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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

1. OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH STRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) remains committed to the maintenance and enhancement of its balanced strategic and applied research portfolio. All key 1996 RAE research targets have been met, with enhancements in primary indicators (see table below). Journal publications total 378 and include 70 IEEE Journ/Trans, 34 IEE Proc, 30 Electron Lett, 32 Appl Phys Lett, 30 J Appl Phys, 30 Phys Rev B and 6 Phys Rev Lett. Refereed conference publications total 357. Other outputs (books, book chapters and patents) total 15. Whitehouse has been promoted to Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, 3 staff members have been promoted to professor (Chambers, Rees, Zhu), 5 staff to other senior posts (Houston R, Cook SL, Jewell SL, Parbrook SL, Tozer SL) and 5 further staff recruited (Atallah, Benaissa, Bingham, Edwards, Tennant). Prestigious Fellowships have been awarded to Jewell (EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship), Mellor (Royal Society Industrial Fellowship) and Clark-PDRA (Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship). Sabbatical leave is seen as an important part of staff development and currently Kingsley is on a year’s secondment to Antenova.

Period
No of
Grants
Total Grant Awards £M (inc CF)
Total Grant Awards £M (exc CF)
Refereed
Pubs (
per RAS)
PhD Degrees
Awarded
92/96
77
14.01
7.46
24.2
43
96/01
101
17.32
11.03
25.5
69

2. RESEARCH ORGANISATION Research is based in 3 major groups: Semiconductor Materials and Devices (SMDG), Electrical Machines and Drives (EMDG) and Electronics and Communication Systems (ECSG), which includes the new Centre for Mobile Communications Research (C4MCR), led by EEE, with support from Computer Science. In addition EEE plays a significant role in the Sheffield Centre for Earth Observation Science (SCEOS, with Mathematics and Geography) and has been a partner in the Sheffield Centre for Advanced Magnetic Materials and Devices (SCAMMD, with Physics and Engineering Materials). SMDG embraces the EPSRC III-V Central Semiconductor Growth Facility and the EPSRC Field Emission Gun Transmission Electron Microscope North Eastern Facility. These comprehensive growth and characterisation facilities are strategically co-located and strongly underpin group research. EEE is fully networked (URL - http://www.shef.ac.uk/eee/).

3. RESEARCH MANAGEMENT, STRATEGY AND CONTROL Research strategy is reviewed at regular Group discussions and Departmental Away Days, while general policy is monitored by the Departmental Research Committee (Chairs: Whitehouse (to 8/99), Cullis), which comprises key academic staff with RA and RS representatives. It reviews research opportunities and strategy, organises the optimum placement of new studentships and oversees the production of the Departmental research report. The Research Committee reports to Department Management and Policy Committees. The latter comprises all Professors and selected Committee Chairs, reviews longer term research objectives and appraises new, substantial research opportunities. Aspects of EEE research are regularly assessed independently by visiting review panels (the EPSRC III-V Central Facility is reviewed biennially by EPSRC and twice yearly by its Steering Committee – Adams, Bland, Blood, Eaves, Grange, Martin, Parry, Thrush). The overall EEE research activity is monitored by the Industrial Liaison Committee for Research, comprising senior company representatives (at present: Brothers [MD, Infineon], Grant [Director, Westbourne Associates], Hughes [Director, Marconi], Norton [Director, Performance and Innovation Unit, Cabinet Office and Visiting Professor EEE], Smith [MD, Oxford Instruments], Tribe [Engineering Director, De La Rue], Walters [EDS Consultants]). Periodic University corporate reviews of research activities also take place.
As part of this process new young academic members of staff are allocated reduced teaching duties and each is assigned a senior staff mentor, who provides substantial support and guidance during the establishment of new research programmes. New ideas and results are disseminated and debated in the vibrant Departmental seminar series. Selected scientists from external organisations, for example Prof Eom from KAIST, Seoul, Dr O’Keefe from Griffith University, Brisbane, and Dr Fontaine from CNRS, Toulouse, visit the Department for extended periods to participate in our research activities.

4. RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE PLANS

A. Semiconductor Materials & Devices Group (SMDG): (Cullis, Rees, Robson (Emeritus 9/96), Whitehouse, Houston, Woods, Woodhead, Parbrook, 1 Academic-Related staff, 8 CF-related RAs, 3 other RAs and 20 RSs). 11 EPSRC responsive mode grant awards totalling £2.9M, 1 EPSRC CF renewable grant of £6.3M, 6 EU grants totalling £760k, 10 DERA awards totalling £177k, 4 direct industrial awards totalling £77k and 4 other awards totalling £71k. Average spend: £1,530k pa. Totals of journal papers: 259, conference papers:151, books: 3.
A key component of SMDG is the national EPSRC III-V Central Growth Facility (CF) (Director: Whitehouse), which focuses upon development of new semiconductor growth/processing technologies and develops next generation epitaxial structures and novel electronic device concepts for the UK academic research community. Overall, the CF features two MBE and three MOCVD growth reactors. Growth capabilities have been enhanced with the award of a state-of-the-art MOCVD reactor dedicated to growth of epitaxial III-nitride materials. Growth capabilities for III-V antimonides and dilute nitrides have also been established. Comprehensive semiconductor materials and device characterisation techniques underpin the wide range of research activities. The group also houses the EPSRC Field Emission Gun Transmission Electron Microscope (FEGTEM) North-Eastern Facility (Director: Cullis), providing state-of-the-art, atomic-scale structural and compositional materials characterisation capabilities for both internal and external users. Both CF and FEGTEM centres of excellence are accessible via internet web links which offer detailed information, including virtual tours. SMDG academic staffing has been strengthened by the promotion of Rees to Professor and of Parbrook to SL.

