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Brunel has invested heavily in the development of research capability in materials and manufacturing (including casting/processing and precision/additive manufacturing), and structural integrity (metallic and composite structures and materials). It combines unique expertise and facilities in these areas with predictive numerical modelling, sensors and signal processing. Research involves the integration of all the aspects of structures and materials research, including: modelling and characterisation; design; manufacturing; and exploitation.

In structural integrity we have a unique strategic collaboration with TWI, for which we have secured £33M of capital investment, which will allow us to develop world leading research in structural integrity closely directed to the needs of our industrial partners. In liquid metal engineering we have a unique scientific perspective on casting theory and practice, as well as innovative ideas for both improving the efficiency of the metal life-cycle and for automotive light-weighting. This work has driven the development of a strong partnership with JLR. In micro-nano manufacturing we have access to a range of bench-top devices for the manufacturing of micro and nano-structures as well as technologies for developing agile, personalised and bespoke manufacturing.

Our research on materials characterisation and processing harnesses multiple technologies for the processing and manufacture of novel materials, particularly bio-materials and polymers. There is a particular focus on phosphors and other materials for lighting devices. We have a world leading collection of materials characterisation techniques at our disposal, including a recently commissioned transmission electron microscope. In this area we have relationships with 100s of SMEs. In design for sustainable manufacture our research style unites creative design with well-grounded technical engineering that creates unique opportunities for innovative, ground breaking research. It builds on and out of our unique profile in design.

In the preliminary findings of the Witty Review, Brunel featured in the appendices on Eight Great Technologies as a university with research excellence in both Advanced Materials and Mechanical Aero Manufacturing.