Robot School Opens, Addresses Environmental Challenges
The National Oceanography Center (NOC) is a partner in a new $3.8m Center for Doctoral Training in the use of 'robotic' systems for environmental sciences.
The NOC component of the center will focus on innovative marine robotics and sensors, which can be used to address key scientific challenges such as; climate change, deep-sea exploration, and identification of biodiversity ‘hotspots’. The fleet of marine robots based at the NOC has recently developed into one of the most advanced in the world.
This project is being led by the University of Southampton, and also involves the British Antarctic Survey, Heriot-Watt University, University of East Anglia, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science. Between all six organizations, this school will teach skills in a range of unmanned systems - which can monitor everything from erupting volcanoes to algal blooms in the ocean.
Kevin Forshaw, Director of Enterprise and Impact at the NOC, said: “By teaching students the knowledge and skills the marine autonomy sector urgently needs, this training centre is part of the NOC's ongoing program of supporting business. This sector is currently valued at $13.8 bn and is rapidly expanding.”
The center is called NEXUSS (NEXt generation Unmanned Systems Science), and is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It will provide training to over 30 science and engineering PhD students, with the first intake due to start in autumn 2016.