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University of Huddersfield leads on £13m sustainable manufacturing project from new Future Metrology Hub

The University of Huddersfield’s Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang, a world-renowned expert in the field of metrology

The University of Huddersfield will lead a £13.3m project to help advance sustainable manufacturing, building directly upon the success of its Future Metrology Hub.

The UKRI Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced funding of £11m towards the new advanced manufacturing hub with a focus on metrology in a bid to enable net zero manufacturing.

Led by academics at the University of Huddersfield, the hub will work on groundbreaking new technologies, which will enable a step change in capability for process monitoring and control.

These technologies will include ultra-fast and compact sensors using nanophotonic metamaterials and quantum sensing along with resilient interpretable metrology informatics, and whole-system control solutions, which are applicable to any precision manufacturing sector.

A total of £8m will come directly to Huddersfield as part of the new hub, making it one of the largest research grants the university has ever received. The total value of the project as a whole is expected to reach £24.3m with funding from the consortium and other partners. 

The new hub, which will be known as the Future Advanced Metrology Hub for Sustainable Manufacturing, includes research spokes selected for their specific expertise at The University of Southampton, The University of Oxford, Heriot-Watt University and Queen’s University, Belfast.

World-renowned expert in the field of advanced metrology Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang leads the project which is based at the University’s Centre for Precision Technologies (CPT) and will run for seven years.

The project will also involve innovation spokes at catapult centres the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham, as well as the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, which also has a North of England base on campus in Huddersfield. More than 25 industrial partners, including Renishaw, Machine Tool Technologies (MTT), Taylor Hobson, Cummins and Siemens, are also a key part of the project.

“This new Hub brings together a consortium of world-leading experts in metrology to address the significant challenges the manufacturing sector faces in meeting net zero goals,” said Professor Jiang, “The critical mass funding support from EPSRC is a reflection of the consortium’s research strength and capacity to deliver groundbreakingly new technologies.”

Science Minister, Andrew Griffith said: “Manufacturing accounts for almost a tenth of the UK’s economic output, but for the sector to keep growing and sustaining jobs nationwide, it has to tackle challenges ranging from reducing emissions to cutting production costs. These new hubs will support UK researchers with the cutting-edge facilities they need, to help our manufacturers seize the benefits of technologies such as robotics and AI. Harnessing these innovations will cement the UK’s position as a global leader in sustainable manufacturing.”

The existing hub, which ends this year, has played a leading role in the development of new industry standards and has engaged with over 150 companies since it began in early 2017. These interactions have generated over £2 million of commercial income through collaborations with industry and leveraged a further worth £10m of industry-led research projects.


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