The Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) is one of the University of Surrey’s world-leading research centres. As a PhD student you will work alongside other ATI researchers in the areas of quantum information, nanotechnology, energy, microwave engineering, and advanced materials.
The ATI houses 160 researchers made up of engineers, physicists, materials scientists, biologists and chemists, approximately half of which are PhD students, allowing you to pursue truly multidisciplinary research.
It is likely you will have the opportunity to collaborate with scientists around the world, which will enhance your international outlook. As part of the larger Faculty Graduate School community, you will receive the training you need to become a fully-fledged researcher and drive the next generation of technology and innovation.
You will have access to ATI’s extensive set of equipment (over £40M invested) to fabricate, characterise, analyse and simulate, so that you can push the frontiers of physics and engineering, while also working closely with local, national, and international companies.
Additionally, you will be able to join the most appropriate professional institution based on your degree. This is nominally the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and/or the Institute of Physics (IOP) as an Associate Member, and you will be entitled to apply for full membership after three years of postgraduate studies.
Your research will sit in one of the ATI’s four research groups (Nanoelectronics, Photonics, Ion Beams, and Theory and Computation) which are united by cross-cutting themes such as science and technology on the nanoscale, technological applications of quantum science and engineering, and conversion of energy.
Your proposal for a new PhD topic will be examined with a holistic view on the field and its technical content, the excellence in the proposed research, its potential to provide new and fundamental insight to technical problems, and the ability of the Institute to be able to provide the best environment to facilitate the research.
You will be registered for a maximum four-year period of full-time study. After 12 months, you will write a Confirmation Report, which will be assessed by independent examiners. A detailed evaluation of progress and future research plans will be made every six months to ensure that progress towards completion of the PhD remains satisfactory.
A PhD normally lasts for three and a half years, during which time you will be supported by two academics who you will meet with on a regular basis. Postdoctoral researchers in the group also help with project steering, especially when the PhD work is part of a multinational or industry-focused programme.
The location of your research will depend on the needs of your project. You will be allocated office space in the ATI building, typically alongside researchers with related research interests. Depending on the specifics of your project, your time will be spent differently around the facility. Modelling projects are predominantly computer-based, while experimental ones involve work in the clean room and an assortment of labs. Like many PhD projects, yours may be collaborative and require travel for meetings with collaborators and to access specialised facilities.
You will submit a written PhD thesis after a minimum three years of full-time study, which will be examined in a viva by a combination of external and internal examiners, selected for their knowledge of the research field. The criteria for award of a PhD are the description of research whose content, rigour, originality and relevance are sufficient for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
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Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.
The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.
Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).