AMRC visit strengthens Malaysian Links

The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has built its links with Malaysia with a visit from the country’s minister of education.

Dr Maszlee Malik’s visit was designed to strengthen the relationship between Malaysia and the UK in the fields of engineering and advanced manufacturing.

The minister, accompanied by a delegation that included the vice chancellor of the University Technology Malaysia and a board member of Education Malaysia Global Services, was introduced to researchers at the centre by Professor Keith Ridgway, founder and executive dean of the AMRC.

The delegation visited Factory of the Future, Nuclear AMRC and Factory 2050 where translational research into advanced machining, manufacturing, materials and lightweighting processes is being carried out for the biggest names in aerospace, energy, automotive and defence.

They also visited the AMRC Training Centre, which is helping more than 300 small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the region to develop new engineering talent. 

Dr Malik said: “Education is key for us and I think a model like the University of Sheffield AMRC could sit very well in the Malaysian economy.

“We also want to look at the possibility of collaborating with the University of Sheffield on joint degree programmes where our students study both in Malaysia and here. We really want to build on our relationship with the university, that is something we want to progress.”

Professor Ridgway added: “A good relationship with Malaysia is something the Sheffield City region will pick up on and could, in future, be a conduit to inward investment just like we have seen with Boeing opening their first European manufacturing facility here and McLaren establishing its Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield.

“Most heartening of all, it was great to see the interest the Minister and his team showed in the training of apprentices and the vital role their skills and talent are playing in growing an economy where inward investors want technology and skills.”

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 31st January 2019


The chief executive of Siemens UK has called on manufacturers in the Northern Powerhouse to ‘lead the next industrial revolution’.

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK and author of the Made Smarter Review, urged industry across the North to commit to embedding technology, information and data into everything they do.

Speaking to an invited audience of northern industrialists and young engineers at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) today (10 May 2018), he said review said a new ‘digital Industrial Revolution’ could support the creation of 175,000 new jobs over ten years; mainly skilled roles in engineering, software and design.

“Leading the next industrial revolution cannot be done from Whitehall; it cannot be done from London. It can only be done in the North,” Maier said.

“This city of Sheffield was world-renowned for high-quality steel production, but fell into decline as the industry collapsed and cheaper alternatives across the world became available. We should all be determined that we do not let this happen again.

“This is our chance to reverse that decline and create the high-skilled jobs for generations to come. Through embracing technology we can lead the world once again – exporting new Northern industries all over the globe.”

“Many of our smaller firms have led the way. Now we want thousands more to come on board. There is nothing to fear but plenty to gain.”

His sentiments were echoed by Professor Sir Keith Burnett, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield: “As the cradle of the first industrial revolution, the north of England sent new products to the world. Now we need the infrastructure, research, innovation and skills which will enable us to lead in the era of Industry 4.0.

“This means new approaches to bringing together world-class research and teaching with global companies and their supply chains, creating new products and reshoring production. This is an area where the University of Sheffield is leading the way, working with Boeing, McLaren, Siemens and Rolls-Royce to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.”

University of Sheffield signs up as Northern Powerhouse Partner

The University of Sheffield has become the latest organisation to sign up as a Northern Powerhouse partner.

The university, which has 29,000 students and 7,000 staff, joins a group of northern organisations that have pledged to work with the government to help the north achieve its full potential and attract new jobs and investment.

The agreement was signed on a visit by Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry to the university’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) yesterday (12 February 2018).

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “If the north of England is to create the strong economy which will be needed to create wealth and opportunities, it needs to work in new ways to be globally competitive.

“As the cradle of the first industrial revolution, the north of England sent new products to the world. Now we need the infrastructure, research, innovation and skills which will enable us to lead in the era of Industry 4.0. This means new approaches to bringing together world-class research and teaching with global

companies and their supply chains, creating new products and reshoring production. This is an area where the University of Sheffield is leading the way, working with Boeing, McLaren, Siemens and Rolls-Royce to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.”

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry added: “I was delighted to visit my alma mater, the University of Sheffield, including its state-of-the-art AMRC Training Centre which is helping to train the next generation of engineers and manufacturers in the Northern Powerhouse.

