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New EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training officially launched

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing has been officially launched at the House of Lords.

An exciting collaboration between the Universities of Exeter, Warwick and Cranfield, the new Centre will offer an International Engineering Doctorate (EngD (Int)) in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing, awarded jointly by the three institutions. It is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and industry partners.

At the recent launch, invited guests from both industry and the education sector heard how the Centre will address industry-driven research challenges around sustainability; including establishing natural or recovered materials as feed-stocks, reducing process inputs and outputs without compromising performance or economic viability, extracting high value materials from waste streams, and ultimately establishing economic and environmental sustainability.

EPSRC-funded Centres bring together diverse areas of expertise from both academia and industry to train engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle today’s evolving issues, and future challenges. They also provide a supportive and exciting environment for research students and create new working cultures, building relationships between teams in universities and forging lasting links with industry.

The three Universities will play a major role in training the manufacturing leaders of tomorrow through a four year research and taught skills programme which will see them address a challenge put forward by an industry sponsor, and in the process achieve both a  Doctorate and an MSc in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing, as well as invaluable professional experience.

Professor Steve Eichhorn, the co-Director of the Centre and Head of Engineering at the University of Exeter said: "This is a really exciting opportunity for Exeter to work with two other Russell Group Universities on industrially led research into sustainable materials. It will provide a platform for further engagement and helps develop our national and international links."

Professor Lord Bhattacharrya, Chairman and Founder of WMG at the University of Warwick said: “This is an exciting opportunity for businesses to harness pioneering research in order to tackle a specific manufacturing challenge facing their sector. Talented research entrepreneurs can make a real impact on society and create outputs with real world applications.”

Frazer Barnes, Managing Director of ELG Carbon Fibre said: “We believe that the know-how generated by the Centre will be a huge benefit to our future development activities and business growth. We see the Centre as a fundamental part of our plans to develop and deliver more sustainable alternative materials for a range of advanced manufacturing processes, providing a resource that was previously unavailable to UK industry.”

Date: 6 January 2015

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