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Warwick to benefit from £2.5 million funding into “phenomenal” metamaterials

A £2.5m grant will enable a new network driving research into metamaterials, headed up by a researcher from the University of Warwick.

2024-03-01
(Press-News.org) A £2.5m grant will enable a new network driving research into metamaterials, headed up by a researcher from the University of Warwick.

 

Metamaterials have phenomenal potential. They are artificial 3D structures comprised of at least two different materials. This combination and the structure give metamaterials properties beyond those of the materials used to make them. These properties may be electromagnetic, acoustic, magnetic, mechanical/structural, thermal, or chemical.

 

Metamaterials could transform our economy in a digital age, helping to address society’s challenges by contributing to manufacturing in areas of sustainability, health care, communications, defence and security, computation techniques, and the space and aviation industries.

 

Now, thanks to funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a branch of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), 13 universities and five organisations will lead on enhancing the UK’s capabilities in creating novel and innovative metamaterials.

 

The UK Metamaterials NetworkPlus will build on the work of the UK Metamaterials Network, which was established in 2021. It will be co-led by Dr Claire Dancer, Reader, WMG at The University of Warwick, and Professor Alastair Hibbins, Director of the University of Exeter’s Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation, alongside a team of co-project leads from across the UK.

 

The EPSRC grant will run for over four years, beginning on 1 March 2024, and will help develop game-changing breakthroughs. It will build the UK’s skills pipeline, driving through generation-after-next technology and high-value products.

 

Warwick will lead on researching manufacturing challenges for metamaterials, such as co-processing challenging combinations of materials and establishing routes for scaled-up production of metamaterials currently made by non-scalable processes, building on the University’s strong expertise across the materials manufacturing sector and existing High Value Manufacturing Catapult activities at WMG.

 

Dr Dancer said: “We’re really excited by this additional funding from EPSRC. Not only are we now able to continue supporting our community, but we are now going to be able to offer pump-prime funding for a number of priority projects that are strategically important to us. That’s across fundamental science, manufacturing, and industrially relevant research – ultimately strengthening the role that metamaterials play in the UK’s science and technology portfolio, driving further investment into our area, and ensuring the UK benefits from our academic excellence on the global stage.”

 

Professor Alastair Hibbins, project lead of the NetworkPlus, and Director of the University of Exeter’s Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation said: “The scope of metamaterials is huge; metamaterials as a concept provides the opportunities to control information and energy through careful structuring of conventional materials. But of course, ‘information’ and ‘energy’ are very general terms and cover an enormous range of devices; what we really mean is heat, fluid-flow, light, vibration, sound, radar, relevant to technologies such as communication, computing, electronics, health, sustainability, and defence. This breadth in science and application has meant that the excellence in our academic community has been incredibly diverse but not joined-up.

 

“For the last few years, Dr Claire Dancer from WMG at The University of Warwick, and I have co-led the Network, and with the funding and support from EPSRC and The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), we’ve been working incredibly hard to forge a new UK ecosystem for metamaterials where we work together to support each other, and drive work into areas that require multidisciplinary approaches to solve global challenges.”

                                                                                                                                      

The UK Metamaterials NetworkPlus will drive an increase to UK research in this vital technology area. It will bring together experts from academia, industry, and government to accelerate progress towards the UK’s technological priorities. It has an essential role to play in maintaining and growing UK leadership in discovery science on the global stage.

 

The NetworkPlus will formally launch at the Metamaterials UK Conference and Forum 19th-23rd May 2024.

 

For more information, visit: http://metamaterials.network

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

 

About WMG, University of Warwick

 

WMG is a world leading research and education group, transforming organisations and driving innovation through a unique combination of collaborative research and development, and pioneering education programmes.

 

As an international role model for successful partnerships between academia and the private and public sectors, WMG develops advancements nationally and globally, in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.

 

WMG’s education programmes focus on lifelong learning of the brightest talent, from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate, through to professional programmes.

 

An academic department of the University of Warwick, and a centre for the HVM Catapult, WMG was founded by the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and improve competitiveness through innovation and skills development.

 

www.warwick.ac.uk/wmg

 

About the UK Metamaterials NetworkPlus

 

The UK Metamaterials NetworkPlus aims to develop the UK’s potential as a thriving, innovation driven, research and industry base. To do this the NetworkPlus aims to:

 

bring together the current and next generation of academic, start-up and industry leaders in the UK, and open the field beyond its traditional boundaries; provide a reliable nexus for information, experts and cutting-edge science and technology; support pilot and explorative projects to initiate research areas which are new to the UK or strategically important; support the development of close links between government, academics and industry, providing a strong advocacy for metamaterials activities; work to create a strong regulatory framework and shape international norms and standards; showcase metamaterials potential, growing its potential in the UK.  

Co-project leads for the award are based at the University of Exeter, the University of Warwick, the University of Cambridge, the University of Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of St Andrews.

 

Members of the leadership team are also based at Sheffield Hallam, Queen Mary University, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), MBDA Systems, Imperial College London, Manchester Metropolitan, the University of Nottingham, M. Ventures, QinetiQ, Durham University, and the National Physics Laboratory (NPL).

 

Media contact

University of Warwick press office contact:

Annie Slinn 07876876934

Communications Officer | Press & Media Relations | University of Warwick Email: annie.slinn@warwick.ac.uk

 

 

END


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[Press-News.org] Warwick to benefit from £2.5 million funding into “phenomenal” metamaterials
A £2.5m grant will enable a new network driving research into metamaterials, headed up by a researcher from the University of Warwick.