ACHIEVEMENTS: The SMDG studies the optoelectronic and structural properties of semiconductor materials, grown both in-house and elsewhere, and the novel devices which they compose. Red VCSELs have been developed (Woodhead with NMRC, Uniphase, IMEC, Surrey Univ, Univ College Cork) for plastic fibre comms, with CW outputs of >1.5mW at 672nm, operating up to ambient temperatures of 50°C. This leading laser technology minimises the effects of absorption by free carriers leaked into the Bragg mirrors and is currently being commercialised by members of the consortium. The longest lifetime high-power CW lasers at 743nm (1800hrs, 1.2W) utilising an InGaAlAs quantum well gain region have been developed for photodynamic cancer therapy and high power (2500hrs, 1.5W) InGaAs QW lasers at 1070nm as Nd:YAG replacements (Roberts with PLT Technology). Quantum cascade lasers (Hopkinson with Physics), using InAs active layers, have operated at 7400nm, the shortest wavelength reported for GaAs-based structures. Quantum dot lasers (Hopkinson with Physics) have been produced with state-of-the-art low thresholds and operation extending to 1260nm. A novel method for electrical isolation of V-groove quantum wires, using oblique, self-shadowed ion implantation, has improved the temperature dependence of 1D lasers (Houston, Woodhead, Hill, Roberts). Growth on (111)B has been exploited (Rees, Hopkinson with Thales (Thomson CSF), CNRS (LAAS) Toulouse, ETSI Polytecnico Madrid) to achieve record low threshold, high efficiency and high power piezoelectric 1060 and 1080nm InGaAs/AlGaAs/GaAs lasers for intersatellite communications and gas sensing.
Development (Houston with Academia Sinica) of thermally stable contacts (Au/Pt/Ti/W) has enabled GaInP/GaAs HBTs to operate up to a record 475°C. The first direct observation of mobility enhancement in heavily doped GaAs HBTs due to phase space filling and reduced plasmon scattering has been made (Houston). Edge leakage currents in HBTs have been minimised using a novel technique (Woods) and charge transport devices using a single heterojunction have been demonstrated for the first time. In III-nitrides submicron AlGaN/GaN HFET devices with record 2DEG low temperature mobilities have already been produced (Parbrook, Houston, Hill, Whitehouse with IQE) and growth of high quality InGaN quantum wells has led to LEDs with outputs in excess of 1mW.
Novel work on avalanche photodetectors (APDs) has shown (Rees, David, Tozer with Heriot Watt, Agilent, Corning and Marconi) how, in a wide range of III-Vs and Si, ultra-narrow active regions reduce noise below classical limits, also reducing voltage requirements and increasing speed. This nonclassical behaviour has been demonstrated as describable in terms of nonlocal ionisation coefficients. The growth dynamics of InP have been studied using reflection anisotropy spectroscopy/RHEED and, for the first time, have shown, optically, monolayer growth oscillations, enabling charting of the surface phase diagram (Parbrook, Whitehouse with EPSRC). Unique real-time in situ X-ray topography studies of strain relaxation in III-V pseudomorphic strained layers yielded the first observations of the effects upon misfit dislocation dynamics of growth conditions, doping and annealing (Whitehouse, Parbrook, Cullis with DERA, EPSRC, Durham/Hull Univs, Daresbury, ESRF Grenoble). Work on high temperature superconductors is providing a critical assessment of the Podkletnov effect (Woods with BAE Systems).
The bid to EPSRC for an analytical FEGTEM (led by Cullis, Whitehouse with Engineering Materials) won the original national competition to establish the first facility of the current generation in the UK, enabling several key microanalytical research thrusts. The asymmetrical alloy distribution within InGaAs/GaAs SK-transition-induced quantum dots has been measured directly for the first time (Cullis, Hopkinson with Univ Bonn, Physics). The non-uniform distribution of Ge in as-grown 10nm SiGe channels within HMOS devices has been measured (with EPSRC HMOS interuniversity/industry programme) for use in theoretical models underpinning device development. The first FEGTEM direct measurements of 10nm-scale B distributions produced by low-energy ion implantation have shown that industry-standard SIMS profiles used for chip design are seriously in error (with Applied Materials Inc). Studies of ULSI devices using energy-filtered convergent beam diffraction (Cullis with EU: Bologna Univ, ST Microelectronics, et al) are yielding strain distributions for correlation with device performance. Together with the FEGTEM work, atomistic computer modelling of quantum dots with molecular dynamics energy minimization (with DERA) is allowing the determination of their strain state.

University seedcorn funding of interdisciplinary research on MEMS, which utilises semiconductor device fabrication methods, led to the successful design of magnetic-coil based cochlea implants and the associated LIGA development of 3D field-sensing microcoils (Woods). A University Centre for Sensor Technology and Research (STAR) (Whitehouse) has successfully investigated next-generation FeSiBC-based piezomagnetic MEMS cantilever and membrane-based sensors for contactless automotive and aerospace applications (EPSRC/Lucas-Varity: top alpha5-rated Final Report, March 2001). New piezoelectric polymer-based combined pressure and shear MEMS prototype sensors also have been developed (Whitehouse, Sheffield Community Health Grant) for both podiatry applications and next-generation robotic hands. A current EPSRC project (Whitehouse with Chemical Engineering, EPSRC) is also investigating novel sensors for in situ monitoring of hostile high temperature environments.

