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Loughborough University

Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre

08 April 2011 - Launch of new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centres for Innovative Manufacturing

We are delighted to report that IMCRC academics, Professor Mike Jackson and Professor Richard Hague have been chosen to lead two of the nine new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centres for Innovative Manufacturing.

This is a great achievement and follows the success of the IMCRC's Professor David Williams who is already leading the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine, established last year. In addition, IMCRC member Professor Shahin Rahimifard and Professor Chris Rielly from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough are partners in two other Centres. This places Loughborough at the core of involvement in EPSRC’s major funding initiative for manufacturing research.

We would like to congratulate and thank all colleagues, researchers and partners in this success, the Centres provide a great legacy of the IMCRC.

New EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing

The new EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing are all university-led and are being established to support emerging science in areas of strategic opportunity for manufacturing. They will feed new ideas and discoveries through to business and to the Government’s network of Technology Innovation Centres, to open up new industries and markets in growth areas. It is envisaged that each of the EPSRC Centres will be the national ‘hub’ for research in its specific area.

As well as leading two of the new Centres, Loughborough is also involved as an academic partner in two of the other EPSRC Centres – in Industrial Sustainability (Professor Shahin Rahimifard) and Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (Professor Chris Rielly), – which are being led by the universities of Cranfield and Strathclyde.

The new EPSRC Centres formally launched by the Research Council at Loughborough University on Friday 8th April 2011 were preceded by three pilot Centres, launched at the start of 2010.

Professor Ken Parsons, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Loughborough, said the University was delighted to be hosting another two of the prestigious Centres. “Loughborough has a long-established, world-wide reputation for excellence in these areas of manufacturing research. That we now host three of the twelve EPSRC Centres, and are a partner in a further two, is testament to the quality of, and high industrial regard for, our research."

EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation will lead the development of automated manufacturing processes that have previously been considered too difficult to automate. “This research will help to radically improve the effectiveness of manufacturing operations in the automotive and aerospace industries and in a broad range of companies in UK manufacturing supply chains,” said Mike Jackson, Loughborough’s Professor of Machine Systems, who is leading the Centre. The academic and industrial partners in this Centre are Cranfield University, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Aero Engine Controls, Ford, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre , in which Loughborough University is a research partner. The Centre will receive a £4.8 million grant from the EPSRC and industrial contributions totalling £3.34 million.

For further information contact Professor Mike Jackson

EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing aims to be the world centre for expertise in this fast-growing area. “Additive Manufacturing enables custom-designed parts to be ‘printed’ in 3D, by building them layer by layer,” says Richard Hague, Loughborough’s Professor of Innovative Manufacturing, who is leading this Centre. “This allows manufacturers to make complex objects from a range of materials without the need for new tools and with very little waste – traditional manufacturing processes often remove up to 95 per cent of the raw material to arrive at a finished component, but additive machines only use the material they need to make the part.” The EPSRC Centre for Additive Manufacturing is to receive £4.9 million from the Research Council, as well as £3.2 million in cash and in in-kind resources from 16 major multinational companies and high tech SMEs. The research carried out at the Centre will transform the potential of Additive Manufacturing by allowing the production of ‘ready assembled’ products using multiple materials for use in a wide range of industries.

For further information contact: Professor Russ Harris

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