Monday, 19 March 2012

Focus on: Catapult – AFRC and MTC

Advanced Forming Research Centre

Location: nr Glasgow

Partners: University of Strathclyde

Jobs advertised on the University of Strathclyde job site

Twitter: @UniStrathclyde

The AFRC is a “world class research facility supporting fundamental and applied research in forming and forging.” Research topics include metal forming processes, primary and supporting technologies (eg, plastic deformation, flow and heat treatment) and lubricants. With a strong emphasis on engineering there may be very limited opportunities for chemists – but this may include, for example, materials and polymer scientists, computational chemists and analysts.

The AFRC has 23 research staff listed on its website.

Manufacturing Technology Centre

Location: Coventry

Partners: Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham, TWI LTd

Jobs advertised on their own job site

The MTC is a “globally competitive manufacturing research hub” focusing on 4 technologies: high intensity fabrication, net shape manufacture, advanced tooling and fixturing, and intelligent automation.

The MTC is actively recruiting a large number of engineering positions across their technology areas. They also have a graduate scheme, and are interested in engineering, materials science, physics, maths and computer science graduates with a 2.1 degree (achieved or expected).


In summary, there has been significant investment across the seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult partners. Indeed, the HVM Catapult is the first of seven to be operational – which combined will receive over £200m of government investment.

The objective of the Catapults is to revitalise the economy, and with this comes opportunities for STEM employment. While there is a focus on engineering, the industry/academic collaborations do provide openings for chemists and scientists of related disciplines. In particular, the Centre for Process Innovation and the Advanced Materials Research Centre have specific opportunities in “smart chemistry” and composites. Keep an eye on those Twitter feeds and job sites for updates!

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