• Job title Current student
  • Organisation Current student
  • CourseEngineering and Management of Manufacturing Systems MSc , 2016

Why did you choose Cranfield?

Sustainable materials in manufacturing captivated me during my MSc thesis where I was involved in conducting the base research on a ‘sustainable manufacturing for the future’ project, sponsored by Coca-Cola Enterprises. After this experience I wanted to be more actively involved in manufacturing that promotes resource efficient and environmentally suitable concepts. I aspired to further my career in making an impact on industry by solving real problems and the EngD in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing will provide me with the stepping stone for this.

Not only do I benefit from the resources at Cranfield University, but as a postgraduate on this course I have the opportunity to use the laboratories and the expertise of the partner universities at Exeter and Warwick.

I have also been able to partake in the extracurricular activities and competitions such as venture programmes, volunteering to facilitate games at the Cambridge Science Festivals, and participating in the Disruptive Innovation Festival Hackathon where my team won the Philips prize for digitally accelerating the circular economy. The prize includes a trip to Philips research centre in the Netherlands where our proposed innovative product will be investigated and developed further. 

It was a team effort to come up with a digital innovation. It was fun and gave us the opportunity to do something different from our daily research task. The prize allowed us to visit Phillips innovation campus in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. It was good exposure to see their technology developments and learn their innovation methods.

The course contains a variety of modules; some examples are whole systems design, mechanics of materials and also a module on business model generation. The combination of these modules will give me a holistic approach of tackling manufacturing problems and provides the skills I require to solve my research question.

What was Cranfield's impact

My research is on the development of sustainable manufacturing materials from cellulose based by-product. Cellulose is an abundant natural material found in plant cell wall. It can also be found in the by-products of the paper manufacturing process. 1 million tonnes of paper mill sludge waste is produced annually in the UK, which is currently being recycled for low value applications such as agricultural land spreading. However, advances in cellulose material research reveals its many desirable mechanical properties and an opportunity to climb up the value chain for various applications as a sustainable material. Instead of obtaining cellulose fibres from biomass plants, the research investigates a restorative approach that considers the cellulose by-products created from a concurrent industrial system, such as paper manufacturing. By-products from paper mills in the UK are being analysed to characterise their mechanical properties and substitute conventional materials used in building and engineering materials’ applications. 

Being able to work alongside a cohort of researchers that are passionate about the same area continuously fuels creative thinking and has made me feel like I’m part of a bigger picture.

There is always something interesting happening on campus due to the diverse background of students. This gives Cranfield a very rich culture that has taught me a lot about working with people.

I wholly recommend this course because the experience has given me transferable skills that will guide me in my future career endeavours. You become more independent, improve your public speaking, work more efficiently, plan and manage your own projects.