Catcliffe research unit launches postgraduate programme

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre was established in 2001.

A Catcliffe-based research unit is offering studentships for postgraduate research students, which will boost the engineering industry in South Yorkshire.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), a partnership between Boeing and the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering, is inviting graduates to apply for the first round of studentships at the new Industrial Doctoral Centre (IDC) in Machining Science.

A vocational doctorate

This is a new collaboration between the two organisations, and is aimed at those who want a career in the industry and a vocational alternative to the traditional PhD.

It will combine taught modules on industrial practice and original research, based on real business problems, which will be brought together on a common theme.

The four-year studentships will begin in October, providing engineering doctorate training with a focus on machining science, and will include paid tuition fees, as well as a tax-free stipend of £14,790.

The deadline for applications is on Sunday 31 July.

“The IDC programme is aimed at giving talented young engineers an experience of industry, while they develop higher-level skills,” said Tim Chapman, the AMRC’s Communications Manager.

“The research subjects are brought to the IDC by the industrial partners, with the initial batch coming mostly from Rolls-Royce.

“These projects are closely linked to their current research and development work, so the students will be closely involved with real cutting-edge industrial research.

“The technical nature of the research means participants will need an academic background in a relevant discipline, but it’s not just open to new graduates [as] people with some industrial experience are also welcome to apply.”

Improving a local industry

The IDC is being supported by several local businesses including BAE Systems, Messier-Dowty, Technicut and Dormer Tools.

Projects will also be supported by Rolls-Royce, who will cover technologies including “design for repair”, and students will also be able to work on projects such as extreme deep-hole drilling.

The centre is one of five centres in the United Kingdom that has secured funding from research council EPSRC, who are providing £1.25 million towards launch costs.

It is also expected to be a major boost for the local economy in Rotherham and the rest of South Yorkshire.

Mr Chapman explained: “There’s been increasing realisation in the past few years that the UK needs to refocus its economy more on engineering and manufacturing, and less on finance and services – the IDC studentships will develop the talent to help that happen.

“And, for the students themselves, it’s a great opportunity to build a rewarding career and to earn while they learn.

“By enhancing [the University of] Sheffield’s reputation as a global centre of engineering expertise and research, the IDC can help attract companies into the region, creating new jobs and opportunities.

“Recruitment of skilled engineers is a big problem for high-value manufacturers, so developing a new generation of talented researchers with solid industrial experience will be a major draw for investment.

“And, if talented engineers come to [the University of] Sheffield at the start of their careers, there’s a good chance that they will stay here once they’re earning good money and spend that locally.”

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