Element, one of the world’s leading materials testing providers, has entered into a collaboration with the Henry Royce Institute in the UK, as part of its aim to drive an ‘innovation agenda’ within the organization and a renewed emphasis on supporting the very best ideas.
In 2020 the company created a dedicated innovation fund and is seeking to form a more strategic approach to both academic engagement and partnerships. The company has a long-standing and excellent track record for technical competence and is placing much greater emphasis on harnessing innovation in the next stage of its journey. Building a relationship with Royce is an important foundation.
Element recognizes that one of the best ways to foster innovation is to build it from the ground up and is seeking to do this by supporting the skills pipeline, and identifying and encouraging talent to see the benefits of a career in materials science, whatever the end market. Since materials science underpins many sectors, Element is now seeking to support a number of doctoral students initially in the Aerospace and Energy end markets.
Royce has identified the Advanced Metallic Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), shared between the Universities of Manchester and Sheffield, as a clear, initial route upon which to shape the partnership. The CDT combines a taught technical program with an industrially-led doctoral project and comprehensive professional skills training.
Students come from a range of backgrounds in engineering, the physical sciences and mathematics, and spend the first nine months studying core materials topics, programming and data analytics through taught courses and case studies before embarking on their PhD or EngD projects.
Royce academics have proposed three specific projects as technologies of high relevance to some of Element’s leading end markets:
- Aerospace: Dr. João Quinta de Fonseca, Manchester
- Microstructure Level Testing using High Resolution Digital Image Correlation
- Energy: Dr. Brian Connolly, Manchester
- Comparing Hydrogen Transport and Trapping Mechanisms Controlling Embrittlement as a Function of Charging Method in Steels and Nickel Alloys
- Advanced Digital Engineering: Dr. Daniel Cogswell, Sheffield
- Using Historic Materials Data from Assurance Testing to Optimise Future Manufacturing Processes of High Integrity Components
These projects will be undertaken by a mix of PhDs and EngDs, reflecting the nature of the work undertaken and are likely to involve 3 students. These projects will be actively supported by some of Element’s senior technical experts acting as industrial supervisors and Element’s laboratories will be made available to support practical learning in an industrial environment.
Jo Wetz, CEO of Element said: “Forming partnerships with the best organizations across the world has provided Element with an established and well-respected profile in its end markets from aerospace and life sciences, to connected technologies and energy. We see Royce as a valuable member of this select group, enabling access to state-of-the art facilities, coupled to academic expertise available across the Royce Partnership.”
Professor David Knowles, Royce CEO, added: “We’re delighted to forge this partnership with Element which, as well as supporting its skills pipeline, will deliver a range of benefits to the company – strengthening its horizon scanning through involvement in our roadmapping activity, ensuring that it is at the forefront of technology developments, supporting relationships with its customers and building a stronger knowledge network.”