The University of Sheffield has opened three new multi-million pound research centres today in the region, with the aim to further boost the city’s reputation as a hub for advanced engineering.
The centres will allow businesses to gain access to university research expertise and test out 4IR technologies such as AI, sensor technology, big data and robotics.
These new research facilities could boost the reputation of the Northern Powerhouse as being a leader in advanced research, innovation and engineering.
The centres – the Royce Translational Centre (RTC), the Laboratory for Verification and Validation (LVV), and the Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research Centre (ICAIR) – are located within the Sheffield City Region’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.
Working with companies to help develop new technologies, the centres will use research to cut costs and lead times which could potentially transform industrial processes and businesses.
The three facilities form part of a £47m investment, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the University of Sheffield.
The site is already home to the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Factory 2050 – the UK’s first advanced factory, dedicated to conducting collaborative research, component manufacturing and developing machining technologies.
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Royce Translational Centre (RTC)
- The RTC has been set up to evolve novel materials and processing techniques developed by research teams and make them accessible for trial by industry.
- The Royce Translational Centre is home to Royce@Sheffield and the metals research group of AMRC, the National Metals Technology Centre (NAMTEC).
Metron Advanced Equipment Limited, based in Derbyshire, is working with the RTC to produce parts for aerospace and automotive applications from Titanium Aluminides (TiAl) using additive manufacturing.
Laboratory for Verification and Validation (LVV)
- This facility will enable research into the design and operation of advanced engineering structures when exposed to real-world vibration and environmental conditions. This will allow testing of both full structures (such as automobiles) and substantial components of for example, aircraft and wind turbines.
- Experimental data, computer modelling and machine learning will allow industry to produce lighter, safer designs for a range of industrial sectors.
LVV has partnered with Sheffield-based Magnomatics, through the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Dynamics Research Group (DRG), this focuses on testing the vibration performance of their magnetic gear components.
Magnomatics will now be able to use the environmental chambers at the LVV to test under extreme conditions such as temperatures of plus and minus 50 degrees.
Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research Centre (ICAIR)
- This facility will enable experimental tests for investigating both underground and above ground constructed infrastructure.
- It can integrate data, AI, robotics and advanced manufacturing techniques to the field of infrastructure.
ICAIR has worked with Sheffield’s Environmental Monitoring Solutions (EMS) to manage the increased risk of urban flooding caused by climate change.
The AI-based technology called CENTAUR means that sewer flow control systems can be managed at a local level, providing better protection using the same infrastructure.
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