Our new research institute with partners in China will find innovative solutions for aerospace

Space rocket China

Our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing has today (Monday 26 September 2016) signed an agreement to launch new a joint research institute with the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST). 

SAST is a key partner in China's space programme, which includes the development of the Tiangong 3 Space Station, scheduled for launch in 2020. Our AMRC will work with SAST to develop strong thin-walled structures for commercial rockets. 

Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett and Professor Guang Meng, Vice-Principal of SASTA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for this pioneering collaboration, which also includes Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

VC in China

Colleagues at the AMRC are working with SAST on the technical issues associated with creating strong thin-walled structures for commercial rockets. SAST will fund mobility for academic and commercial staff to receive training in advanced manufacturing techniques and send China Scholarship Council (CSC) students to study for their PhDs here in Sheffield.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett said: “I am delighted that two world-leading organisations such as SAST and our AMRC with Boeing are collaborating so effectively to find technical solutions to complex aerospace issues. This is a priority area for China as announced by President Xi Jinping, and also one of longstanding expertise here in Sheffield. We see tremendous potential for companies and products in both countries."

John Baragwanath, Executive Director of the AMRC, added: “The AMRC is delighted to partner SAST on this new collaborative research programme, which will combine expertise in the two centres and lead to improved products and new innovations.”

The signing ceremony took place in Shanghai, where Professor Sir Keith Burnett has been part of a ministerial delegation, led by Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Jo Johnson.

I am delighted that two world-leading organisations such as SAST and our AMRC with Boeing are collaborating so effectively to find technical solutions to complex aerospace issues.

Vice-Chancellor

Professor Guang Meng said: "As the AMRC's first partner in China, I feel confident that our joint research initiatives will lead to significant advances in our human and technical capabilities.”

SAST, which has an annual budget of $60 billion, is a subsidiary of the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation (CASC), a state-owned enterprise and the main contractor for the Chinese space program.

CASC provides commercial launch services to the international market and with 20,000 employees in Shanghai, is one of the world's most advanced organisations in the development and deployment of high energy propellant technology, strap-on boosters, and launching multiple satellites atop a single rocket.