PLANS: It is intended to exploit and advance many of the key project areas described above and to enhance company sponsorship of PhD-level training. In the CF a new e-beam lithography facility, shortly to be installed (Hill with Physics), will allow substantial enhancement of device fabrication work and nanotechnology research with University-wide and industrial collaboration. New III-antimonide QW structures (on GaAs) are being studied as potential optical emitters and detectors in the 3000-8000nm mid-IR waveband and for novel phosphide-antimonide-based electronic and photonic devices (Whitehouse). The considerable potential for InGaAsN long-wavelength (>1200nm) lasers is being explored (Woodhead, Houston, Parbrook). Ultra-fast photodetectors, for use beyond 40Gb/s, will be developed in a fully integrated OEIC solution using InP/InGaAs heterojunction devices in a travelling wave configuration with on-chip antennas (Houston). Development of ultrafast, long wavelength, APDs in Al0.8Ga0.2As/GaInAs(N) is also planned, together with devices using cavity and waveguide photon collection structures (Rees, David, Tozer); novel Fokker-Planck and integral equation techniques are under development to replace Monte Carlo modelling of APDs and other microwave devices and new modelling and measurement techniques of high order noise are planned as analytical tools. Advanced optical signal processing functions using HACT devices will lead to efficient implementation of control algorithms (Woods). III-nitride materials will be developed for high frequency and high temperature electronics applications, advanced LED and laser structures, intersub-band detectors and emitters, and solar-blind detectors (Parbrook, Houston, Woodhead, Whitehouse). The FEGTEM facility will be further enhanced and deployed in new areas including the development of high angle annular dark-field detection for atomic resolution microanalysis. The combination of atomic resolution imaging and microanalysis will be exploited to push nanostructure analysis to new levels of refinement in III-Vs, III-nitrides, Si and SiGe alloys (Cullis). Based upon the atomistic modelling of quantum dots, structural distortions due to inhomogeneous composition will be determined and dot electronic properties will be computed using bandstructure and deformation potential theory (Cullis with Physics).

