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Swansea University awarded prestigeous CDT in Functional Industrial Coatings to build skills of the

The centre of doctoral training (CDT), led by Professor James Sullivan and Dr David Penney, has been co-created with a range of industry partners to produce 50 doctoral graduates who will develop the next generation of functional coated products. These could include next generation energy producing coatings, smart release anti-corrosion systems and antimicrobial systems for healthcare. The centre has been co-created with industry and will accelerate the translation of academic research from the laboratory to the factory whilst developing the industry leaders of the future.

Active office and classroom

The CDT will enrich the graduates with additional professional, ethical and communication skills that will enhance their career prospects. Our graduates will actively engage with the wider community to promote coatings and STEM more generally with a view to increasing participation across the population.

Professor Sullivan said: “Coatings are ubiquitous throughout day to day life and ensure the function, durability and aesthetics of millions of products and processes. The use of coatings is essential across multiple sectors including construction, automotive, aerospace, packaging and energy and as such the industry has a considerable value of £2.7 billion annually with over 300,000 people employed throughout manufacturers and supply chains.

“Most coatings surfaces are currently passive and so an opportunity exists to transform these products through the development of functional industrial coatings. For example, the next generation of buildings will use coating technology to embed energy generation, storage and release within the fabric of building. Photocatalytic coated surfaces can be used to clean effluent streams and anti-microbial coatings could revolutionise healthcare infrastructure.

“This CDT will provide a cohort of 50 Engineering Doctorate research engineers with a holistic knowledge of functional coatings development and manufacture and I am positive that their work will have a significant impact across multiple industrial sectors.”

Professor Steve Wilks, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Swansea University said: “Securing two EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training in such a competitive research environment signals Swansea University’s unprecedented success and is a reflection of our long-standing synergistic collaborations with industry and business. Training the research leaders, scientists and engineers of the future is of vital importance and is central to Swansea’s mission as a research-led and practice-driven university.”

12 February 2019