Our research on the physiological effects of the electromagnetic fields
generated in magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) has been used by: (i) the International Commission
Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) in
limits and action values in their published regulatory guidelines; (ii)
the EU Commission as part of
the evidential basis in their decision to derogate MRI from the scope of
the Physical Agents
Directive 2004/40/EC. These decisions have enabled the continued operation
of MR scanners
across Europe, safeguarding the access to MRI for 500 million people. The
arising from the manufacture of MRI equipment were also secured. Our work
has thus resulted in
impact on public policy, the economy and healthcare.
Research in the Microelectronics Group of the Cavendish Laboratory in the
area of single-electron nanoelectronics, quantum computing and spintronics
has been exploited by Hitachi, one of world's leading microelectronics
companies. Research breakthroughs made in the Cavendish have defined
Hitachi's R&D directions in quantum computing and spintronics, led to
several Hitachi product developments and influenced senior Hitachi
strategic decision makers regarding the future of computing.
Research in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at
the University of Sheffield has
generated economic impact through the creation of a spinout company,
commercialising high performance electric drives, in particular those
employing magnetic gearing
technologies. Magnomatics employs 35 full-time staff, had a turnover of
£1.4M for the year 2012,
and its technologies are now being developed for applications in utility
scale wind turbines, hybrid
vehicles and marine propulsion.
A device developed for spintronics research at the University of Oxford
has been adapted as the basis for robust, high-performance position or
composition sensors to detect many different materials including metals,
plastics, ceramics and fluids. These sensors are capable of making
contactless measurements in very hostile environments. A spin-out company
was formed in 2004 to exploit and apply this technology to a wide range of
technical and engineering problems and has achieved over £2.5m revenue.
These sensors form the key elements of products that have been
successfully deployed in automotive and other transport applications.
Benefits to end users include ease of use, speed and the cost savings.
The London Low Temperature Laboratory (LLTL) led by Professor Saunders in
the Department of Physics, has developed novel ultra-low temperature (ULT)
platforms and instrumentation alongside its programme of fundamental
Groundbreaking UCL research and development of magnetic nanoparticles for
biomedical applications led to the introduction in 2012 of the world's
first licensed nanoparticulate injectable medical device, the Sienna+
tracer, and its associated detection system, the SentiMag. A UCL spinout
company, Endomagnetics Ltd., has introduced this new technology to better
diagnose and treat cancer without the need for invasive surgery. The
system uses magnetic materials, rather than radioisotopes, to locate the
sentinel lymph nodes that are the key indicators of the spread of cancer
away from the primary tumour site. As well as improving patient outcomes,
the system considerably improves hospital workflow and efficiency since,
unlike radioisotopes, the injectable magnetic tracer (Sienna+) is readily
available and requires no special handling
Heat capacity is the measurable physical quantity that specifies the
amount of heat required to change the temperature of an object or body by
a given amount and is an important quantity to establish in any
application that requires knowledge of the thermal response of a material.
It is quite usual in the development of new materials that the volume of
material available in single crystalline form is limited, and the ability
to measure small samples sensitively has particular importance for this
reason. We claim a dominant influence on the design of an ultrasensitive
heat capacity microcalorimeter that is now sold by the UK company
Cryogenic Ltd as a heat capacity option for their cryogenic measurement
systems. The microcalorimeter makes it possible to measure ultra-small
samples, particularly magnetic samples that are invisible to other
commercial probes. Research was carried out within Imperial's Physics
Department in 2003-04 to develop the instrumentation; the design was
published in 2005 after which it transferred to UK company Cryogenic Ltd.
In the past three years the approximate total sales of the heat capacity
option at Cryogenics amount to £500K, as a valuable component of a
physical properties measurement system with a total sale value in the
region of £2M [section 5, source E].
UCL's discoveries of the existence of magnetic flux ropes in the solar
atmosphere and their link to sunquake generation have stimulated public
interest in science and led to a large volume of engagement activities.
Since 2008, there has been a high demand for public and schools talks
related to research conducted by staff within the Department of Space and
Climate Physics — also known as the Mullard Space Science Laboratory
(MSSL) — with attendees being inspired and gaining increased knowledge.
Teaching resources and talks at teacher training events have enabled
teachers to include MSSL research in inspirational science lessons.
Sustained and on-going relationships have been developed with local
schools, adult education groups, the media and the local community; for
example, at the 2009 MSSL open day visitors from the local area benefited
from raised awareness and improved knowledge about space science.
A software package called CPO has been developed that simulates the
motion of charged particles
in electromagnetic fields. More than 200 benchmark tests have established
CPO as the gold
standard in low-energy charged-particle optics. A spin-off company was
formed to market CPO,
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XMaS is a dedicated materials science beamline at the European
Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). It develops and disseminates novel
instrumentation and sample environments that allow new experiments which
support emerging technologies. By commercialising the intellectual
property through licenses to companies economic impact is derived
directly. Further economic impact is facilitated through knowledge
transfer by trained people and expertise in new processes, which enhances
the capability, capacity and efficiency of other central facilities.
Public interest and awareness are engendered through individual research
projects being highlighted in the media and through people's skills and
experience being utilised in a broad range of sectors.