Nottingham University open new advanced manufacturing research facility

Nottingham University has opened a new £24m Advanced Manufacturing Building to take the East Midlands and Britain forward in areas including advanced materials, additive manufacturing and composites.

Nottingham
Robots at work in the Centre for Aerospace Manufacturing (Credit: Nottingham University)

Siemens UK CEO, Juergen Maier officially opened the Advanced Manufacturing Building (AMB) on Friday 7 December 2018.

With a total research portfolio of £80m, the new facility consolidates the University’s manufacturing science and technology capabilities, expertise and industrial support.

The AMB is home to centres of excellence, including the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IfAM), which has 96,000 sq ft of research and teaching facilities for design, manufacturing, assembly and metrology, measurement, testing and modelling.

“Skills challenges remain a key issue for many manufacturing businesses in the UK, due to factors such as the fast pace of technology development, an ageing workforce and a shortage of graduates with relevant multidisciplinary skills and experience,” said Prof Svetan Ratchev, director of IfAM. “The Institute helping to shape the manufacturing research agenda nationally and internationally and is supplying the technology and specialist skills to support key industrial sectors and encourage the growth of emerging industries.”

IfAM already helps international brands including Airbus, BAE Systems, BMW, Bentley Motors, and Cummins to manufacture high value products by providing next-generation technologies for improving productivity with tools including 3D printing, artificial intelligence, collaborative robotics, and data analytics.

Maier said: “This new facility heralds the start of something truly special for Nottingham, and will help place the region and indeed the country at the cutting edge of digital manufacturing. Why is this important? It’s important because our future lies in driving a new technological revolution focusing on AI, automation, robotics and 3D printing as well as many other new exciting technologies. It will ensure graduates are at the cutting edge and ready to take up the high productivity, high wage jobs of the future.”

IfAM brings together the research activities of the Advanced Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing and Polymer Composites Research Groups under one roof with over 200 academics, researchers and PhD students, providing a focal point for manufacturing innovation.

The Institute also comprises the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM), the Centre for Aerospace Manufacturing and the Precision Manufacturing Centre. The new building also houses the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology.

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The AMB is said to form part of a decade-long £100m investment plan by the University into manufacturing research and training.

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