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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

The School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science wins first-ever EPSRC grant for training technicians

A £971,000 grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will fuel the creation of a training hub for microwave and antenna technicians.


The initiative, called MUSCAT (Meet Future Needs of Antenna Measurements and RF Characterization for Changing Research Culture) platform, will play a pivotal role in addressing the critical shortage of skilled professionals in this vital field.  

This cutting-edge hub will address the growing shortage of research technical professionals (RTPs) and research software engineers (RSEs) by providing world-class training and research facilities for academics and industry professionals working in microwave and antenna technologies. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has set a strategic objective of developing world class people and careers across the academic spectrum as part of its Strategic Delivery Plan and this special funding is to particularly address this, which also aligns clearly with Queen Mary’s strategy around championing RTPs. 

Led by Dr Max Munoz Torrico, Antennas & EM Lab Manager, MUSCAT will leverage the expertise of a dynamic team, including Professor Akram Alomainy, Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Research in S&E and Head of the Antennas & EM Research Group; Professor Andrew Livingston, Vice Principal of Research and Innovation, and an extensive list of world-leaders and major industry influencers in the area of metrology and experimental research. 

"This grant is a tremendous recognition of the excellence and dedication of our researchers," said Professor Alomainy. "MUSCAT will provide crucial resources and opportunities for the next generation of technical professionals and software engineers, shaping the future of microwave and antenna technologies." 

MUSCAT's impact will extend beyond academia, offering: 

  • Advanced training: Delivering bespoke training programs and workshops for professionals working in various sectors of microwave and antenna technologies. 
  • Cutting-edge facilities: Access to Queen Mary's state-of-the-art Antennas Measurement Lab. 
  • Industry engagement: Partnering with companies to address real-world challenges and accelerate commercialisation of research findings. 

"Rapid advancements in telecommunications technology are demanding new skills and the platform will reskill and upskill new workers. MUSCAT builds upon Queen Mary's established strengths in antenna research and innovation," said Dr Munoz Torrico. "We are excited to create a vibrant hub that fosters collaboration, sparks new ideas, and drives groundbreaking discoveries." 

"The EPSRC grant is a testament to the world-leading research and expertise of Queen Mary in microwave and antenna technologies, and the project embodies our vision for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. The hub will bridge the gap between academia and industry, creating a dynamic ecosystem that fosters innovation and accelerating technological advancements," said Professor Andrew Livingston. 



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