Shining a light on robot technology - Dr Maziar Nezhad wins sought after EPSRC Fellowship to develop micro-robots powered by light

“This fellowship will allow me to develop concepts and approaches which will hopefully open up new directions in these fields. The field of microrobotics, in particular, is in relative infancy and I am optimistic that this award will enable me to have a tangible impact in this area.” Dr Maziar Nezhad

Dr Maziar Nezhad of Bangor University and PI to NRN Project 105 has been awarded an Innovation Fellowship from EPSRC.

Dr Nezhad has been awarded a fellowship which will allow him to develop new concepts in the area of microrobotics and nano-optomechanics.

Innovation Fellowships build upon nurturing future leaders in both industry and research to not only provide a platform for greater communication between integral innovation hubs but to also ensure that the UK as well as Wales has a strong supply of researchers. 

Providing niche expertise in developing crucial areas such as healthcare, transport and manufacturing; fellowships such as the Innovation Award help to enhance the potential benefits to both society and the economy in the fields of microrobotics and nano-optomechanics.

 “This fellowship will allow the development of concepts and approaches which will hopefully open up new directions in these fields. The field of microrobotics, in particular, is in relative infancy and I am optimistic that this award will enable me to have a tangible impact in this area.” says Dr Nezhad.

Dr Nezhad’s NRN research which focusses on creating platforms for the realisation of integrated chip-scale photonic devices such as optical micro-resonators hopes this sought after award will aid in enhancing the commercial realisation for this research as well as for further engagement in technology transfers.  

“Apart from being a prestigious honour and validating my research agenda, it also provides a substantial level of equipment, material and personnel support for the research activities associated with the project. In addition, a major emphasis of the fellowship is on commercialisation of the results of this work, which in my view is a key aspect of applied research.”  continues Dr Nezhad.

The NRN AEM aims to enhance Welsh science on the international stage by ensuring to not only fund innovative research but to also support applications from grants to fellowships; providing the platform for academics to further their career and in turn enhance their specialist field further.

“Some of the ideas in the proposed research are very much related to the research carried out under the NRN AEM project that I was awarded a few years ago. Likewise, the technical and experimental approaches developed in the NRN project will be very relevant to the planned research in the EPSRC fellowship. The network has both encouraged and assisted me in preparing for the various stages of this proposal preparation.”

Applications for this fellowship are kept in alignment with EPSRC’s industrial strategy, concentrating on priority areas that are recognised as being at the cutting edge of engineering and physical research. 

“The process of developing a set of core ideas into a fully fledged proposal for awards of this type takes a fair amount of time and preparation. Apart from having a new and exciting set of ideas, it is also important to adapt these ideas to the expectations and requirements of the funding call. 

There is always a good deal of excellent competition in such applications and there are also many factors which are not in the applicant’s control. Doing one’s best in preparing the proposal and diligently making sure that all bases are covered is the probably most effective approach for maximising the chances of success”

As Dr Nezhad’s work in optomechanics makes significant developments in this field, this fellowship will aid in pushing new concepts in to a significant realisation in this area.

Dr Nezhad teaches on the MEng, BEng and BSc in Electronic Engineering and the MSc in Broadband and Optical Communications.

Publication date: 30 October 2018