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£18.6 million investment in structural integrity research – TWI welcomes Rt Hon David Willetts MP to view the progress of the ne

£18.6 million investment in structural integrity research – TWI welcomes Rt Hon David Willetts MP to view the progress of the new postgraduate centre

David Willetts MP
Matt Spinks demonstrates hand-held laser cutting to David Willetts MP

Cambridge is a real hub for innovation and it’s extremely encouraging to see TWI carrying out exciting work to push the boundaries of science and research.

“The award for a substantial Regional Growth Fund investment is a real boost for Cambridge and the East of England. Not only will it will maintain the excellent economic growth of the region, it will help firms to create and maintain jobs in this growth sector and compete on an international scale.”
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts.

Chief Executive Christoph Wiesner was pleased to welcome David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, to TWI’s Cambridge laboratories on Monday 10 June 2013.

The visit comes at the start of a programme to establish on site at TWI a new postgraduate Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRFTM) incorporating the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRCTM). SIRF has received £18.6 million of support for the programme from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), with a further £15 million secured by Brunel University London from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

NSIRC, involving TWI, along with Brunel, Cambridge and Manchester universities, saw its first PhD student begin her programme of study in May 2013.

During the morning, David Willetts took part in discussions with Christoph Wiesner, learning about advances in engineering, materials and joining technologies, and how TWI works with industry in the UK and overseas to maximise market opportunity through successful innovation. Talk also covered a progress update on SIRF and NSIRC.

Later, the Minister toured TWI, observing demonstrations of successful welding engineering and mechanical testing processes being applied in many industry sectors, including rotary and linear friction welding, fatigue testing of offshore pipes and escalator steps, and laser cutting as an example of laser nuclear decommissioning.