The international review panel of UK engineering research 2004 recommended that more support for early stage researchers in engineering is required and, as a result, EPSRC has taken a series of actions to address this issue. One successful activity is the Challenging Engineering, under which a number of developments are underway.
In this context, Q. C. Zhong and D. Coca attended a very useful event on "Exploring the Future", whose purpose was to assist the networking of researchers from different backgrounds. However, it was difficult at times to find a common language between the participants due to the wide coverage of subjects and soon it became obvious that it is necessary to find a balance between being too broad and too focused. This motivated the idea of establishing the proposed network of new academics targeted towards control engineering.
Control engineering, one of the classical engineering subjects, plays an important role in modern science and technology. Control techniques have been applied to various advanced subject areas, such as bio-systems, communications, signal processing, renewable energy etc, in addition to the conventional areas e.g. mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, robotics, and aerospace engineering. Thus, emphasizing its multi-disciplinary nature, a network of new academics in control engineering is just right at the point of balancing the breadth and the width. A network having a similar nature in the manufacturing area has been recently awarded to J. MacBryde et al. by the EPSRC. Some of their good practices are adopted in this network.
The specific objectives are:
- To provide a platform for the members to exchange ideas, experience and practices
- To develop and strengthen long-term collaboration activities, including joint applications and collaborations with industry
- To support potential future leaders in control engineering and related areas
- To develop and sustain a strong future for control engineering in the UK.