David Willetts MP at TWI to see research progress


TWI Chief Executive Christoph Wiesner was pleased to welcome David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, to TWI’s Cambridge laboratories yesterday (Monday 10 June 2013).

Cambridge is a real hub for innovation and it’s extremely encouraging to see TWI carrying out exciting work to push the boundaries of science and research.                                                                                    --  Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts

The visit comes at the start of a programme to establish on site at TWI a new postgraduate Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRFä) incorporating the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRCä). SIRF has received £18.6 million of support for the programme from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), with a further £15 million secured by Brunel University from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

“The award for a substantial Regional Growth Fund investment is a real boost for Cambridge and the East of England. Not only will it will maintain the excellent economic growth of the region, it will help firms to create and maintain jobs in this growth sector and compete on an international scale," said    David Willetts.

NSIRC, involving TWI, along with Brunel, Cambridge and Manchester universities, saw its first PhD student begin her programme of study in May 2013.

During the morning, David Willetts took part in discussions with Christoph Wiesner, learning about advances in engineering, materials and joining technologies, and how TWI works with industry in the UK and overseas to maximise market opportunity through successful innovation. Talk also covered a progress update on SIRF and NSIRC.

Later, the Minister toured TWI, observing demonstrations of successful welding engineering and mechanical testing processes being applied in many industry sectors, including rotary and linear friction welding, fatigue testing of offshore pipes and escalator steps, and laser cutting as an example of laser nuclear decommissioning.


The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC™) is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with lead academic partner Brunel University, alongside the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester and leading industrial partners. There is also support from TWI Industrial Member companies to establish NSIRC as a national centre for research and development in the field of ‘Structural Integrity. These organisations contribute long-term industrial commitment.

NSIRC combines industrially driven academic excellence to address the need for innovation, while delivering a supply of appropriately qualified staff to work across the supply chain and generate very significant economic benefits, both to industry and the UK as a whole. The NSIRC initiative is funded by the following:

About TWI

TWI is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in solving problems in all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management technologies.

Established at Abington, Cambridge, UK in 1946 and with facilities across the globe, the company has a first class reputation for service though its teams of internationally respected consultants, scientists, engineers and support staff, whose knowledge and expertise are available to its Members as and when they require.

The company employs over 750 staff, serving 700 Member companies across 4500 sites in 80 countries. TWI also houses a professional institution, The Welding Institute, with a separate membership of 6000 individuals.


About RGF
The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016.  It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment. The first three rounds allocated £2.4 billion which will generate over £13 billion of private sector investment and create or safeguard over 500,000 jobs.


TWI, Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge CB21 6AL. Tel: +44 (0)1223 899000.
Fax: +44 (0)1223 892794. Web: www.twi.co.uk. Twitter: @twi_ltd

10 June 2013                                                                  

 Issued by Catherine Condie, TWI   39/13



TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation with a focus on materials, engineering and manufacturing.