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Thematic Partnership in Low Carbon Materials Technologies

Introduction

The aim of the partnership is to create innovative collaborative university-industry research by enabling collaborations between the Tata Steel UK network of strategic partnerships and three Indian Institutes for Technology (Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Kharagpur).

Objectives

  1. To develop a mutually beneficial partnership between WMG, the Tata Steel UK network of strategic partnerships and the Indian Institutes of Technology at Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Kharagpur.
  2. To scope and deliver an exciting programme of fundamental research to help seize opportunities in four areas of focus: steel forming technologies, joining and advanced assembly techniques, hybrid and multi-material lightweight solutions, optimisation of performance
  3. To promulgate research findings to a wide range of user organisations, delivering research outputs in a form to maximise impact.
  4. To build a sustainable Indo-UK network of young faculty and doctoral researchers.

UKIERI Summer 2012 Workshop

Attendees at the Summer 2012 Workshop Held at WMG


Activities to Date

The main event to date has been a one week project development workshop held at WMG (7th – 15th July 2012).

Prior to the start of the project Professor Dashwood had travelled to India (12th – 22nd Feb 2012) to meet with all of the participants to agree the scope, timing and structure of the workshop.

The workshop involved 12 attendees (4 IIT, 3 Tata Steel and 5 Warwick) ranging form senior managers, through junior academics to PhD students.

The objective of the workshop was to develop a series of collaborative research projects.

The workshop was very successful and five projects were identified and developed into outline proposals. These proposals are currently being reviewed by Tata Steel. Once reviewed the projects will be used to apply for funding from the Steel Development Fund to support PhD students at the IITs. These students will have an external supervisor at Warwick and will be expected to spend part of their time at Warwick during the PhD. The proposals will also form the basis of the Summer 2013 intern projects. This is an established scheme where IIT students spend 8 weeks working on a research project at Warwick. On their return to India the students will continue the research as part of their final year UG projects.

As well as delivering the research project the workshop achieved a number of other objectives. This was the first time that a number of the attendees had met. Involvement in the workshop and the associated social programme meant that key relationships were built between the academics charged with delivering the collaborative research. Attendance of the IIT representatives at the Tata Steel Symposium gave them exposure to the range of steel related academic research conducted in the UK and allowed them to make contacts within the wider European Tata Steel and UK academic network. Tours of the Warwick and Tata Steel laboratories exposed the IIT representatives to the range of facilities available for the collaborative research activity. One key outcome from the week was the exposure of the IIT junior academics to University/Industry collaborations. The most important of which were the key elements required for a successful relationship such as co-development of proposals and developing a work plan that will satisfy both academic and industrial objectives.