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Boeing and the University of Sheffield Create New Composites Centre

15 May 2006

The University of Sheffield and Boeing have won a £4.5 million tender from Yorkshire Forward to open The University of Sheffield Composites and Advanced Materials and Technology Centre (CAMTeC) with Boeing.

The Boeing led centre will be located on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, and will focus on researching, designing, manufacturing and technology transfer of civil and aerospace composite components.

The centre will build on the collaborative relationship for research that exists between the University of Sheffield and Boeing, and the demand for composite materials which is expected to exceed supplies by 2008. The research CAMTeC undertakes in this expanding field will allow engineers to create knowledge for high-quality educational opportunities, manufacturing solutions for partner companies, and supply chain entry for SMEs.

“By winning CAMTeC the University of Sheffield with Boeing is creating a world-class community in the region where composite design manufacture and study interact to put best practice into a wide industry base,” says Research Director for the AMRC Professor Keith Ridgway. “CAMTeC will help the AMRC continue its mission with Yorkshire Forward, Objective 1, the University of Sheffield and Boeing to create wealth, long lasting jobs and prestige for the region, accomplished by attracting inward investment.”

Geof Tomlinson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for research at the University of Sheffield said: “I’m delighted that the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is going to expand into the dynamic, growing area of composite materials research with the establishment of CAMTeC. Our existing partnership with Boeing at the AMRC is a great example of the way universities can work with world-class organisations to bridge the gap between cutting edge research and industrial application, and we hope to continue to build on these strengths in Sheffield with the development of CAMTeC.”

CAMTeC’s 15,000 Sq foot building will house state-of-the art equipment available for creating composite material solutions for companies such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Messier-Dowty, and Smiths Aerospace. It will perform an integral role within the National Composites Network (NCN) by application, repair and disposal of composite and advanced materials. Regionally, CAMTeC will be giving due consideration to Yorkshire’s Regional Economic Strategy of concentrating upon the Advanced Engineering and Materials initiative.

Mary Goetz, Director of Industrial Participation for Boeing UK said: “CAMTeC will be a great opportunity for UK companies and UK technology development. Everyone will see benefits – Boeing and our UK partners, our customers and the public. In commercial airplanes, composite fuselages reduce the weight by almost 20 percent – saving energy, and cutting costs for the airlines. In our defence sector, composite Apache rotor blades are stronger and last longer than existing blades – reducing overall operating costs. AMRC technology assistance has already grown regional revenues by ₤55M in the last two years, we expect CAMTeC to be just as valuable.”





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