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Engineering innovation

30 April 2010

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A successful University collaboration which developed a Centre of Excellence in Energy Optimisation, By-Product and Waste Management for a major international steelmaker has been recognised in the University’s annual Innovation Awards.

The 2010 Innovation Prize recognised the successful collaboration between the University’s School of Engineering and Corus Strip Products UK, part of the Tata Steel Group.

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The project provide the steelmaker with a Centre of Excellence with the objective of exploring more energy efficient and materials efficient technology both of which contribute to the business’ competitiveness and also contribute to environmental care.

Leading the collaboration Professor Tony Griffiths, School of Engineering, said: "This project is an excellent example of how University knowledge and expertise can help a vital part of the Welsh economy and a key employer share knowledge and meet industry challenges.

"In particular the project is helping the company address some of the longstanding steel industry problems – especially the unwanted waste product of zinc in recycling of steel.

"It’s also an excellent example of how we, in the School of Engineering, can apply our knowledge to industry through skills transfer."

An additional element recognised in the Award is the focus of the collaboration on skills and training, with 180 staff trained in the first 15 months of the project.

A central part of the Centre of Excellence is the opportunity for the Corus workforce to learn new skills, including the principles of safe combustion of fuels on site and to become more aware of the environmental impacts of poor combustion, as well as the potential for energy savings.

Lianne Deeming with Professor Tony GriffithsLianne Deeming, Corus Strip Products (left) with Professor Tony Griffiths, School of Engineering

Lianne Deeming, Corus’ Director of Business Improvement and Business excellence said: "With the vital contribution of the public sector, including the academic expertise from Cardiff University Engineering Department’s Centre of Excellence, we are maintaining a competitive edge here in Wales."

The development of a Centre of Excellence with the School of Engineering offers a long-term partnership in research and development but also in training.

As a result of the collaboration, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) has funded a major research project to investigate energy use, a ground-breaking piece of industry-focussed research in the UK.

The University Innovation Awards, now in their eleventh year, are an opportunity to celebrate the links and successful collaborations forged between the University and industry.

The 2010 awards are sponsored by Geldards Law Firm, Fusion IP and Finance Wales.

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