The current research effort within the Electronics Research Institute is focused into four Research Groups:
The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies has a well-established track record of innovation in grating devices for applications in telecommunications, signal processing, optical sensing, and many other grating applications including many first demonstrations. The main areas of research are: ultrafast non-linear phenomena in fibres and fibre devices; high-speed communication concentrating on solitons and soliton transmission, processing, generation and control; all-optical switching and processing; ultrafast all-optical networks; fibre gratings fabrication, design and fundamental studies; fibre grating devices and their application in communication and sensors; and microwave photonics.
This research group focuses on a range of networking architectures from mobile systems to ad-hoc sensor networks. Techniques involve the design of advanced digital systems for application-specific embedded systems and advanced algorithms for improving network efficiency. The Group uses state-of-the-art dynamic field programmable gate array hardware to examine physical implementations of these principles.
Both groups have attracted funding from a wide variety of sources such as EPSRC, the EU, MoD, industry, and overseas contracts. In addition, the University has made a substantial investment to enable the School to establish an ultrafast telecommunications laboratory, laser processing systems for device fabrication, and a suite of fully equipped photonics laboratories. With the participation of the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands, the School now operates a 100m2 cleanroom for device processing and surface science. The Department has also made a large investment in computer workstations. The Nanoscience Research Group (NRG) is a newly established research group in carbon-based materials including diamond and carbon-nanotubes. It was formed in 2009 as Aston University Nanoscience Initiative.
The Power Engineering and Power Electronics Group is an expanding research group at Aston University which undertakes research into both theoretical and practical aspects of power electronics and its impact on electrical power networks, ranging from the analysis and management of hierarchical complex networks such as a power electronic system, through to hands-on industrial experience in distribution and transmission networks. The group has extensive links to industry and undertakes undergraduate teaching (primarily foundation degree) to major Power Utilities.