This priority area focuses on high-value skills relating to the processing, structure, properties and performance of engineering materials. Cohort-based post-graduate training linked to leading-edge research techniques in this area will help to drive continuing innovation across a range of industrial applications. It includes the understanding of material properties across length-scales and integration of this knowledge into new and existing technologies. There is a particular emphasis on metals and alloys and composites but we recognise there is potential for innovative work in new classes of materials that span traditional areas.
The strategic challenge of greater resource efficiency is a vital component, in particular reducing the material used in current processes and products, developing novel and sustainable materials and utilising materials with greater efficiency in current systems. Where appropriate bids can include consideration of whole-life cycle analysis and resilience of material supply.
The area aligns with skills challenges identified by the research community and the need for highly skilled researchers is highlighted in multiple reports. The area underpins key sectors, especially aerospace and automotive. Given the nature of the area proposals must have strong and meaningful industrial engagement.