Materials discovery set to be transformed by new cutting-edge research centre

28th July 2020

A new research centre which will transform how we discover new materials for industry and train the next generation of materials scientists has reached a key milestone in its construction at the University of Sheffield.

  • A new cutting-edge research centre will transform how we discover new materials to help meet the needs of manufacturing and industry
  • The Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, will focus on early-stage research on materials discovery and processing
  • The centre will feature state-of-the-art specialist laboratories and workshops, and house the very latest technologies in 3D additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and nanocharacterisation
  • The Royce Discovery Centre will work alongside the Royce Translational Centre and the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering to apply discoveries to manufacturing challenges and train the next generation of materials scientists

A new research centre which will transform how we discover new materials for industry and train the next generation of materials scientists has reached a key milestone in its construction at the University of Sheffield.

The Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, will focus on early-stage, fundamental research into the discovery of new materials and processing.

Expected to be fully operational in 2021, the centre will feature state-of-the-art specialist laboratories and workshops, and will house the very latest technologies in 3D additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and nanocharacterisation.

The centre will be based in a new building - named after the renowned Sheffield metallurgist Harry Brearley.

Despite the huge challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, construction has been completed on the Harry Brearley Building on Portobello Street - in the heart of the University of Sheffield’s campus.

The facility will benefit from the very latest in world class equipment provided by the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, alongside specialist equipment already based at the University in its Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The centre will work alongside the Royce Translational Centre, based at the University of Sheffield Innovation District, to take these new research discoveries and work with companies to help apply them to their manufacturing challenges.

It will also work with the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering to train the next generation of materials scientists in order to bridge the UK’s skills gap in this area.

The Royce Discovery Centre will harness equipment and expertise from the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering - one of the UK’s most renowned teaching and research centres in materials science.

Professor Mark Rainforth, Principal Investigator at the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, said:

“Five years ago we were asked by the government to create a world-leading Materials Science and Engineering Institute. We believe we have done just that.

“The Royce Discovery Centre will fulfil our vision of delivering world-class materials discovery and manufacturing and provide an international statement on developing future technologies.”

Professor John Haycock, Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield, added:

"The completion of the Royce Discovery Centre is a landmark moment for our department. It will transform fundamental research in materials, by leadership of the Henry Royce Institute programme in Advanced Metals Processing.

“This state-of-the-art facility will integrate with applied research programmes at the Royce Translational Centre, and will create a platform for academic-industry partnerships across manufacturing, transport, energy and healthcare sectors through partnership of the Royce.”

The Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield champions sustainable manufacturing through resource efficiency, providing an environment where academics and industry can collaborate to address materials processing challenges. These collaborations create new engineering components for high performance industrial applications, generating new knowledge, translation into industry and impact.

David Knowles, CEO at the Henry Royce Institute, said:

“It is fantastic to see the Royce Discovery Centre achieve this key construction milestone. The research undertaken in this new facility will provide a major contribution to the delivery of Royce’s vision of ‘Advanced Materials for a Sustainable Society’, enabling innovation and world-leading research in sustainable manufacturing.

“As part of the national institute, the Royce Discovery Centre strengthens the UK’s research and development facilities portfolio supporting both industry and academia in advanced materials research and innovation.”

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering is a founding partner of the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national centre for the research and innovation of advanced materials.

The department’s knowledge and experience in the field of powder metallurgy means that they are best placed to lead on the Institute’s theme of Advanced Metals Processing, and can additionally provide expertise in two other Royce themes - Biomedical Materials and Nuclear Materials.

Supported by leading academics and engineers, the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield offers state-of-the-art facilities for research and development into advanced materials development and manufacturing - all in one place. Its unique range of industrial-grade machines are capable of delivering research activities that span Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) one to six.

The Institute collaborates with local, regional and national businesses, sharing knowledge to enable them to take product and process ideas from initial concept through development, testing and optimisation, to the point where they are ready to be trialled by industry.

For more information on the Henry Royce Institute, Sheffield, visit: https://www.royce.ac.uk/partners/the-university-of-sheffield/

For more information on studying materials science at the University of Sheffield, visit: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/materials/

You might also be interested in

Brexit transition period ended: What this means for employers in the UK manufacturing industry

Fri 18th June 2021

Laxmi Limbani of Fragomen discusses the impact of the end of free movement on the manufacturing industry in the UK in advance of the upcoming EUSS deadline

Shadow Minister meets next generation of Hallam degree apprentices

Thu 17th June 2021

Toby Perkins heard about how Sheffield Hallam was one of the first providers of degree apprenticeships and how the University now delivers one of the widest selection of courses in the UK, with more than 1500 apprentices across 400 employers.

Hentons plan for the future with two new tax experts

Thu 17th June 2021

Sheffield based chartered accountancy and business advisory firm Hentons has made two new appointments, within its specialist Tax Advisory team.

Government ‘super-deduction’ tax incentive supports net zero targets

Thu 17th June 2021

Energy Partner Professional Energy Purchasing provides a member update on the 130 tax break for new plant and machinery announced in the March 2021 budget.