Institute advances communications to new level

December 2, 2005

Up to 150 academic posts will be created with the launch of Europe's biggest telecommunications research institute at Swansea University, it was announced this week.

Swansea will initially seek 40 academics - including six professors with expertise in deep space telecommunications (communicating with probes and satellites), communications with probes and satellites, optical systems and networks, and wireless communications and telematics - to fill the first key posts at its Institute of Advanced Telecommunications.

But it is expected that as many as 150 staff will eventually be accommodated at the institute if these academics bring their research teams with them.

Within the institute's three main areas of research, academics will work with staff from the university's new Institute of Life Sciences, tackling issues affecting transport, medicine and engineering.

The university has the backing of the Welsh Assembly and leading telecommunications companies such as IBM, Marconi and Motorola, which has invested £30 million in the institute. The enterprise will initially be based at Swansea's Digital Technium on the university's main campus.

Richard Davies, Swansea's vice-chancellor, said: "Medical research and engineering commentators predict major expansion in telecommunications applications in life science and transport. We are positioning ourselves as world leaders in those areas."

The initiative builds on links with industry in the UK, North America and Japan established by the Communications and Photonics Group, set up in 2000 by Jaafar Elmirghani, chair of optical communications at Swansea and head of the institute.

"This is a leap forward for telecommunications research," he said. "The institute will be working on some cutting-edge projects with exciting implications for sectors such as medicine, transport, entertainment and education."

The posts are due to be advertised in The Times Higher in January.

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