go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/S021728/1
Title EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Composites Science, Engineering and Manufacturing
Status Started
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 25%;
Energy Efficiency(Transport) 25%;
Not Energy Related 50%;
Research Types Training 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 90%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 10%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 50%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 50%;
Principal Investigator Professor S Eichhorn
No email address given
Engineering Computer Science and Maths
University of Exeter
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2019
End Date 31 March 2028
Duration 102 months
Total Grant Value £6,648,496
Industrial Sectors Aerospace; Defence and Marine; Energy; Manufacturing
Region South West
Programme Non Theme Specific
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor S Eichhorn , Engineering Computer Science and Maths, University of Exeter (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr A Pirrera , Civil Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Professor I Hamerton , Aerospace Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , QinetiQ Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Nottingham (0.000%)
Project Contact , Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Airbus UK Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Centre for Process Innovation - CPI (0.000%)
Project Contact , Zhejiang University, China (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Michigan, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , GKN Aerospace (0.000%)
Project Contact , Hexcel Composites Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , RMIT University, Australia (0.000%)
Project Contact , Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (0.000%)
Project Contact , Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China (0.000%)
Project Contact , Institut national des sciences appliquáes de Lyon (INSA), France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Chomarat France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Denmark (0.000%)
Project Contact , Technical University Dresden (TUD), Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rolls-Royce PLC (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of British Columbia, Canada (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Delaware, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium (0.000%)
Project Contact , Victrex plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd. (0.000%)
Project Contact , Luleå University of Technology, Sweden (0.000%)
Project Contact , Composites Leadership Forum (0.000%)
Project Contact , Deakin University, Australia (0.000%)
Project Contact , FiberLean Technologies (0.000%)
Project Contact , Harvard University, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Heraeus Noblelight Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Nantes, France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Oxford Space Systems (0.000%)
Project Contact , Solvay Group (UK) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Texas A & M University, USA (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract We will launch a new CDT, focused on composite materials and manufacturing, to deliver the next generation of composites research and technology leaders equipped with the skills to make an impact on society. In recent times, composites have been replacing traditional materials, e.g. metals, at an unprecedented rate. Global growth in their use is expected to be rapid (5-10% annually). This growth is being driven by the need to lightweight structures for which 'lighter is better', e.g. aircraft, automotive car bodywork and wind blades; and by the benefits that composites offer to functionalise both materials and structures. The drivers for lightweighting are mainly material cost, fuel efficiency, reducing emissions contributing to climate change, but also for more purely engineering reasons such as improved operational performance and functionality. For example, the UK composites sector has contributed significantly to the Airbus A400M and A350 airframes, which exhibit markedly better performance over their metallic counterparts. Similarly, in the wind energy field, typically, over 90% of a wind turbine blade comprises composites. However, given the trend towards larger rotors, weight and stiffness have become limiting factors, necessitating a greater use of carbon fibre. Advanced composites, and the possibility that they offer to add extra functionality such as shape adaptation, are enablers for lighter, smarter blades, and cheaper more abundant energy. In the automotive sector, given the push for greener cars, the need for high speed, production line-scale, manufacturing approaches will necessitate more understanding of how different materials perform.Given these developments, the UK has invested heavily in supporting the science and technology of composite materials, for instance, through the establishment of the National Composites Centre at the University of Bristol. Further investments are now required to support the skills element of the UK provision towards the composites industry and the challenges it presents. Currently, there is a recognised skills shortage in the UK's technical workforce for composites; the shortage being particularly acute for doctoral skills (30-150/year are needed). New developments within industry, such as robotic manufacture, additive manufacture, sustainability and recycling, and digital manufacturing require training that encompasses engineering as well as the physical sciences. Our CDT will supply a highly skilled workforce and technical leadership to support the industry; specifically, the leadership to bring forth new radical thinking and the innovative mind-set required to future-proof the UK's global competitiveness. The development of future composites, competing with the present resins, fibres and functional properties, as well as alternative materials, will require doctoral students to acquire underpinning knowledge of advanced materials science and engineering, and practical experience of the ensuing composites and structures. These highly skilled doctoral students will not only need to understand technical subjects but should also be able to place acquired knowledge within the context of the modern world. Our CDT will deliver this training, providing core engineering competencies, including the experimental and theoretical elements of composites engineering and science. Core engineering modules will seek to develop the students' understanding of the performance of composite materials, and how that performance might be improved. Alongside core materials, manufacturing and computational analysis training, the CDT will deliver a transferable skills training programme, e.g. communication, leadership, and translational research skills. Collaborating with industrial partners (e.g. Rolls Royce) and world-leading international expertise (e.g. University of Limerick), we will produce an exciting integrated programme enabling our students to become future leaders
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 27/03/19