A prestigious Fellowship has been awarded to one of iSLI's EngD research students, Thomas Perry. The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 has awarded the second year its Industrial Fellowship to support his research developing new computer solutions using ultra high-performance chips called Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) as part of an alliance of high-tech organisations, including Scottish Enterprise.
Part of a multi-million pound project and through FPGA technologies, the project hopes to revolutionise the development of mission-critical applications and help deal with the massive processing requirements needed in areas such as drug design, defence, seismology, medical imaging and mobile telecoms.
The Commission's Fellowship programmes, established in 1891, have greatly benefited recipients of the award in the past, with 12 winners going on to receive Nobel prizes. Only four of these fellowships are awarded annually to students enrolled for EngD degrees. This is the second consecutive year that the Institute has hosted an EngD Industry Fellowship from the Royal Commission. In 2009, Matthew Robbetts, sponsored by Wolfson Microelectronics and supervised by Dr Stephan Weiss of the University of Strathclyde, was also selected for an award for his research into acoustic noise-cancellation techniques for mobile phone applications.
Presenting the Fellowship to Tom Perry, Mr Nigel Williams-Commission Secretary stated: “The 1851 Royal Commission is delighted to work with EngD Centres to identify top students as candidates for its Industrial Fellowship programme, which shares similar aims to support research excellence for the benefit of productive industry.”
“I am truly honoured to receive such a prestigious award and be placed alongside the 1851 Commission's previous fellows. The fellowship will present new opportunities in my work including a generous travel allowance that will allow me to travel to Xilinx Research Laboratories company HQ in San Jose, where my research project is likely to depend heavily on the research conducted there and will help me achieve the very best in my EngD at iSLI. I am delighted,” said Thomas Perry.
Fellowships and grants from the Royal Commission are only awarded to research students in science and engineering, applied research in industry, industrial design and other projects supporting the development of science and technology. The Commission decided to develop an idea to exclusively support students registered for the EngD degree in the UK. The Institute for System Level Integration is the only UK establishment providing the Engineering Doctorate in System Level Integration and is extremely pleased that Thomas, one of their second year research students and a graduate from the University of Cambridge, is the second consecutive iSLI student to be selected for the Fellowship.
Siân Williams, EngD Centre Manager at iSLI, comments on the Royal Commission Fellowship, “The Institute is thrilled for Thomas and extremely proud that his research with Xilinx Inc and the Scottish Enterprise-backed FHPCA programme is being recognised by this truly historic body. The Royal Commission's legacy of supporting engineering, stretching back to the middle of the 19th century, is remarkable; we are very grateful for the Commission's continued encouragement of UK engineering excellence and its championing of young British engineering talent”.
Thomas's Fellowship will begin in September for three years, offering an enhanced stipend to the student, as well as extending benefits to the sponsoring organisation, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh, where Thomas's academic supervisors Dr Khaled Benkrid and Dr Mark Parsons are based; including an honorarium of £10,000 to the university once the programme is completed.
The Industrial Fellowship awards inspire graduate engineers, enabling them to carry out further research in industry that can lead to a higher degree. The aim of the Commission president is to encourage innovation and creativity in British industry. The current president is HRH Duke of Edinburgh.
Founded in 1998, iSLI (the Institute for System Level Integration) provides postgraduate education, professional training and research in system level integration incorporating cross over technologies such as hardware, embedded software, MNT/MEMS.
A collaboration of the computing science, informatics and electronic engineering departments of the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde, and Scottish Enterprise, the Institute is the first centre of excellence in system level integration to be established worldwide. Its aim is to support the development of electronics systems design worldwide and to encourage the exploration of new technologies through research.
iSLI's operations are underpinned by funding from Scottish Enterprise, UK Central Research and HE funding agencies, and substantial sponsorship funding, including “expert in-kind support” from companies in the microelectronics industry.