MaserEffective 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Interaction with the environment and novel sensing systems – for example, how can we find better sensing technology – both contact and non-contact:
    1. Non-contact: across the EM spectrum, with enhanced sensitivity, spectral resolution and limiting the invasiveness of the sensing process?
    2. 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?
    3. Manufacture – how can new techniques (e.g. additive manufacture) lead to new and emerging quantitative technologies?
    4. 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?

Theme leads

Get in touch with the theme members by emailing

Theme leads

  • Jonathan Eastwood

    Jonathan Eastwood

    Personal details

    Jonathan Eastwood Senior Lecturer


    Jonathan is a senior lecturer in the Blackett laboratory and a member of the space and atmospheric physics research group.

  • Felice Torrisi

    Felice Torrisi

    Personal details

    Felice Torrisi Lecturer


    Felice is a Lecturer in 2D materials and Wearable Bioelectronics in the Department of Chemistry and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Coordinating research activities

Internal funding opportunities

Quantitative Technologies Theme – Call for Large Bids and Big Ideas Expressions of Interest – Round 2

We are inviting 2-page Expressions of Interest for internal funding that can be used to support the writing and submission of large-scale and multidisciplinary grant proposals and Big Ideas.

Funding available: Up to £6,000 per proposal is available to support the salary costs for grant writing or undertaking work essential for the preparation of the full proposal.

Deadline: All applications should be sent to Sophie Armstrong-Brown by Friday 16th April 2021 5pmFind out more about guidance and deadlines for this call (accessible to FoNS staff).

Any questions, please contact the Faculty Theme Champions, Jonathan Eastwood and Felice TorrisiJonathan and Felice will be available to discuss this opportunity and potential Big Ideas on Monday 29th March 2021 at 1pm. Use the link provided below to join the MS Teams meeting.

Click here to join the meeting