Networking with BT Group

“We have a great track record of successful collaboration with SAMBa, as we share a common aim – applying the latest thinking in mathematics and statistics to solve real-world problems. We especially value how SAMBa brings together students and academics from a diverse range of backgrounds.”

Carol Fletcher,
Head of Academic and Research Partnerships at BT


BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider with a track record of investment in University research over decades, and involving leading institutions in the UK and around the world. Initial links with Bath were via short-term placements for students on our Master’s course but it was clear that there were many more opportunities for BT and Bath  to collaborate on bigger research projects. 

During 2014, SAMBa academics and postgraduates worked with BT’s Research & Innovation team to develop potential topics that could lead to collaborative research. BT participated in ITT1 in January 2015, presenting a range of challenges and working alongside SAMBa postgraduates and staff to formulate and refine the research questions. 

Building on the work at ITT1, BT and the University of Bath co-funded a PhD project exploring distributed optimisation of LTE systems which was jointly supervised by academic experts in probability and dynamical systems, and a researcher from BT. In 2016, an EPSRC CASE PhD was awarded to BT, and University researchers in applied mathematics and electrical engineering to continue research from the ITT in optimising the location of wireless routers.

Following the successful completion of these projects, and a funded research internship for a PhD student, BT returned to participate in ITT11 in January 2020, bringing a new range of challenges. This led to a further successful EPSRC CASE award for a PhD to explore the intelligent selection and recycling of features in data analysis problems, jointly supervised by academics from probability and statistics along with BT researchers. This CASE award was cemented by the hosting of another research internship by BT for an existing SAMBa student, which enabled the concepts for the PhD project to be explored and tested further. 

During ITT11, BT were exposed to the research that was being explored by one of the probability academics in the department and recognised its potential future impact to their business. As a result, BT wrote a letter of support for a research grant proposal to EPSRC offering time of BT staff, and access to software. This grant was ultimately funded, building the breadth of the collaboration with BT even further.  

In 2020, BT also supported a Women in Mathematics PhD scholarship, encouraging SAMBa’s mission to promote diversity and inclusion in the Mathematical Sciences. 

FindAPhD : BT / SAMBa Women in Mathematics Scholarship at University of Bath



Partner case studies

Flying high with Rolls-Royce

"We found participating in the ITT to be an unique and engaging environment for exchanging ideas and it was also good fun. Above all it produced some truly innovative thinking."

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Internationalising the ITT model

"The collaboration between SAMBa, UNAM and CIMAT has strengthened us in tools and techniques to visualize new perspectives of development and collaboration with a focus on generating value for other institutions."

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Flood and coastal risk management with the Environment Agency

“Alongside the specific potential benefits to applied flood and coastal risk management, I have seen first-hand that the SAMBa CDT produces high calibre doctoral graduates with excellent skills in problem formulation and collaborative problem solving...”

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Analysing usage data and optimising treatment choice with Mayden

"For a small company like ours, this research is vital in delivering our vision to create digital technologies that change what’s possible for clinicians and patients."

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Flying high with GKN and Airbus

"Working with SAMBa students to relay how our industry understands the daily challenges in aerospace design and manufacture and for them to translate them into statistical/mathematical models and methods was a refreshing and rewarding concept."

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Automated Image Recognition: Precision Medicine in Psoriatic Arthritis

"The students at SAMBa were engaging and motivated, above all interested in solving real world problems with their skills. As a result of SAMBa we have taken huge strides forward in a new technique in the assessment of arthritis related to psoriasis and the effect of treatment.

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Analysing risk with DNV GL

"We are working with SAMBa to develop new tools for managing risk by combining deterministic and probabilistic methods."

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Formulating data-driven understanding for health treatments with Novartis

There were a couple of ongoing personal research collaborations with Novartis in the Department of Mathematical Sciences that were brought together to develop a set of challenges for Novartis’s participation in ITT12. These consisted of questions exploring modelling and data integration in pharmacokinetics models, and finding effective routes to drug development for liver disease.

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