The NCC is a key part of the UK composites strategy launched by the UK Government in November 2009. Scheduled for official launch later this month, the facility will aim to bring together companies and universities to develop technologies for the design and rapid manufacture of composite products.

Atkins will support the NCC in providing engineering guidance to organisations or individuals that approach the centre with a composites concept, helping them to test and develop initial ideas into marketable products.

According to Peter Chivers, NCC Chief Executive, Atkins was selected for this role because of its in-depth knowledge of the latest composite materials and multi-disciplinary experience.

“The understanding of the behaviour of advance composites is, in relative terms, in its infancy," explains Neil Kirk, the director overseeing Atkins’ composites centre of excellence.

"We have a great deal of experience in the design and analysis of advanced composite materials, and we are excited to be working with the NCC to help fully harness the potential of these cutting-edge materials. We believe that many more applications for these materials will be found and are pleased to play a central role in their development.”