“The University of Sheffield is at the forefront of higher education in the UK and joins a number of British universities commanding high positions in global rankings – they contribute enormously to the international standing of the Northern Powerhouse and its reputation as a world-leader in research and academic excellence.”

The AMRC carries out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials and has more than 100 industrial partners, including global giants such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus.

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 13 February 2018


Arconic Foundation, the independent philanthropic arm of advanced materials company Arconic, has awarded a $100,000 (£77,000) grant to the University of Sheffield as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Education Grant Programme.

The scheme is designed to address the “rapid shift” taking place in manufacturing, which is moving from traditional methods to cutting-edge technologies such as automation and robotics.

The University of Sheffield’s allocation will be used to refresh final year projects for Aerospace Engineering (AERO) and Material Science and Engineering (MSE) students, aged 19-29, who will receive an influx of updated equipment and software.

They will also be given the opportunity to undertake learning experiences with local employers.

“The demanding nature of the advanced manufacturing sector requires exceptional talent with skills vital to drive conventional and emerging engineering techniques and technologies, especially in aerospace,” said Harry Klein, UK country manager at Arconic.

“Partnering with the university helps to build a world-leading educational platform.”

Professor Neil Hyatt, head of the department of materials science and engineering at University of Sheffield, added: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant to improve our graduate’s readiness for the expanding metals and aerospace manufacturing sector.

“The funds will help to invest in our metals processing facilities and modelling software capabilities, even equipping students in additive manufacturing techniques.”

In total there are six educational organisations in four countries benefiting from the $600,000 initiative: Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana), Muskegon Community College (Michigan), Pellissippi State Community College (Tennessee) the Cologne Institute for Economic Research and Obuda University in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.


Boeing’s plans to establish a £20m production facility in the Sheffield City Region is a “major vote of confidence” for the area, according to Sir Nigel Knowles.

Last week, the aerospace giant confirmed that it would manufacture high-tech components for its next-generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft at the proposed Sheffield site.

Boeing Sheffield will employ approximately 30 workers when it opens as part of BCA’s Fabrication operations and will work closely with Boeing Portland, a centre of excellence for complex machining, gear systems and flight controls.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is fantastic news for the region and a major vote of confidence in our ability to combine research and development expertise with actually making things.

“This investment will play to the strengths of our supply chain and skilled workforce and I am delighted that such a highly respected world leader as Boeing recognised this.”

Subject to local authority and other relevant planning permissions, the proposed 25,000 sq ft Boeing Sheffield facility will be built alongside the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), the machining and materials research campus founded in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield.

Boeing expects to recruit UK employees for the site as early as 2018, capitalising on the skilled workforce in Sheffield as well as the AMRC’s capabilities.

The business also plans to initiate a major research and development programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied in the new Boeing Sheffield facility.

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 1st March 2017

AMRC was the “ideal Place” – McLaren

The chief executive of McLaren Automotive has outlined the factors that attracted the supercar maker to the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Developed with the support of Sheffield City Council, McLaren’s Composites Technology Centre will be responsible for the development and manufacturing of advanced carbon fibre chassis for the brand’s supercars.

“The attraction of Sheffield for McLaren is a number of things,” said McLaren chief executive Mike Flewitt. “One is the work that the university is doing in Sheffield with advanced structures and lightweight materials.

“It is something that is very much at the heart of McLaren, but also we’ve had amazing support from the Sheffield city and regional councils and between us we’ve put together a partnership of the three bodies: McLaren, the city council and the university to develop this centre.”

Flewitt also highlighted the “very good pool of skilled labour here”, adding how that was backed up by the “people who’ve already invested in the region, such as Boeing, Airbus, GKN and Rolls-Royce”.

“It is the ideal place for the development if this technology.”

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This is a truly important day for McLaren, the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield City Region.

“McLaren has chosen to open a purpose-built production facility here in the UK. And it is no accident that they have chosen to do so next to the world-leading Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre of the University of Sheffield at the heart of our city region.”

