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Indian scientist wins top British research fellowship

IANS  |  London 

An Indian scientist in Britain has been granted a prestigious fellowship worth 1,068,000 pounds (around $1.8 million) by a top British agency that funds research in engineering and the physical sciences.

Ravinder Dahiya, a senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow's electronic and nano scale engineering division, is among the eight leading academics from 10 British universities to be endowed with 'Engineering Fellowships for Growth' by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) aimed at maintaining Britain's research leadership in three areas identified as Great British Technologies -- advanced materials, robotic and autonomous systems, and synthetic biology.

EPSRC is a British research council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences at universities and other organisations throughout Britain.

Dahiya, a former lecturer at Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT) in Delhi, has been awarded the fellowship to pursue research in robotics stream for the next five years.

In robotics, Dahiya has been entitled to develop tactile synthetic skin that can be printed and used with robots to work in healthcare known as "printable tactile skin".

In a statement Thursday announcing the research funding, Britain's Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: "These fellowships will keep the UK ahead in fields identified as part of the Eight Great Technologies with the potential to propel Britain's growth. We champion and support our leading academics in these areas to realise our ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to do and apply science."

Philip Nelson, chief executive of EPSRC, said: "To provide opportunities for growth, both scientific and economic, it is vital that the UK has a steady supply of academic talent in the physical sciences and engineering. To do this we must support academics throughout their careers. These fellowships will mean we are retaining the leaders we need to maintain our position in synthetic biology, robotics and autonomous systems, and advanced materials."

EPSRC, based in the town of Swindon in southwest Britain, invests around 800 million pounds a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change.

The 13 fellowship awards for this year range between 804,000 pounds and 1,250,000 pounds.

First Published: Sat, May 03 2014. 16:56 IST