Each award of £50,000 will typically fund a six month project, expanding the national research effort for composites manufacturing in the UK. Proposals were invited from UK academic researchers for projects that addressed fundamental, step-changing research in two key composites manufacturing areas: recycling and waste-reduction and microwave processing. These areas were prioritised by the hub’s advisory board to balance the current research portfolio, taking into account projects funded in the previous round.
The call received 16 proposals from 12 academic institutions across the UK. Awarded funding will welcome a new spoke member to the hub at Brunel University. Titles of the successful feasibility studies chosen for funding are:
● ‘Microwave (MW) Heating Through Embedded Slotted Coaxial Cables for Composites Manufacturing (M-Cable)’, Dr Mihalis Kazilas, Brunel University
● ‘Acceleration of Monomer Transfer Moulding using Microwaves’, Professor Derek Irvine, University of Nottingham
Proposals were reviewed by a panel of independent industrial and scientific experts, who followed the EPSRC standard peer review panel guidelines on confidentiality and conflicts of interest.
● Professor Mike Hinton, HVMC
● Dr Rob Backhouse, Rolls-Royce
● Dr Enrique Garcia, National Composites Centre
● Brett Hemingway, BAE Systems
● Professor Ian Kinloch, University of Manchester
The hub employs a flexible funding model to ensure research responds to opportunities highlighted by technology road mapping, industry needs, or the National Composites Strategy, as defined by the Composites Leadership Forum.
These 2 new feasibility studies are an opportunity to investigate risky and ambitious ideas, which may lead to major collaborative Hub Core Projects if feasibility is demonstrated, which are typically 3 years in length and involve two universities and industrial partners.