B. Electrical Machines and Drives Group (EMDG): (Howe, Zhu, Mellor (A*), Jewell, Atallah, Bingham, Stone, 12 RAs, 12 RSs). 12 EPSRC grant awards totalling £2M, 10 EU grants totalling £1.5M, 1 DTI Link award of £225k, 1 DTI CARAD award of £291k, 1 DERA award of £16k, direct industrial awards totalling £585k and awards from the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society totalling £293k. Average spend: £800k pa. Total journal papers: 49, conference papers: 122, patents: 4.
EMDG undertakes fundamental and applied research on enabling technologies central to future developments in a range of market sectors, most notably aerospace, automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. It maintains a strategically balanced portfolio with a broad range of forward-looking projects and promotes pull-through to commercial exploitation and applications. New collaborative projects include high-order resonant converters for next-generation computer power supplies (Stone, Bingham with Philips Forschungslaboratorien), energy storage flywheels/ magnetic bearing systems for peak power buffers on electric vehicles (Howe, Atallah with BMW/ Centro Ricerche Fiat), electric brushless drives for thrusters on all-electric deep-sea ROVs (Stone, Bingham with Slingsby Engineering) and spherical actuators for use in high fidelity force feedback joysticks for haptic feedback applications (Jewell, Howe with Philips Forschungslaboratorien).
Research is increasingly at the systems level, embracing electromagnetics, machines/actuators, power electronics and motion control, facilitated by the appointment of academic and research personnel with the combined expertise needed for such multi-disciplinary work. This is underpinned by world-class computational, prototyping and experimental facilities, the most recent acquisition being a high performance environmental chamber to support aerospace and automotive related research, funded by the EPSRC ‘Multi-project Research Equipment’ initiative. Interdisciplinary research is further enhanced by active collaborations with groups in Sheffield (Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Materials) and Metallurgy (Birmingham), as well as with Magnetic Systems Technology Ltd, an EMDG spin-off company founded in 1992. EMDG also collaborates with leading international organisations (e.g. Kawasaki Steel Corporation, Japan, via 2-year staff secondment). To disseminate its research and strengthen industrial links EMDG provides post-experience courses (eg DERA, Rolls-Royce, Ricardo, Control Techniques) and technology workshops (eg. Princeton Electrotechnology, Gorham, Intertech), customised to the needs of specific companies/market sectors.
EMDG staffing has been strengthened by the promotion of Zhu to Professor and Jewell to SL, the appointment of Bingham (L) and Atallah (L), affiliated with the Division of Aerospace Engineering). Mellor won a 2-year Royal Society Industrial Fellowship to research cost-sensitive automotive and safety-critical aerospace applications for drives, Jewell won a 5-year EPSRC Advanced Fellowship to research ‘self-bearing’ machines and Clark won a 5-year Royal Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship to research variable valve timing actuators in ICEs.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Both the international standing of the EMDG and the calibre of its personnel have been recognised externally by the award of one of the first EPSRC Platform Grants (Howe) to support research on enabling technologies for ‘more-electric’ aircraft engines, of three highly prestigious and competitive fellowships (Jewell, Mellor, Clark), and of 5 of the 23 research grants funded under the EPSRC Managed Programme on Electrical Machines and Drives. EMDG research is wide-ranging and includes multi-degree-of-freedom spherical actuators, for which a definitive design methodology has been established and a closed-loop position bandwidth of ~100Hz has been achieved, high temperature actuators/machines, which have operated in an 800C ambient, and Halbach magnetised machines, with an inherently low torque ripple (<1% FL torque), developed for applications such as electric power-assisted steering.
There has been substantial expansion of aerospace-related research, with collaborative projects on ‘more-electric’ aircraft engines (Howe, Jewell, Atallah with Rolls-Royce), which will culminate in the first 3-spool demonstration of embedded electrical machines, fault tolerant electromechanical/ electrohydraulic systems for safety-critical flight control surface actuation (Howe, Bingham with TRW, Aerospatiale, Liebherr etc) and power generation/distribution/conditioning systems with a THD <5% (Stone, Bingham with TRW, Boeing). Since 1996, research funding in this area has totaled £837k.
Automotive-related research also continues to expand and now embraces various formats of energy optimised power-train for electric (Howe, Mellor with EU: OPTELEC) and hybrid/mild hybrid (Howe with EU: ELMAS) vehicles, and associated technologies such as supercapacitor and flywheel peak power buffers, with a prospective power/weight >10kW/kg (Howe, Bingham, Mellor with EU: PEAKFLY/FLYTECH) and ‘smart’ VRLA battery packs whose target cycle life is approx twice that of conventional lead acid batteries (Foresight Vehicle LINK Project). Technologies for next-generation ICE vehicles include fully variable valve timing systems, which should reduce fuel consumption by >15% cf a baseline ICE whilst also satisfying EC emissions regulations (Jewell with EU: ELVAS), and electrically assisted turbo-charger exhaust energy recovery systems, which have been shown to be capable of a net electrical generation of ~3kW from a 4l diesel engine over an urban driving cycle (Jewell with Holset). Research funding in this area since 1996 totals £843k.
Research in these fields also has applications in other market sectors. For example, novel resonant actuation systems have been developed for air-compressors with healthcare applications (Howe with Huntleigh Technology), high speed actuators are being researched for optical food product sorting machines (Howe with Sortex) and very high speed brushless drives (120krpm) and actuators (5m/s) have been developed for industrial centrifuges (Urenco – Zhu, Howe), packaging (Unilever – Zhu, Howe) and friction welding/surfacing (Circle Technical Services – Zhu, Howe).

PLANS: EMDG will continue to address the challenges of multidisciplinary research on electrical drives/power electronic systems/motion control and related enabling technologies for applications in a variety of market sectors. It will further strengthen its high visibility research on environmentally friendly vehicles (Task Leader on EU ELEDRIVE Thematic Network on ‘Fuel cells and their application to electric/hybrid vehicles’ (Howe), and co-ordinator of Foresight Vehicle Link Research Network FABIAN on ‘Fuel cell and battery powered vehicles’, (Howe)) and ‘More-Electric’ Aircraft (EPSRC Platform Grant spawning research projects on active magnetic bearings for aircraft engines and matrix (ac/ac) converters for power management/electrical drives in aircraft power distribution/ actuation systems) (Jewell, Stone, Bingham, Atallah). It will initiate further inter-disciplinary research links and industrial interactions. It will continue to research novel electromagnetic devices, including magnetic gears for high specific torque (Atallah, Howe), ‘pseudo’ direct drive applications, such as wind-powered generators and ship propulsion and modular permanent magnet machines for safety critical servo applications (Zhu, Howe). Research will also continue on the application of advanced control strategies for applications ranging from highly coupled multi-axis drive systems to energy management in traction systems employing dual energy and power sources (Bingham).


