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Osborne announces new doctoral training centre for Manchester

28 Mar 2014

The University of Manchester has been awarded £4.5million to establish a new Centre for Doctoral Training in ‘Materials for Demanding Environments', the Chancellor George Osborne announced today in Manchester.

The new CDT in Materials for Demanding Environments, one of 22 CDTs announced by Mr Osborne, will equip the academic and industrial leaders of tomorrow with the necessary scientific and commercial skills to introduce the next generation of engineering materials into operation.

Manchester graduates will have an understanding of the mechanisms that control degradation and performance alongside the necessary structural integrity assessment methodologies needed to introduce higher performance materials with predictable safe lifetimes.

Philip Withers, Professor of Materials Science, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this CDT, which will build on our special relationships with industrial partners to provide the highly skilled materials engineers needed by the oil and gas, power generation and aerospace industries to develop the new materials required to operate in increasingly harsh environments.

“This CDT will link up with the University’s BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, Dalton Nuclear Institute and Institute for Aerospace Research to provide our students with access to some of the best facilities in the world for studying materials degradation and performance.”

The new CDTs come on top of the 91 centres – four of them in Manchester – previously announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in November. A fifth Manchester CDT was announced by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) last year too.

EPSRC and other research councils have been able to fund these new CDTs following a £106 million investment announced in the Budget, and by negotiating with universities, industrial partners and the Scottish Funding Council, to maximise the number of centres and the students they will be supporting.

Mr Osborne said: “A forward looking, modern industrial strategy is part of our long-term economic plan to deliver security, jobs and growth to all parts of the UK. Our £500 million investment in Centres for Doctoral Training will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, ensuring Britain leads the world in high-tech research and manufacturing.”

This latest Government investment in a further 1,100 students through an additional 22 CDTs, brings the total investment to more than £500 million.

In addition, universities, industry and other charitable partners will be adding a further £70 million to their already large contribution of £374 million to support the training of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The combined public and private investment amounts to over £950 million.

Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of the EPSRC, said: “We have been working hard with universities and partners to ensure that as many centres as possible can be supported. 

“The CDT model has proved highly popular with universities and industry and these new centres will mean that the UK is even better placed to maintain the vital supply of trained scientists and engineers.”