The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) is a partnership between Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Glasgow and IPIC which aims to tackle some of the challenges created by the increasing quantities of data generated by today’s society. In particular, PIADS addresses a unique technological opportunity – the intersection of photonic integration and data storage. Its anchor is the participation of Seagate Technology & the technology of Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR), an area where Northern Ireland is world leading in research & manufacturing. HAMR is the first truly mass market application for photonic integration, with projected volumes of up to 2 billion data recording heads per annum. Delivering photonic integration for HAMR is expected to open a multitude of new applications and markets that require low-cost integrated photonic solutions, but currently lack the critical volume required to develop the technology. These applications include, augmented/virtual reality systems, fibre-optic communication systems for the home and data centres, smart image-guided surgical instruments and miniature point-of-care and wearable medical diagnostic systems, all of which are currently being developed within IPIC’s platform and industry research programmes. Hence PIADS provides an exciting and unique doctoral training partnership focused on developing researchers with the knowledge and skills required to transform the cost base for photonic integration, which is expected to open new market opportunities for Ireland- and UK-based industry.
The CDT offers students a cutting-edge research environment to undertake a diverse and exciting range of topical doctoral research projects which cut across physics, materials and electrical and optical engineering through to applications as diverse as data storage and biosciences. Our doctoral training programme provides a framework for student cohorts to be educated, trained and to learn from industry best practice in distributed working whilst developing specialist technical skills alongside innovation and business skills.