Case Study

Swansea University     Back to universities

Swansea University – Creating a 21st Century Steel Industry

  • Swansea University was founded by industry for industry in 1920 and has worked in partnership with the steel industry to develop the UKs first regional centre of excellence for steel innovation.
  • The Centre has attracted over £100 million worth of funding and has extensive cutting-edge facilities.
  • Partners with industry, UK Research Councils, Welsh Government and the European Union.
  • Engaged with over 150,000 people.

Swansea University was founded by industry for industry in 1920 and has worked in partnership with the steel industry to develop the UK’s first regional centre of excellence for steel innovation creating a high-tech research cluster that links the local supply chain in new research projects, commercial opportunities, funded projects, training and further co-operation and collaborations.

The SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre is an upscale functional coatings research centre working with the steel industry and supply chain to develop new technologies and storage of energy so that buildings can become power stations. The project will create a test bed for Homes as Power Stations as part of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

The establishment of a Steel Science Centre, which will be known as the National Steel Innovation Centre and preceded by the Steel and Metals Institute, will build on regional centres of excellence and the industrial capabilities at Tata’s Port Talbot Steel Works, to address the current and future challenges of sustaining primary steel-making capacity in the region and the UK. The project provides a pipeline of talented researchers engaged in collaborative projects for the steel and metals industry.

A number of additional impacts have been delivered within the College of Engineering, providing upskilling, doctoral training and work-based learning. This includes the leverage of £8.6 million funding from the Wales European Funding Office for a work-based learning project entitled METaL that provides professional skills modules for workforce staff both within the coating and other manufacturing sectors in Wales.

Researchers within the College have taken part in a number of community initiatives through ‘Materials Live’; a Swansea University led outreach programme engaging with over 150,000 people at events such as the British Science Festival held in Swansea in September 2016.

University assets:

  • Steel and Metals Institute (SaMI) – established by donation of equipment from Tata Steel UK and £2 million Welsh Government funding. Additional support of £3 million for new state of the art equipment from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and recently awarded £7 million from EPSRC to enable the Prosperity Partnership with Tata Steel and Warwick University.
  • National Steel Innovation Centre (NSIC) – following and building on from SaMI. £20 million for steel science centre awarded via the Swansea Bay City Deal.
  • Institute of Structural Materials – £30 million EPSRC Innovate Gas Turbine and high temperature Materials testing.
  • Advanced Imaging of Materials – £14.4 million microscopy suite that enables analysis and advanced characterisation of materials.
  • M2A Manufacturing and Materials Academy – industry sponsored doctoral training programme for 24 students per annum – £14 million WG funded.
  • SPECIFIC IKC – £47 million EPSRC Industry WG Building as Powerstation