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Catch Up: Can digitalisation change the way we think about and use materials? Blue Skies, Green Future webinar

The ‘Blue skies, green future’ webinar series presents ideas and innovation to spark discussion on the topic of transformation and sustainability within the foundation industries.

Materials Made Smarter: can digitalisation change the way think about and use materials?

The UK’s ability to manufacture advanced materials underpins our ambitions to move towards cleaner growth and a more resource efficient economy. Innovation towards a net zero-carbon economy needs new materials with enhanced properties, performance and functionality and new processing technologies, with enhanced manufacturing capability, to make and deliver economic and societal benefit to the UK. However, significant technological challenges must still be overcome before we can benefit fully from the transformative technical and environmental benefits that new materials and manufacturing processes may bring. Our capacity to monitor and control material properties both during manufacture and through into service affect our ability to deliver a tailored and guaranteed performance that is ‘right-first-time’ and limit capacity to manage materials as assets through their lifetime. This reduces materials to the status of a commodity – a status which is both undeserved and unsustainable. Future materials intensive manufacturing needs to add greater value to the materials we use, be that through reduction of environmental impact, extension of product life or via enhanced functionality. Digitalisation of the materials thread can help to enhance their value by developing the tools and means to certify, monitor and control materials in-process and in-service improving productivity and stimulating new business models – and this webinar will explore thesis ideas and discuss possible ways forward in developing a digital, sustainable future for Materials Intensive Manufacturing.

Speaker profile

Professor Iain Todd joined the Materials Science Engineering department at the University of Sheffield in 2003 from the National Centre for Metals Research (CENIM) in Madrid, Spain. He obtained both his BEng and PhD at Sheffield and has held postdoctoral appointments at Sheffield, the Netherlands Institute for Metals Research (NIMR) at TU-Delft and CENIM in Madrid.

Iain also leads the Materials Made Smarter Centre based at Sheffield University in partnership with UCL and the Universities of Cambridge, Brunel, Nottingham and Swansea.

Published: March 30th, 2022
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