WMG secures £14.5m funding for advanced steel research

Posted on 25 Mar 2015 by Callum Bentley

The University of Warwick has been awarded £14,500,000 for WMG to bring together researchers to work with industry in an Advanced Steel Research Hub.

WMG at the University of Warwick will work with Tata Steel to take forward this crucial national collaboration which will help transform UK steel production, and includes research into emerging and breakthrough technologies.

The £14,500,000 award is from the latest fourth round of the Government’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) which is administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in collaboration with the other three UK higher education funding bodies.

The Hub’s research will combine the disciplines of materials, physics, chemistry, mechanical and chemical engineering, manufacturing, mathematics, statistics and computer science to address hypothesis driven fundamental questions, enabling new generation value-added products for major steel application sectors including automotive, construction, energy & power, engineering and lifting & excavating. It will bring together Tata Steel sponsored activity across UK universities but will also be accessible to wide range of other leading UK and international academics and will collaborate with the national network of Catapult Centres.

Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG said: “Global demand for steel continues to be high with record production in 2013.  This Advanced Steel Research Hub provides an internationally leading close collaboration between researchers and industry.  It creates a national focus that will help ensure that the UK steel industry has the knowledge, technology and skills in place to be a highly efficient, competitive, value-added steel manufacturer able to capitalize on that huge international steel market.”

WMG Advanced Steel Research Hub
An artist’s impression of the WMG Advanced Steel Research Hub.

Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee, Tata Steel’s group director of research and development said: “The Advanced Steel Research Hub at Warwick will provide a new and unique innovative research centre to enable the further transformation of the UK steel industry into one that creates tailored, functional materials for customers in high-value sectors.

“These innovations are needed for the UK to further develop world-leading capabilities in the global steel market, supplying advanced steel products to highly demanding and competitive industries such as automotive.

“The University of Warwick, where Tata Steel has created three Professorial Chairs, is an ideal partner for collaborative research and has built up a critical mass of steel research excellence.

“We look forward to working with the University of Warwick and our other key academic partners to bring about transformative change in areas such as liquid iron production, energy usage, waste utilisation, advanced casting technologies and innovative coating methods.”

Madeleine Atkins, chief executive of HEFCE, said: “The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund has enabled universities to develop world-leading facilities and opportunities for continuing to deliver exceptional research, as well as leveraging in more than £1.3 billion of private investment.

“I am delighted that HEFCE is able to support a further seven projects, and the budget announcement of additional funding for UKRPIF is excellent news. UK universities tackle major national and global challenges, and make a major contribution to economic growth. The funding offers a further opportunity to enhance the nation’s research infrastructure and further develop partnership work.”