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Engineering Research Centre further improves steelmaking in Wales

28 July 2008

Cardiff University and Corus have joined together to launch a £1.2 million Centre of Excellence to research specific engineering topics.

The partnership will involve medium and long term research and the provision of training for their process engineers and technicians to further improve the competitiveness of the steel industry in Wales, initially over a three year period.

Based at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, the Corus Centre of Excellence will focus on energy optimisation and the management of process by-products to enable reuse in the steel making process, or alternative use. Specialised training will also be provided in energy generation and electrical energy transmission and distribution.

Head of School Professor Hywel Thomas said: "This latest collaboration builds on an already long-standing relationship between the University, the School and Corus. The Centre’s research will focus on minimising the amount of waste material that leaves the plant for landfill and maximising the use of processes gases for on site electricity generation and in raising the efficiency of the electricity generation plant and the distribution network.

"The Corus Centre of Excellence will mean Corus Strip Products can access directly the most industrially-relevant scientific and technical expertise and facilities available to them on these subjects."

Corus Strip Products UK, in Port Talbot, Pontarddulais and Llanwern, South Wales, makes hot-rolled, cold-rolled and metallic-coated strip steels. Now part of Tata the steelmaker is the sixth largest steelmaker in the world with a production capacity of over 27 million tonnes.

"These are two of the most critical technical aspects of the steelmaking industry," says Lianne Deeming, Director of Process Development at Corus Strip Products UK. "Gaining the best out of energy production, consumption and recovery, is a priority in an energy intensive industry. Equally, our use of raw materials and management of by-products will be a critical part of our success as we continue to create a sustainable steel industry in Wales."

The University’s links with Corus has been further strengthened this week following the announcement that a team led by School of Engineering student Matthew Wright has won a prestigious Corus Structural Steel Design Award 2008.

Challenged to provide a structural solution for a terminal building and a control tower at a new regional UK airport to support a growing economy and improve transport links, Matthew was presented with first prize.

The Awards were created to foster and reward the architectural and engineering excellence of undergraduates and helping to them to develop the skills they will need once graduated, and this year’s entries have been hailed as possibly the best ever.

Commenting on Matthew’s entry, the chair of judges said: "This was certainly a demanding brief as airport buildings by their very nature are highly charged and symbolic buildings that need to reflect the image of the nation. The entry was expertly thought out - an innovative and effective design that would lend itself to future expansion."

Matthew’s design is now being showcased in a special month-long Corus Student Award Exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London.


Notes to Editors:

1. Cardiff School of Engineering

Engineering has been taught at Cardiff since 1893. Today, the School of Engineering is regarded as one of the top centres for engineering with teaching and research facilities ranked amongst the best in the British university system following a £35million refurbishment in recent years. Staff members are active in most fields of engineering research. These are split into three main groups: civil engineering; electrical, electronic and systems engineering; and mechanical engineering. Its research has earned the highest ratings in government assessments. Research expertise within civil engineering includes: Materials and Structures - high performance and nano-structured materials; reuse of materials; and efficient computational models for structural integrity assessment; Geoenvironmental engineering - nuclear waste disposal and risk assessment of contaminated soils; land regeneration and reducing material needs for embankments; Hydro-environmental engineering - impact of climate change on flooding; environmental impact of marine renewable energy devices; bio-geochemical cycling of nutrients; carbon and metals; and improved hydro-morphological process predictions for EU WFD compliance. In addition, the School hosts a number of officially designated specialist research centres.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education (THE).

2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

Further Information:

Professor Hywel Thomas

School of Engineering

Cardiff University

Tel: (0)29 208 74 422


Lowri Jones

Public Relations & Communications

Cardiff University

Tel: 029 20870995