Based in the Faculty of Engineering, the Royce Discovery Centre is expected to give manufacturers the opportunity to utilise R&D capabilities at Sheffield to develop new materials for new technologies and test them before further capital investment and implementation into their operations.
Research at the Royce Discovery Centre is already using new materials to develop the next generation of medical implants, improve lightweight structures for electric vehicle parts, develop the components needed to store green hydrogen energy and evolve nuclear fusion reactors. The facility will also train the next generation of materials scientists at the Sheffield University.
Professor Martin Jackson, Professor of Advanced Metals Processing at Sheffield University and research lead at the new Royce Discovery Centre, said: “Our new facility will help accelerate university and industry ideas through to an industry production scale, in order to meet global challenges.
“We’re already assisting in the development of new UK supply chains in sectors ranging from space components to electric car parts from recycled aerospace waste. The unique facilities will also accelerate the development of multi-material and functionality-graded components in emerging sectors, enabling the UK to pioneer next generation advanced metals processing technologies.”
In practise, manufacturers will be able to work with the Royce Discovery Centre on early-stage research, then collaborate with the Royce Translational Centre at the Sheffield University Innovation District to commercialise them.
Professor Serena Cussen, head of Sheffield University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, said: “The city of Sheffield was the birthplace of stainless steel, so it’s fitting that with the new Royce Discovery Centre the city will play a huge role in the future of metals and next generation of sustainable materials.
“Discovering new materials is vital to so many industries throughout the UK as we look to become more sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint.
“Materials Science and Engineering is at the heart of new low-carbon technologies and the future energy systems that our ambition of reaching net zero relies on.”