Functional materials may be metallic, intermetallic, ceramic or polymeric in nature and come in multiple forms such as bulk, films or particles. We explore the challenges associated with manufacturing and integrating these materials both at the lab scale and at pre-production scales.

The manufacture of functional materials is the first stage in enabling these novel materials to be integrated into a range of active devices that are able to sense or act upon their environment.

We serve clients from a multitude of industrial sectors. Some of our business partners include Airbus, Alstom Power, AWE, Bombardier, Epsom, Irysis, Meggitt, NPL, Oxford Instruments, Qinetiq, Rolls-Royce, Siemens Industrial Turbines, TDK, Teer Coatings, Thales and Schlumberger. 

We have worked with a number of research funding bodies and not-for-profit organisations including:

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
  • European Commission;
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Royal Academy of Engineering;
  • Royal Society;
  • Innovate UK;
  • Wellcome Trust.

Working with us

We actively engage with industry using a multitude of routes ranging from small bespoke exploratory projects through to long-term multi-partner collaborative projects. In each case we work closely with our industrial clients to identify their core needs and define the subsequent project.

Examples of common formats include:

• Three to four month MSc student exploratory projects
• One year MSc by research student projects
• Three year PhD projects
• One to six month exploratory research projects
• One to two year concept development projects.

Our facilities

We have a number of facilities at our disposal for use when undertaking research projects. We have a range of laboratories and equipment including:

• Characterisation facilities
• Chemical solution synthesis
• Design and manufacturing facilities to create a range of prototype nano and microsensors
• Physical vapour and chemical vapour deposition facilities
• Ultra precision machine tools capable of achieving nm accuracy and precision.