Sheffield University Harry Brearley Building with ROYCE decals

20 April 2022

Official opening of Royce Discovery Centre at the University of Sheffield

The next generation of materials to meet the needs of UK manufacturing are set to be developed by the Royce Discovery Centre, a new state-of-the-art research centre that has officially opened today, 20 April 2022.

The Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute at the University of Sheffield, will give UK manufacturers across all sectors access to the expertise and facilities needed to discover new materials and develop more resource-efficient processes to meet their business needs.

The centre will enable manufacturers to harness Sheffield’s R&D capabilities to develop new materials for new technologies and test them before investing further capital and implementing them into their operations, and will address a gap in UK innovation by reducing both the cost and timescale of translating discoveries of advanced materials to new products and technologies.

Research at the Royce Discovery Centre is already underway, using new materials to develop the next generation of medical implants, improve the lightweight structures needed for electric vehicle parts, develop the components needed to store green hydrogen energy and evolve nuclear fusion reactors.

Professor Martin Jackson, Professor of Advanced Metals Processing at the University of Sheffield and research lead at the new Royce Discovery Centre, said:

“We are excited to announce the launch of our new state-of-the-art research centre, the Royce Discovery Centre. 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.”

With the centre based in Sheffield, manufacturers can work with the Royce Discovery Centre on early-stage research in materials discovery and processing, then collaborate with the Royce Translational Centre at the University of Sheffield Innovation District to commercialise them.

Professor David Knowles, Chief Executive Officer of the Henry Royce Institute, said:

“The University of Sheffield is a Royce founding Partner, with world leading prowess in materials science and metallurgy. The exciting research being undertaken at its new Royce Discovery Centre further supports Royce’s vision to develop advanced materials for a sustainable society.

The Discovery Centre will transform aspects of Royce’s research capabilities in the Advanced Metals Processing research area. It will build on the UK’s strength in metals processing and provide academia and industry with the advanced facilities and technical support they need to deliver both innovative processing technologies and novel alloy development.”

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chair of the Henry Royce Institute, said

 “The Royce Discovery Centre further strengthens the UK’s advanced materials research and development infrastructure, and will transform how we discover new materials to help meet the needs of manufacturing and industry.

“As part of the Henry Royce Institute at Sheffield the Centre will ensure that academia and industry can collaborate to address pressing materials challenges, accelerating the translation of key discoveries into industry, in turn developing skills, creating jobs and driving national and regional business growth. The research being undertaken will also play a critical role in ensuring we can meet our environmental ambitions by supporting the development of resource-efficient, zero-carbon and digitalised UK metals manufacturing.”

The Royce Discovery Centre is based in a new building named after Harry Brearley, the man who discovered stainless steel, and has the very latest in world class equipment provided by the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, alongside specialist equipment already based at the University in its Department of Materials Science and Engineering – one of the UK’s most renowned teaching and research centres in materials science.

For more information on the Royce Discovery Centre, including details of how to collaborate with the centre, visit:

Sheffield University Harry Brearley Building with ROYCE decals