Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal opens new laboratories at TWI


TWI is delighted to announce that HRH The Princess Royal has visited its Cambridge headquarters at Granta Park to open three new buildings dedicated to the advancement of engineering. During the morning, TWI Chief Executive Christoph Wiesner also presented Her Royal Highness with the Royal Fellowship of The Welding Institute.


The Princess Royal’s visit marks the completion of a large-scale construction programme supported by government, which will allow TWI to extend the scope and scale of work it carries out for its industry partners in workspace specifically designed for research and education in materials science, joining technologies and engineering processes.

The opening is also the official launch for TWI’s pioneering educational establishment, the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), which provides postgraduate engineering students with the opportunity to qualify with direct industry experience. The buildings provide a location and state-of-the-art equipment for use by NSIRC students as they complete study programmes designed by industry partners and awarded by UK universities.

Her Royal Highness spent over an hour and a half touring the laboratories and meeting some of the 600 engineers, apprentices and students that work on site. The tour route took in demonstrations of laser welding, fatigue testing of steel mooring chains, linear friction welding of components for the aerospace industry, pipeline inspection and X-ray imaging, as well as welding with chocolate in a demonstration manned by pupils from nearby Great Abington Primary School.

Christoph Wiesner said: ‘It is a great honour for us to be able to show Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal a little of what we do here at TWI. We welcome The Princess Royal’s interest in materials joining and engineering and hope we have demonstrated how our new research capabilities will enhance our work with industry on the key issues affecting the everyday use of welded products and structures.’    

The Royal visit culminated in the unveiling of a commemorative stone outside the new entrance and a further presentation to the Princess of a bouquet by TWI advanced engineering apprentice Mr Alex Russell.


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