (£2,500)

The Environment Agency are planning to implement a new sentinel river monitoring network. This project will design a study to evaluate the performance of their chosen approach in relation to the EA requirements, to assess implications of different sizes and structure of monitoring designs.

Dr Ian MacLaren, School of Physics and Astronomy
Development of reliable noise free precession electron diffraction (£3,000)

Developing hardware and software in collaboration with Nanomegas, to address synchronisation issues with an imaging detector for Scanning Precession Electron Diffraction.


Materials Research Exchange Fast Track Call

Dr Joseph Cameron, Dr Neil Findlay, School of Chemistry - Travel and accommodation for Materials Research Exchange 2018 (£500)

Dr Cristina Gonzales, School of Engineering - Developing industry interest in growth factor based biomaterial systems (£500)

Funding to attend EPSRC / KTN Materials Research Exchange 2018 event to help early career researchers establish networks with potential collaborators in industry and academia.