Advanced materials

Innovation in advanced materials underpins all manufacturing sectors and is essential to the UK’s economic growth. Manchester is recognised as a global centre of excellence in advanced materials research and its translation from initial research to viable product.

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General Academic Industry Policy

At the forefront of advanced materials

Manchester – the home of graphene and other disruptive developments in advanced materials – leads across a broad portfolio of lab-to-market innovation that can be applied to a range of manufacturing and commercial sectors. These include:

  • lightweight alloys and composites that are in high demand in the fast-changing aerospace and automotive sectors;
  • materials for energy storage to provide breakthroughs in battery and energy storage technologies for sectors such as automotive and sustainable energy generation;
  • 3D-weaving of textile composites that can provide complex parts to industries ranging from aerospace and automotive to the wind generation sector;  
  • membrane and filtration technologies that are critical to businesses and agencies supporting food processing, water purification and wastewater treatment;
  • anti-corrosion and materials for demanding environments in industries such as the oil, gas and nuclear energy sectors;
  • bio-derived and biodegradable plastics that can be applied in a host of sectors and directly help companies meet the UK government’s green growth agenda; 
  • biomedical materials to help transform the way we treat patients and the health care industry;
  • ‘super smart’ materials that feature next-generation embedded sensors, applicable in the auto industry and may more sectors.

Helping industry deliver

Through industry-facing flagship facilities such as the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and the Manchester-based Henry Royce Institute, we’re also able to deliver:

  • rapid development and scale-up of graphene and other 2D materials applications;
  • measurement and characterisation of materials using X-ray tomography  and other advanced imaging equipment;
  • modelling and analysis, such as digital twin technologies and the ‘internet of materials’;   
  • access to world-leading experts and equipment for commercially sensitive research and long-term partnerships.

Making an impact

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Advanced materials at Manchester is focused on delivering the innovations that industry needs to ensure it is competitive and sustainable in a fast-changing global marketplace. Our innovation ecosystem works in a way that aims to deliver to real-world needs.

Work with us and you’ll be part of the University’s vision to create an advanced materials community in Manchester – Graphene City. Made up of scientists, engineers, innovators, investors, manufacturers and industrialists, this community will build a thriving knowledge-based economy by taking research breakthrough to the finished products that you will deliver.

The combination of academic leadership, relevant research expertise and our ability to work closely with industrial partners makes Manchester stand out in our field.

Professor Phil Withers / Regius Professor of Materials at Manchester and Chief Scientist for the Henry Royce Institute