University of Sheffield to train next generation of engineers, key to UK growth

Engineers with high quality skills in digital manufacturing - key to boosting UK productivity - are set to be trained by the University of Sheffield.

Photograph of Heartspace in Mappin building

As part of the UK’s biggest-ever investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills, totalling more than £1 billion, announced by Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, the University of Sheffield has been awarded funding to establish a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), which will help students develop skills that are crucial for the future of UK manufacturing.

The Machining, Assembly, and Digital Engineering for Manufacturing CDT will be led by Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering, already home to one of the largest cohorts of undergraduate engineering and computer science students in the UK. Also working alongside the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) - a network of world-leading research and innovation centres that works with advanced manufacturing companies throughout the UK and around the globe. The new CDT will produce the next generation of engineers with the digital skills needed to boost UK manufacturing. 

As part of the investment, the University of Sheffield is also partnering in nine other new CDTs to support training in areas of UK national importance. These centres are:

  • Henry Royce - Developing National Capability for Materials (Mats4.0)
  • Offshore Wind Energy Sustainability and Resilience
  • Fusion Power
  • Sustainable Sound Futures
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Green Industrial Futures
  • Water Infrastructure and Resilience
  • Cyber-physical Systems for Medicine Development and Manufacturing (CEDAR)
  • SATURN - Skills and Training Underpinning Renaissance in Nuclear
  • Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing

The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering will be partnering in the new CDT on Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing (CSM), with Professors Mark Hopkinson and Jo Shien Ng as Principal Investigators.

Compound Semiconductors are a key enabling technology central to the development of advanced electronics and photonics, eg: wireless communications, energy efficient lighting, smart phones, power electronics for the next generation of electric vehicles and new imaging techniques. 

Professor Hopkinson said: “The Government’s National semiconductor strategy, published in May 2023, outlined why a strong Compound Semiconductor sector in the UK is so important to our technological growth, supply chains and national security. The CDT will train around 60 new PhD students in this strategically important and exciting field.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "I am incredibly proud to see colleagues at Sheffield leading on and collaborating with so many of these new CDTs, which are in hugely important areas for the future of the UK. Engineering is part of the fabric of our university, with our AMRC and engineering faculty working closely with industry to deliver world-class engineering education and research. I am delighted to see our expertise recognised through these awards and I am looking forward to seeing the impact they have on the careers of our students, UK industry and the economy."

Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Vice President & Head of Faculty in Engineering at the University of Sheffield, added: “Our success in securing these grants - leading on one and partnering in a further nine CDTs - underscores our position as leading engineering researchers and educators. Collaborating across sectors, disciplines and engaging with industry allows us to push the boundaries of knowledge. In particular, the successful bid we are leading on the ‘Machining, Assembly and Digital Engineering for Manufacturing’ CDT is Sheffield-only, recognising the strength and depth of our manufacturing expertise here, in both the Faculty of Engineering and the AMRC.

“We look forward to welcoming outstanding students and providing innovative and exciting training for the next generation of engineers, with our graduates ready to take their research skills into society and contribute to solving the big challenges facing the world.”

For more information on the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Machining, Assembly, and Digital Engineering for Manufacturing (MADE4Manufacturing), visit:  

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