A new Centre of Gas Turbine Aerodynamics is to be set up by Cambridge University and world-leading partners to help underpin a manufacturing segment worth £1.65 billion, Universities Minister David Willetts has revealed.The aerodynamics hub is one of several centres for doctoral training entrusted to Cambridge either alone or in collaborations. It will bring together the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Loughborough, along with the internationally successful companies Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Siemens and Dyson, and will be assisted by a team of experts from NASA and MIT.
The centre is designed to support a sector currently responsible for the employment of 6.8 per cent of UK manufacturing jobs and which, over the next 20 years, is predicted to be worth in-excess of $1.65 billion.
Other Cambridge CDTs are set to be developed or renewed in graphene, ultraprecision, future infrastructure and computational materials, as well as a photovoltaics centre in partnership with the University of Liverpool and a photonics centre in partnership with UCL.
Funding for six Cambridge-led CDTs, along with a further two in which Cambridge are partners, across a range of physical sciences and engineering disciplines were announced by Willetts.
The total value of the grant will be around £30 million, spread over eight years, with the first cohorts to start in October 2014; the funding is targeted at areas considered to be crucial to the country’s economic growth.
The existing Cambridge Nano CDT is one of the Centres whose funding has been renewed, enabling the over 500 Nano researchers to continue successfully working in a multitude of disciplines, including physics, chemistry, engineering and materials.
This funding follows recent investments exceeding £200 million in support of Cambridge Nano research, and new buildings for the Cavendish Laboratory. The Centre will work with a raft of companies including Nokia and Unilever to help the UK develop a lead in exploiting NanoTechnologies. Professor Jeremy Baumberg, director of the nanophotonics centre in Cambridge said: “Our high-calibre interdisciplinary student cohorts will be Nano’s future leaders.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Professor Jeremy Baumberg