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Transferring engineering excellence

06 November 2009

Shaking Hands

University plans to transfer engineering knowledge and expertise for the benefit of Welsh business has been boosted by a £1.23M Welsh Assembly Government grant.

The £1.23m award, part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme, enables the University’s School of Engineering to develop a Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC).

The establishment of the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) forms a major element of the School of Engineering’s Innovation and Engagement Strategy and is designed to help promote knowledge transfer and stimulate collaborative industrial research with Welsh business.

The Centre will provide access to the unique combination of expertise and state-of-the-art facilities that exist within the School, helping companies to develop new products and services, as well as assisting them in improving their existing offerings in order to succeed in increasingly competitive markets.

Professor Phil Bowen, Director of Innovation and Engagement, School of Engineering said: "We are delighted to be able to set up this Centre which will enable local companies to take advantage of the School’s internationally renowned research and state-of-the-art facilities."

Within the new Centre there are three key knowledge transfer projects – Environment; Performance Engineering; and Green Communications.

The Environment project will operate in the field of organic and inorganic liquids, gases and solids and could benefit a range of sectors including mining, environmental consulting, water treatment, waste management, recycling, civil engineering and process engineering.

The Performance Engineering project will help make four cutting-edge technologies available to the businesses of Wales: advanced computer modelling of complex systems such as car suspensions or robots used for manufacturing processes; acoustic emission testing for damage assessment, structural health monitoring and the identification of manufacturing defects; digital image correlation for the identification of critical elements in components, structures and mechanisms; and an autoclave for the manufacture of large scale high quality composite components. These technologies will be of particular interest to the Automotive, Aerospace, Defence, Civil Engineering and general manufacturing sectors.

The Green Communications project will assist Welsh businesses that operate in the wireless communication and related sectors to produce more energy efficient semiconductor components, electronic modules and infrastructures.

This will be of interest to a wide range of companies working in this field including terrestrial and aerospace communications, suppliers of power electronics and components, printed circuit board manufacturers, network design, control and management companies, manufacturers of measurement instrumentation, and designers and manufacturers of electronic circuits and components.

Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) is a six year £70m project, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and European Structural Funds, to ensure Wales maximises the economic impact of its academic institutions.

Deputy First Minister and Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "In order to develop a sustainable knowledge based economy we need to strengthen these links and ensure Welsh businesses have access to – and benefit from – the research and development undertaken by our universities."

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