World-leading materials research at Cranfield will begin to impact UK industry more widely as the University joins the Henry Royce Institute (Royce) as an Associate Partner.

The formal partnership means Cranfield can share its expert capability in advanced materials research through its National High Temperature Surface Engineering Centre. The University in turn will benefit from a direct link to Royce’s academic and industrial community, supporting national research and development requirements.


Royce, which seeks to allow academics and industry to access world-class research infrastructure, is the UK’s national centre for advanced materials research and innovation.


A key role in addressing materials challenges

Through the new partnership, academics at Cranfield will be able to further test and characterise materials and components across a range of game-changing research areas. One example is in the development of high-performance coatings for use in the aerospace and power generation sectors.


Professor Dame Helen Atkinson DBE FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the School of Aerospace, Transport Systems and Manufacturing at Cranfield University, said:  


“Cranfield University’s innovative facilities and track record in developing advanced materials have a key role in addressing the evolving materials challenges that many sectors face.  We’re delighted to join Royce and bring our capability to furthering research, and developing systems for a sustainable society.” 


Royce CEO, Professor David Knowles, added:  


“Cranfield University is joining Royce as Associate Partner thanks to its world-leading capabilities across its research and facilities, and a clear alignment with our Research Areas in the development of materials systems for demanding environments. Cranfield will contribute significant expertise in the development of advanced materials and support our core facilities offer to industry and academia.”


About the Cranfield University facilities

The National High Temperature Surface Engineering Centre (NHTSEC) at Cranfield University is a world-leading centre of excellence in design and manufacture of high temperature coatings and assessment of materials performance. The core competencies of NHTSEC include high temperature coatings design and manufacture (PVD, EB-PVD, CVD, Thermal spray and electroplating), materials performance assessment (oxidation, corrosion, stress-corrosion, corrosion fatigue and erosion) in tailored environments (including hydrogen) and oxidation and corrosion life modelling. 


These capabilities have enabled NTHSEC to undertake a wide range of national, European, and international research and development work for aerospace, power generation and other industrial sectors over many years as well as supporting future generations of engineers and scientists with PhD and Masters’ projects. 


These world-leading capabilities complement University of Manchester facilities which house Technology Platforms for advanced coating technology and performance, high-temperature coating deposition, High Pressure High Temperature (HTHP) degradation environments and In-situ ageing characterization, all aligned to the Royce Materials Systems for Demanding Environments Research Area.


Cranfield University joins Royce’s founding partners – the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London, as well as the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).