Who got that cash?

January 26, 2007

They say success begets more success. Ian Postlethwaite and his engineering team at Leicester University appeared to prove the point this week when Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, announced that Leicester's Control and Instrumentation Research Group had been awarded £500,000 to help it build collaborative projects with academics in India.

The award, part of the UK/India Education and Research Initiative, comes months after the group won a £435,000 "platform grant" from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to allow it to retain key research staff as it explores new applications for its work.

Both awards are a mark of recognition for the group's research into the control of complex systems, ranging from unmanned aircraft to biological networks.

The team has an international reputation for its aerospace work, which includes the building and successful testing of a helicopter piloted by software that can navigate aircraft over difficult terrain.

The grants will help support more research into developing these systems for search-and-rescue aircraft or satellites and for correcting control problems in high-performance aeroplanes.

More recently, the group has been investigating ways to apply analysis tools developed for aerospace problems to systems biology.

Professor Postlethwaite said: "Part of our success has been to do with a steady build-up in our international reputation through getting results, raising our profile through publications and working with international experts. But what has also helped is that we have made a point of applying the theory behind our work to real practical situations. That has helped get us noticed."

Tony Tysome

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