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The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage is a partnership between the Irish Photonic Integration Centre, Queen’s University Belfast and University of Glasgow and  which aims to tackle some of the challenges created by the increasing quantities of data generated by today’s society.

The Centre’s focus is on developing highly-manufacturable photonic integration technologies related to the magnetic storage of digital information.  However, the development of these technologies will be relevant to a wide spectrum of end-users – from telecommunications to biophotonics, in which optical technologies are applied to living organisms and health care.  Established in 2014 with substantial investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), both universities and industrial partners including Seagate, the industry leader in hard disc drives and storage solutions, the Centre will help to address a skills shortage in the photonics industry by educating fifty future scientists and engineers over the next eight years.


PIADS is inspired by a unique technological opportunity – the intersection of photonic integration and data storage using Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR). 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. 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 the centre’s research programmes.

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.


Keep up to date on all that’s going on with the PIADS student cohort at : CDT_PIADS  Twitter

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