Tomorrow’s scientists to be trained in Sheffield

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Sheffield University is to receive a share of £350 million of funding to train the engineers and scientists of tomorrow.

The cash will be used to recruit PhD students who will go on to work as specialists in areas targeted by ministers as vital for the UK’s economic growth.

A major feature of the project is for the students to work closely with industry on four year programmes designed to develop their professional skills and experience.

Sheffield will be home to two new training centres recruiting 32 PhD students every year.

A key part of the centres’ work will be to collaborate with both national and international companies to make the students’ training relevant and reduce the gap between academic theory and industrial practice.

Professor Rob Dwyer-Joyce, who will lead one of the new centres, said: “We are delighted with this award and the recognition it brings to our discipline.

“The grand challenges facing the nation – such as high-speed rail, reducing energy consumption and fuel-efficient aircraft – all have our work at the very heart. We will be creating a whole new generation of trained scientists to help solve friction, wear and lubrication problems.”

The second new centre, led by Professor Steve Armes, will concentrate on research into speciality chemicals, paints and coatings, materials, healthcare and home and personal care products.

“This new single site base will allow us to work closely with many industrial partners ranging from smaller firms to major global companies such as AkzoNobel, P and G and Lubrizol. Together we will provide training to equip 50 scientists and engineers with the technical skills that they will need.”