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Industrial engagement

The CDT in Computational Methods for Materials Science is founded on partnership and engagement with our industrial partners. This combined focus on cutting-edge science and industrial requirements is reflected in the decision to house this CDT in the Maxwell Centre (link opens in a new window) – a building that is, at its heart, dedicated to “bringing together frontier (physics) research and the needs of industry”.

The vision of our CDT is to create a large cohort of highly skilled computational scientists who will drive forward the existing strength of UK physical science to support and strengthen industry, creating new business opportunities over the next decade, and who will develop software codes that achieve transformational impact in both academic and economic terms.

The CDT therefore serves as a pipeline to supply the next generation of computational scientists for the manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, ICT, defence, and energy industries, in addition to other partner academic institutions. It interfaces with existing national and local computing projects, such as the Rolls Royce and SKF University Technology Centres, Collaborative Computing Projects (CCPs) and the e-Infrastructure Initiative (HPCS/CORE), and international networks and centres, such as Psi-K and CECAM, as well as providing training in appropriate experimental techniques via the sharing of courses and research-projects with other CDTs based in Cambridge.

A strong engagement with industry is at the core of the CDT, which at the time of its launch has attracted support from 17 companies that either produce scientific software or make extensive use of modelling for their business. These are: Accelrys Ltd., AstraZeneca, AWE, BP-ICAM, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Granta Design, Infochem, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica), Lhasa, NSG (Pilkington Group), ORICA International, Royal Society of Chemistry, Schlumberger, Shell, SKF, Tata Steel and Unilever.

Furthermore, we are working closely with a further 12 companies, which include: 3M, BAE Systems, BASF, Boeing, Boehringer-Ingelhiem, Eli Lilly, Jaguar Land Rover, GSK, Pfizer, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and Syngenta, who currently fund academic research in the groups of various CDT supervisors, and who will contribute indirectly to the CDT. Through our industrial partners, we have been able to identify a number of translational challenges that we will address through a combination of funded studentship, industrial placements and staff secondments.

All industrial partners have offered to host placements of various lengths to integrate with the academic programme.