Materials discovery set to be transformed by new cutting-edge research centre

  • A new cutting-edge research centre will transform how we discover new materials to help meet the needs of manufacturing and industry
  • The Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, will focus on early-stage research on materials discovery and processing
  • The centre will feature state-of-the-art specialist laboratories and workshops, and house the very latest technologies in 3D additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and nanocharacterisation
  • The Royce Discovery Centre will work alongside the Royce Translational Centre and the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering to apply discoveries to manufacturing challenges and train the next generation of materials scientists

The Harry Brearley Building

A new research centre which will transform how we discover new materials for industry and train the next generation of materials scientists has reached a key milestone in its construction at the University of Sheffield.

The Royce Discovery Centre, part of the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, will focus on early-stage, fundamental research into the discovery of new materials and processing.

Expected to be fully operational in 2021, the centre will feature state-of-the-art specialist laboratories and workshops, and will house the very latest technologies in 3D additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and nanocharacterisation.

The centre will be based in a new building - named after the renowned Sheffield metallurgist Harry Brearley.

Despite the huge challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, construction has been completed on the Harry Brearley Building on Portobello Street - in the heart of the University of Sheffield’s campus.

The facility will benefit from 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.

The centre will work alongside the Royce Translational Centre, based at the University of Sheffield Innovation District, to take these new research discoveries and work with companies to help apply them to their manufacturing challenges.

It will also work with the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering to train the next generation of materials scientists in order to bridge the UK’s skills gap in this area.

The Royce Discovery Centre will harness equipment and expertise from the University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering - one of the UK’s most renowned teaching and research centres in materials science.

Professor Mark Rainforth, Principal Investigator at the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, said: “Five years ago we were asked by the government to create a world-leading Materials Science and Engineering Institute. We believe we have done just that.

“The Royce Discovery Centre will fulfil our vision of delivering world-class materials discovery and manufacturing and provide an international statement on developing future technologies.”

Professor John Haycock, Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield, added: “The completion of the Royce Discovery Centre is a landmark moment for our department. It will transform fundamental research in materials, by leadership of the Henry Royce Institute programme in Advanced Metals Processing.

“This state-of-the-art facility will integrate with applied research programmes at the Royce Translational Centre, and will create a platform for academic-industry partnerships across manufacturing, transport, energy and healthcare sectors through partnership of the Royce.”

Keith Lilley, Director of Infrastructure at the University of Sheffield, added: “I’m delighted that the Royce Discovery Centre inside the new Harry Brearley building is now completed. This state-of-the-art engineering research centre is a fantastic addition to our world-class facilities already on campus for staff and students.”

The Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield champions sustainable manufacturing through resource efficiency, providing an environment where academics and industry can collaborate to address materials processing challenges. These collaborations create new engineering components for high performance industrial applications, generating new knowledge, translation into industry and impact.

David Knowles, CEO at the Henry Royce Institute, said: “It is fantastic to see the Royce Discovery Centre achieve this key construction milestone. The research undertaken in this new facility will provide a major contribution to the delivery of Royce’s vision of ‘Advanced Materials for a Sustainable Society’, enabling innovation and world-leading research in sustainable manufacturing.

“As part of the national institute, the Royce Discovery Centre strengthens the UK’s research and development facilities portfolio supporting both industry and academia in advanced materials research and innovation.”

The University of Sheffield’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering is a founding partner of the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national centre for the research and innovation of advanced materials.

The department’s knowledge and experience in the field of powder metallurgy means that they are best placed to lead on the Institute’s theme of Advanced Metals Processing, and can additionally provide expertise in two other Royce themes - Biomedical Materials and Nuclear Materials.

Supported by leading academics and engineers, the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield offers state-of-the-art facilities for research and development into advanced materials development and manufacturing - all in one place. Its unique range of industrial-grade machines are capable of delivering research activities that span Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) one to six.

The Institute collaborates with local, regional and national businesses, sharing knowledge to enable them to take product and process ideas from initial concept through development, testing and optimisation, to the point where they are ready to be trialled by industry.

Construction of the new Harry Brearley building was completed by Henry Boot PLC.

For more information on the Henry Royce Institute, Sheffield, visit: https://www.royce.ac.uk/partners/the-university-of-sheffield/

For more information on studying materials science at the University of Sheffield, visit: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/materials/

Additional information

Materials Science at the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Sean Barton
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852
s.barton@sheffield.ac.uk