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Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation & Science UK EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre

08 January 2009

A team of engineers and scientists at the University of Bristol have been awarded £6.4M from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to establish a world leading Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) at Bristol's Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation & Science (ACCIS).

Prof. Michael Wisnom, Chairman of the Centre and Director of ACCIS said, ""UK Composites is at a critical juncture. For example, the materials used in construction of large passenger aircraft are changing from metallic to Composite, requiring a technological transformation if design and manufacturing are to remain in the UK and strategic targets such as 50% reduction in CO2 and perceived noise are to be met. This initiative will help provide the necessary skill base and expertise to drive exciting projects and generate intellectual property, safeguarding both existing and nascent industries, along with their supply chains.""

“The award of this funding from EPSRC provides the opportunity to address this challenge and create an internationally leading DTC encompassing the materials science and engineering of Composite materials. The Centre will contribute significantly by providing a step-change in capacity, supporting more than 50 PhD students in this strategically important area and strengthens the UK's excellent reputation in Advanced Composites.” added Dr. Paul Weaver, Director of the new Centre.

Composites continue to inspire the next generation of engineers, from the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 to the 60 metre blades for offshore wind turbines. Dr. Ian Bond, the Centre’s Research Co-ordinator, stated that, “The prospect now is to develop bioinspired, hierarchical, damage tolerant, load-bearing structures of the future, with integrated functionality such as sensing, energy generation and regenerative capabilities. Such exciting new technologies will require unprecedented interdisciplinary and multiscale approaches, much of which will be based on Advanced Composites, with many exciting challenges to motivate bright, enthusiastic researchers.” Dr. Ian Farrow, the Centre’s Teaching Co-ordinator finished by saying, “Linking Bristol’s strengths in both Engineering and Science ensures the UK will be at the forefront of supporting study in a leading research environment. With the establishment of this DTC, the UK is on track to compete globally in the training and provision of the next generation of composites practitioners.”

The establishment of a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) provides an excellent opportunity for the UK Composites community to work together. The Centre will actively seek to engage Composites research groups and industry nationwide. Opportunities to collaborate will include joint PhD studentships, advanced training in all aspects of composites design and engineering and recruitment of highly skilled individuals.






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