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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I015507/1
Title: EDT MATTER - Manufacturing Advances Through Training Engineering Researchers
Principal Investigator: Sienz, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Sullivan, Professor JH
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Aerocan UK Ltd Jaguar Land Rover Linpac Metal Decorating
Magnesium Elektron Ltd (UK) Novelis Royston Labels Limited
SABMiller plc Tata Steel Timet UK Ltd
TWI Ltd
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2011 Ends: 30 September 2018 Value (£): 1,248,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Underinvestment in Manufacturing in the UK over the past decade has left this vital pillar of the economy exposed. OECD statistics show this starkly when comparing the UK to competitors whose sectors have grown since the start of the new millennium - the UK has- The largest proportion of low technology companies - The lowest proportion of employees in manufacturing- The lowest R & D spend as a function of GDP- The highest wage costs when compared to productivity.The recent economic crisis has highlighted the UK's over dependence on the financial services sector. Countries such as France and Germany with larger and growing manufacturing bases both emerged from the global recession more rapidly than the UK. This gap in support for the manufacturing sector has been recognised by EPSRC who made provisions to stimulate new IMRCs and doctorate training centres which can support UK manufacturing through close collaboration with the science base at universities.MATTER is a new initiative at Swansea specifically targeted at high technology advanced manufacturing and exploits the considerable experience of running industry facing doctorate centres at Swansea University. MATTER will be run in the multidisciplinary research environment provided in the School of Engineering at Swansea spanning all three research centres - computational, materials and nanotechnology. It will be led by a team of highly experienced researchers representing a wide range of expertise across the centres. Swansea has been a pioneer of the EngD concept since its inception in 1992. The award winning research and training partnerships continue with two highly focused doctoral training partnerships for the steel industry in Wales and for structural metallic systems for gas turbines. Swansea is also the lead organisation on the ERDF funded project ASTUTE to support Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies in Wales with postdoctoral research and extensive knowledge transfer activities from academia to industry. Manufacturing also strongly features in the HEFCW funded project to establish ArROW, an Aerospace Research Organisation Wales, which is led by Swansea University. The latter is to build research capacity, but it lacks funds for the critical element of doctoral students to more extensively engage with industry.In analysing technical roadmapping documents from the packaging and the aerospace industries, and the portfolio of support offered to manufacturing industries, Swansea University has identified key gaps and opportunities to work with the supply chains in Packaging, Automotive and Aerospace specifically outside of the EU convergence areas covered by existing funding. Within these technology clusters are key cross cutting themes, lean principles, sustainability, and value added. The gap in support will be filled through the generation of an advanced manufacturing centre that will train a minimum of 26 engineering doctorate research engineers, adding value to the training schemes already in place to service the Welsh convergence regions. MATTER will concentrate on increasing the intellectual value of the products and processes in order to add value through innovation, decreasing the commodity element of much of the UK sector. A key area of focus for MATTER will be improving processes to minimise waste and to improve quality.The existing infrastructure at Swansea University will underpin MATTER maximising the number of students that can be trained. Swansea will contribute 56% of the fees along with the provision of training costs and administration support from within their extensive infrastructure build up around several large scale projects, such as STRIP, ASTUTE and ArROW. Industry will also make a considerable additional contribution both in terms of in kind support and cash. The combined contribution from industry and Swansea University to MATTER will provide approximately 2 for every 1 requested from EPSRC.
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Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk