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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (EngD)

Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: EP/L016389/1
Funded under: EPSRC Funder Contribution: 3,390,300 GBP
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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (EngD)

Description

EPSRC's EngD was successfully modernised by WMG in 2011 with radical ideas on how high-level skills should be implemented to address the future needs of manufacturing companies within the UK and globally. In a continual rise to the challenge of a low environmental impact future, our new proposed Centre goes a step further, delivering a future generation of manufacturing business leaders with high level know-how and research experience that is essential to compete in a global environment defined by high impact and low carbon. Our proposed Centre spans the area of Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing. It will cover a wide remit of activity necessary to bring about long term real world manufacturing impacts in critical UK industries. We will focus upon novel research areas including the harnessing of biotechnology in manufacturing, sustainable chemistry, resource efficient manufacturing and high tech, low resource approaches to manufacturing. We will also develop innovative production processes that allow new feedstocks to be utilised, facilitate dematerialisation and light weighting of existing approaches or enable new products to be made. Research will be carried into areas including novel production technologies, additive layer manufacturing, net shape and near-net shape manufacturing. We will further deliver materials technologies that allow the substitution of traditional materials with novel and sustainable alternatives or enable the utilisation of materials with greater efficiency in current systems. We will also focus upon reducing the inputs (e.g. energy and water) and impacting outputs (e.g. CO2 and effluents) through innovative process and product design and value recovery from wastes. Industry recognises there is an increasing and time-critical need to turn away from using non-sustainable manufacturing feed-stocks and soon we will need to move from using processes that are perceived publically, and known scientifically, to be environmentally detrimental if we are to sustain land/water resources and reduce our carbon footprint. To achieve this, UK PLC needs to be more efficient with its resources, developing a more closed-loop approach to resource use in manufacturing whilst reducing the environmental impact of associated manufacturing processes. We will need to train a whole new generation of doctoral level students capable of working across discipline and cultural boundaries who, whilst working with industry on relevant TRL 1-5 research, can bring about these long term changes. Our Centre will address industrially challenging issues that enable individuals and their sponsoring companies to develop and implement effective low environmental impact solutions that benefit the 'bottom line'. Research achievements and enhanced skills capabilities in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing will help insure businesses against uncertainty in the supply of materials and price volatility in global markets and enable them to use their commitment to competitively differentiate themselves.

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