C. Electronics and Communication Systems Group (ECSG): (Chambers, Ivey, Bennett, Kingsley, Benaissa, Cook, Seed, Tennant, Tozer, Edwards, 3 Academic-Related staff, 2.5 RAs, 21 RSs). 4 EPSRC grants totalling £1.2M, 2 EU grants totalling £216K, 8 DERA awards totalling £315K, 4 industrial awards totalling £190K and 5 other awards totalling £329K. Average spend: £486k pa. Total journal papers: 70, conference papers: 84, patents: 8.
ECSG combines the expertise of our former Electronic Systems and Communications and Radar Groups and embraces C4MCR. The new ECSG has a wide, linked portfolio of projects and expertise from computer vision to VLSI and packaging; and from new networking and wireless mobility techniques, involving smart antennas and structures, to the health aspects of mobile phones. Excellent anechoic facilities (DERA, EPSRC, NERC funded) permit electromagnetic measurements on antennas, novel materials and large area scatterers. A multimedia mobile communications system testbed (EU funded) is designed to explore 3G+ telecomms technologies. Excellent CAD facilities and access to extensive fabrication facilities allow devices and systems to be implemented readily. ECSG academic staffing has been strengthened by the promotion of Chambers to Professor and Cook, Seed and Tozer to SL. New appointees are Benaissa (SL) and Tennant (SL) and Edwards (L).

ACHIEVEMENTS: Since 1996 the ECSG has continued to build its reputation in the fields of electromagnetic computational modelling of antennas and scattering, rf measurements and novel antennas and materials. Novel conducting polymers (Chambers, Engineering Materials, DERA, EPSRC) have been developed for use in radar signature control and emc shielding and show controllable and repeatable 20dB changes in microwave transmission coefficient. Integration of these materials into smart surfaces and structures is attracting strong interest from many foreign government agencies and from BAE Systems. ECSG expertise on passive microwave absorbers has led to the design of rf invisible buildings for use at airports, including London Heathrow (Chambers, with Unipoly and Spanwall). Active radar shielding based on spread spectrum techniques is also under investigation. This fundamentally new approach, funded by DERA, is also attracting funding from BAE Systems, with further interest from several international government organisations (Chambers, Tennant).
Significant University investment in Mobile Communications, both in staffing (Edwards, Tennant) and infrastructure, enabled the formation, in March 2000, of C4MCR. New projects (Edwards) include Mobility in IPv6 (EPSRC), Mobile IP in converged fixed and mobile networks (Marconi Communications), CaTV (Nortel) and broadband multimedia networks (REMiT EU). Work on antennas for mobile communications is proceeding on a broad front. Novel dielectric antennas (Kingsley) are being developed through a new start-up company, Antenova, in collaboration with Griffith University, Brisbane. Antenova is exploiting Sheffield inventions and patents to develop a new generation of directional mobile communications antennas. Dielectric antennas mounted directly on-chip (Ivey, Kingsley) are also under investigation. Modelling studies of innovative miniature HTS antennas has attracted significant US Office of Naval Research support (Cook). Optimised design of multi-band BTS antennas is supported by Vodafone (Cook), and DERA and EPSRC are funding work on vehicular structures as antennas (Cook). Health concerns associated with mobile phones are under investigation (Cook, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, MRC) and further work is assessing the modification of cognitive functions by mobile phone radiation close to the head (Cook). Novel mobile phone printed spiral antennas employing circular polarisation (Cook, Edwards) and new volumetric antenna arrays for both rf and acoustic applications (Tennant, DERA) are also under study. Initial funding, secured from DERA for work on novel low frequency plasma antennas (Kingsley, Chambers), has led to collaborative work on innovative plasma antennas for mobile computing and communications.
Novel drive strategies for high efficiency low pressure discharge lamps (Tozer, Stone with Chemistry) enhance the degree of electrical excitation and the proportion of longer wavelength UV transitions, and thereby the fluorescence efficiency. The work, funded by Screen Technology Ltd, has been patented and stimulated interest both in the UK and US. EPSRC funding will develop a transient model of low pressure Hg-rare gas discharges and the group has been invited to tender by the US umbrella agency, EPRI, for a research programme to explore novel radiator possibilities. ECSG has strong links with SCEOS and has attracted a grant of £800k from NERC for a study of the scattering of microwaves from ground surfaces and vegetation canopies. Additional funding from the British National Space Centre Earth Observation LINK programme, the Home Grown Cereals Authority and Matra Marconi Space UK Ltd led to the RADWHEAT programme on wheat studies.
A number of 3-D multi-chip packages have been demonstrated (Ivey, Seed), including a reconfigurable FPGA-based coprocessor system encapsulating 47 chips and a large number of passive devices. 3-D packaging of multi-chip electronic and fluidic systems (Ivey, Seed with Cardiff Univ) has been funded by EPSRC, Loctite, MST, Promatech and X-Tec. A patent application is underway covering novel connection techniques (Seed, Ivey). The group is one of the few in the UK working on MEMS/MST packaging of high Foresight relevance. Dedicated software employing genetic algorithms has been developed allowing design of 3-D packages (Seed, Ivey). A bid to EPSRC with TWI and the universities of Cambridge, Leeds and Heriot-Watt for Faraday funding for interconnection research has recently been successful. Low-power systems research (Ivey, Seed with Mitel Semiconductors) funded by EPSRC and the EU has been very successful; test chips with novel architectures, design and circuit techniques show x3 power reduction in a very demanding application. Hardware implementations of encryption and error control codes (Benaissa) have achieved high performance in data security and error control coding applications. Optimisation of speed and power is vital and of great commercial value. The group’s computer vision work is finding many applications. Stereo vision research (Seed) has continued using methods that are amenable to real-time, hardware implementation. Research in the temporal domain has succeeded in speeding up matching operations and improving reliability.

PLANS: ECSG research will continue in all of the above areas, taking advantage of group links across the disciplines of systems and communications. New links for the group are being formed across campus by C4MCR. Funding for Self-Routing Mobile Phone Systems (Edwards, Seed) is being sought from industrial and EPSRC sources and studies of 3G CDMA traffic strategies are planned (Edwards, Ivey). Funding for measurement systems for em interaction with biological tissue from next generation nomadic wireless devices is also being sought. A major bid is being planned by an interdisciplinary consortium involving Psychology, ECSG and clinical staff from two Sheffield hospitals, for substantial funding on safety issues of mobile handsets (Cook). As computer processor speeds increase interest is growing in novel, inexpensive emc shielding for use at mm-wave frequencies and development funding is being sought from Intel (Chambers). The group is a strong contender for Academic Capability Partnership with BAE Systems on advanced microwave materials. Civilian applications of smart microwave surfaces will be explored via the Foresight Vehicle route (Chambers, Tennant) and funding is being sought from Jaybeam for novel steerable beam antenna arrays for mobile communication BTS applications (Tennant). The work on antenna on a chip will be continued and expanded in collaboration with Antenova (Ivey, Kingsley). Other work in VLSI will continue via the well-established partnership with Manchester, Liverpool and Queens, Belfast (Ivey, Seed). This team plans to launch a research-led MSc in System on a Chip (SoC) design in collaboration with ARM, building on the success of our joint work in low-power electronics. The MEMS/MST interconnection and packaging work will be expanded as part of the Faraday Centre (Ivey, Seed) and a centre for electronic and micro-electro-fluidic packaging (Ivey, Seed) will be established. The basic science of computer vision will continue to be developed and linked to practical applications in industry (Seed). Negotiations to secure funding for the commercial exploitation (Tozer, Stone) of research on high-efficiency fluorescent lamp drives are also at an advanced stage.


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Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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