Effective instrumentation underpins our scientific endeavours. Within the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the quantitative technologies theme promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the science, engineering, and application of new instrumentation and experimental techniques. As one of the four research themes, the Faculty, led by the theme champions, aims to connect expertise in all areas of experimental science, to identify key cross-cutting themes, and to find new ways to translate this expertise and science leadership into downstream impact. The development of the next generation of quantitative technologies has several foundational aspects:
- Miniaturisation – How can we make instrumentation that offers significant reductions in mass, power, volume whilst maintaining capability? This is crucial to developing flexible apparatus that can be used widely.
- Embedded functionality – for example to what extent can AI and Machine Learning be part of the instrument itself, and how does this link to edge computing concepts?
- Interaction with the environment and novel sensing systems – for example, how can we find better sensing technology – both contact and non-contact:
- Non-contact: across the EM spectrum, with enhanced sensitivity, spectral resolution and limiting the invasiveness of the sensing process?
- Contact: e.g. biological/non-biological interfacing (electronic signal interpretation, thermal) Can we develop integrated sensors for additive manufacturing? Can sensing or monitoring improve their compatibility with tissues and organs?
- Manufacture – how can new techniques (e.g. additive manufacture) lead to new and emerging quantitative technologies?
- Industrial applications – there are many examples where technologies commonly used in everyday life started as novel instrumentation ideas in a university laboratory. Although we develop instrumentation for cutting edge research which is often ‘blue-sky’, how can this be made scaleable and translated into widespread use? And how can this be done sustainably as part of the circular economy?
Get in touch with the theme members by emailing fons-quantitativetechnologies-PQ@groups.imperial.ac.uk
Jonathan is a reader in space physics in the Blackett laboratory and a member of the space and atmospheric physics research group.
Felice is a senio lecturer in 2D materials and Wearable Bioelectronics in the Department of Chemistry and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Coordinating research activities
Support with your grant research proposal
If you need support with your grant proposal writing, please complete the FoNS Research Grant Proposal Support Form. This will allow the strategic research team to understand the type of support you need before they contact you.
Quantitative Technologies activities
MSRH and White City campus tour visit (8 September 2022)
On 8 September, staff from across the Natural Sciences – academic and support – headed to Imperial’s White City campus. This was organised by the Accelerating Biosciences and Quantitative Technologies FoNS Champions. Check the news article!