Saturday, October 23, 2021

Bradford University to establish Centre for Space AI

Bradford University graduate Dr Venkata ‘Murthy’ Renduchintala has made a multi-million-pound donation to the University to kickstart the Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space AI.

The Centre aims to be recognised as the centre of excellence in Space AI Technology to advance research and to stimulate innovation in the area of distributed computing, automation and information technologies, exploiting the latest artificial intelligence and embedded technologies for applications to space systems

The Centre’s longer-term ambition is to establish the Yorkshire & Humber region as the space technology anchor, through collaboration with industries, governments, regional organisations and academia.

The Centre will establish a Space/satellite technology research and teaching laboratories, housed in Horton D Building, with facilities to support nanosat development, a satellite ground station, a telecommand centre, as well as other electronics equipment and software to stimulate innovation in both research and teaching.

Moreovever, it will establish a Chair in Space Systems Engineering, to provide additional teaching and research expertise in this field; a postdoctoral research assistant position; a new lecturing post to support the delivery of the MSc programme as well as research growth.

As well as creating a Dedicated Business Development Manager role, to maximise the potential for partnerships and income generation activity, it will also establish a postgraduate scholarship programme to complement the launch of an MSc programme in Space Systems Engineering, due in September 2022.

Dr Renduchintala said: “Whatever I have been able to achieve professionally thus far has been built on the solid academic foundation the University provided me with.

“It therefore seems both fitting and appropriate that I participate in helping the leadership of the University as they take this institute into important fields of research and learning that look towards our future.

“I am really excited by the ambitions we have for the Centre and am confident that the research it conducts will be both influential and impactful.”

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “This is a major partnership for the University of Bradford and one we are particularly excited about. We are incredibly grateful to our alumnus Dr Renduchintala for his most generous contribution, and also for the new opportunities this will bring to students at our University.

“This investment means the University will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities that will be generated as a result of an increase in space exploration and to play a role in the creation of cutting-edge technologies.

“This will also act as a stimulus for local companies and enable us to forge new and innovative partnerships across the world.”

The Centre will allow the University to deliver educational programmes in space and satellite technology development, and to play an active role in the creation of cutting-edge technologies.

The work undertaken by the Centre will contribute directly to the University’s Business and Community Engagement sub-strategy and Research and Innovation sub-strategy.

The scholarship programme, Summer School, and STEM outreach activities associated with the Centre will provide substantial momentum to the University’s Access and Participation Plan.

An Innovation and Skills Advisory Board (ISAB) with representatives from prominent industry and from the public sector will be established, providing steer to the Centre research direction, as well as to identify skill gaps needed in the sector.

The Centre will also be proactive in networking with other universities, initially focusing those along the M62 corridor to ensure regional presence and promote regional collaboration.

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