It now seems like a long while ago, but it was only February 2020 that saw the official opening of the Institute for Innovative Materials, Processing and Numerical Technologies (IMPACT) center, which forms part of Swansea University’s College of Engineering, based in Wales.

According to the University, the £35 million center is intended as a facility to provide a ‘high impact transformative research environment’ for industry and academia to collaborate in engineering, manufacturing, modelling and materials projects. It was part-funded by £17.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and Swansea University.

Swansea University is already well known for its superior materials teaching and research, funded by organizations such as Rolls Royce, Airbus, The European Space Agency, and Tata Steel, with the main research areas including design against failure by creep, fatigue and environmental damage, structural metals and ceramics for gas turbine applications, grain boundary engineering, recycling of polymers and composites, corrosion mechanisms in new generation magnesium alloys, development of novel strip steel grades and functional coatings for energy generation, storage and release.

Meanwhile, the IMPACT center has begun several research projects in its 1600 m2 open plan laboratories. These cover recent developments in robotics and collaborative robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing (AM), a £1.2million wind tunnel facility, used to study the effects of air moving past solid objects, and Formula One-styled racing car built to compete in Formula Student – a European educational engineering competition.

Researchers at the center also plan to focus on future manufacturing technologies, next generation materials property measurement, advanced structural materials, thin films and coatings, and data centric engineering.

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