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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S022635/1
Title: EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems: Metallurgical Challenges for the Digital Manufacturing Environment
Principal Investigator: Goodall, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Preuss, Professor M Jackson, Professor M Race, Dr C P
Thackray, Dr R Prangnell, Professor P Robson, Professor J
Pickering, Dr E
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AGH University of Science and Technology Airbus Operations Limited Arconic (UK)
Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon BP British Steel Ltd
Constellium UK Limited Cummins (Group) Deakin University
Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL Dublin City University GKN Aerospace (Melrose)
Henry Royce Institute High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd
Johnson Matthey Liberty Steel UK Luxfer MEL Technologies
Max Planck Institutes Metalysis Ltd Network Rail
Norsk Hydro ASA Otto Fuchs KG Renthal Ltd
Rolls-Royce Plc (UK) Sheffield Forgemasters Engineering Ltd The Weir Group plc
Timet UK Ltd Tsinghua University UK Atomic Energy Authority
University College Dublin University of Cape Town VBC Group
Volkswagen Ag Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 5,702,480
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Characterisation
Materials Processing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel J – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Metallic materials are indispensable to modern human life. From everyday items such as aluminium drinks cans, to advanced applications like jet engine turbine blades and the pressure vessels of nuclear reactors, the positive social impact of metals is difficult to overstate. Yet despite major advances in our understanding of the manufacture and properties of metals, significant challenges remain. Constructing the next generation of electric cars will require improved lightweight alloys and joining technologies. Development of fusion power plants, which will provide near-limitless carbon-free energy, will require the development of advanced alloy systems capable surviving the extreme environments found inside reactors. For the next generation of hypersonic air and space vehicles, we require propulsion systems capable of over Mach 5. Alloys will need to survive 1800 degrees Celsius, be made into complex shapes, and be joined without losing any of their properties. Overcoming these challenges by improving existing metallic materials, developing new ones, and adapting manufacturing methods, then the benefits will be substantial.

Now is a particularly exciting time to be involved in metallurgical research and manufacturing. This is not only because of the kinds of compelling challenges specified above, but also because of the opportunities afforded by the emergence of new advanced manufacturing technologies. Innovative techniques such as 3D printing are enabling novel shapes and design concepts to be realised, whilst the latest solid-state processes allow for the design and production of bespoke alloys that cannot be made by conventional liquid casting techniques. Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, provides opportunities to optimise emerging and established technologies through the use of material and process data and advanced computational techniques. In order to fully exploit these opportunities, we need to understand the complex relationships between the processing, structure, properties and performance of materials, and link these to the digital manufacturing environment.

To deliver the factories of tomorrow, which will be critical to the future strength of UK plc and the wider economy, industry will require more specialists with a thorough understanding of metallic materials science and engineering. These metallurgists should also have the professional and technical leadership skills to exploit emerging computational and data-driven approaches, and be well versed in equality and diversity best practice, such that they can effect positive changes in workplace culture. The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems will help to deliver these specialists, currently in short supply, by recruiting and training cohorts of high level scientists and engineers.

Through collaboration with industry, and a comprehensive training in fundamental materials science and computational methods, professional skills, and equality and diversity best practice, our graduates will be equipped to become future research leaders and captains of industry.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk