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Professor Chris McMahon
Professor Chris McMahon

Press Release - 06 July 2006

£7.35 million grant is largest ever for University of Bath

A new grant worth £7.35 million for research into design and manufacturing is the largest ever received by the University of Bath.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has given the University the grant to further its research into ways of making design and manufacturing more efficient and effective.

The grant is being given to the University’s Engineering Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre to support it for another five years.

The Centre has two main areas of research. The first helps companies to manage the enormous amounts of engineering knowledge and information involved in complex lengthy projects such as building ships or aircraft.

The second area is improving the design of machines and systems. This includes improving the speed and accuracy of the operation of systems such as packaging and food processing machines, developing systems that allow prototype parts to be made without expensive tooling, and helping companies that make different products change from the manufacture of one type to another as quickly as possible.

The Centre’s Director, Professor Chris McMahon, said: “The size of this grant is confirmation of the important work this Centre does to help ensure that British design and manufacturing is as effective as possible.

“Our design and manufacturing sector has to be focused, and it is therefore important that we invest heavily in ensuring that what we do well – such as food processing and packaging, and making aircraft – is improved even further so that we remain competitive.”

The Centre collaborates with a wide range of industrial partners including companies from the aerospace, packaging, clothing and food industries.

Within the grant are a specific award of £610,000 to Professor Paul Maropoulos for his work on large volume metrology – research into how we accurately measure very large structures such as aircraft or buildings – and £340,000 awarded to Professor Stephen Newman for his work on cryogenic machining – the machining of soft materials by “freezing” them. More details of these projects will be released later.

Other staff working in the Centre are: Professor Alan Bramley, Professor Cliff Burrows, Professor Steve Culley, Professor Tony Medland, Professor Tony Mileham, Dr Adrian Bowyer, Dr Elies Dekoninck, Dr Geraint Owen, Dr Glen Mullineux and Dr Linda Newnes.

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