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, also welcomed McLaren’s decision, which he said was “a very significant endorsement of the investments being made into the technology-led advanced manufacturing sector in the Sheffield region”.

“It is especially significant as it’s another boost, not just for our advanced manufacturing industry but also our knowledge-led local economy.

“It builds further on the strong education/employer partnership we’ve created with our two universities, Sheffield College and UTCs across the city business region, and the focus on ensuring our young people have the right skills to contribute to and meet the demands of a modern economy and workplace.

“It is a welcome acknowledgement of the work being done at the AMRC, and, more widely, a real confidence boost for the whole city business region and its future productivity and performance.”

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 16th February 2017

Innovation project set to help regional businesses

A three-year programme to encourage innovation within businesses across the Sheffield City Region (SCR) is underway as part of a joint initiative between Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.  

The Sheffield Innovation Programme allows small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region to access academic expertise, facilities and resources at both universities to stimulate innovation to deliver new products and services.

Businesses can access a range of bespoke consultancy services with academic experts as well as a number of events and workshops to help their business grow.

Academic staff involved in the project have a range of expertise in areas including packaging design, advanced manufacturing, sports engineering, robotics and materials engineering.

The programme is jointly funded by both universities, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

Professor Paul Harrison, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “As one of the leading applied universities in the UK, Sheffield Hallam has a long tradition of working with local and regional businesses.

“This new programme combines our own investment with EU funds, and shows our commitment to support business and enterprise within the region.

“This project provides a channel for our academics and researchers to work in knowledge-exchange partnerships with industry, keeping our research relevant to the economy and also providing stimuli to our students through our taught programmes.”

“We are honoured to be leading this partnership on behalf of the two great universities in Sheffield and this is another example of the way the universities can work together for the benefit of the city and region.”

Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “As engineers we’re passionate about applying our research and innovation to create real solutions and to address pressing challenges with industry.  We’re particularly pleased to be doing so with local companies in partnership with Sheffield Hallam.

“The ERDF support for the Sheffield Innovation Programme allows us to support local SMEs with capabilities from across the breadth of our Engineering Faculty such as advanced manufacturing and materials, innovative designs through understanding structural dynamics, developments in infrastructure and robotics.  Working together between the Universities, local industry and our LEP we are continuing to strengthen the position of Sheffield City Region as a powerhouse of advanced manufacturing.”

The programme aims to support more than 200 regional businesses over the three-year period.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chairman of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “Partners in Sheffield City Region are working closely together to drive forward the transformational changes we need to create 70,000 jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next decade.

“The partnership approach taken by Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, and local partners is helping to ensure that our city region continues to punch above its weight in innovation, science and technology.

“This is creating an innovative and fast growing centre of business excellence which harnesses the drive and ambition of our 52,000 businesses.”

Businesses wanting to take advantage of the service should contact or visit the website for more information.

 Notes to Editor

 European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £1.779m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

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AMRC strengthens links with Korea following new agreement on collaboration

Source: AMRC news

The University of Sheffield is to set up a branch of its Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing in the Republic of Korea. Korean MoUThe new Korean AMRC (KAMRC) is being established following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the University, the Korea institute of Carbon Convergence Technology (KCTECH), Jeonju University and Jeonju City. The agreement builds on an earlier MoU, signed in 2012 by the University, KCTECH and Jeonju City, which heralded the start of international collaboration between the organisations. Since then several successful projects have been undertaken and KCTECH was officially recognised as an Associated Laboratory by the AMRC with Boeing early this year. One project led to researchers from the AMRC, KCTECH and the SsangYong Motor Company winning the JEC Asia Award for innovation in automotive applications for their work on developing a complex composite acoustic cover for a car engine bay that could be cured in an industrial microwave. The new MoU will lead to further collaboration on research, support Korean suppliers to AMRC partners and promote educational cooperation on the joint development of manufacturing courses and student exchanges. The KAMRC will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Sheffield. The MoU was signed during a visit to South Korea by AMRC executive dean, Prof Keith Ridgway, CBE; the head of the AMRC Composites Group, Richard Scaife, and Jounghwan Lee, who was involved in the research which led to the JEC Asia Award.