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University of Birmingham

The Department of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham, and the associated Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Net-Shape Manufacturing is widely recognised in international circles for its work on the development of materials and manufacturing processes. It has particular strengths in materials for high temperature applications, and long term relationships with companies such as Rolls-Royce plc.

Rolls-Royce plc.

Rolls-Royce plc operates in four global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. It is investing in technology and capability that can be exploited in each of these sectors to create a competitive range of products. The success of these products is demonstrated by the company's rapid and substantial gains in market share over recent years. As a result, engine deliveries have grown and the company now has a total of 54,000 gas turbines in service worldwide. The investments in product, capability and infrastructure to gain this market position create high barriers to entry.

Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces and more than 2,000 marine customers, including 50 navies. The company has energy customers in nearly 120 countries. Rolls-Royce employs around 37,000 people, of which 22,000 are in the UK. Forty per cent of its employees are based outside the UK - including 5,000 in the rest of Europe and 8,000 in North America. Most of the engines in service will have operational lives of 25 years or more, generating an assured aftermarket demand for the provision of spare parts and services. Annual sales total nearly £6 billion, of which over 40 per cent currently comes from aftermarket services. The order book stands at more than £17 billion, which, together with aftermarket demand, provides visibility as to future activity levels.


ESI Group is a world-leading supplier and a pioneer of digital simulation software for prototyping and manufacturing processes that take into account the physics of materials. ESI Group has developed an extensive suite of coherent, industry-oriented applications to realistically simulate a product's behaviour during testing, to fine-tune manufacturing processes in accordance with desired product performance, and evaluate the environment's impact on product performance. ESI Group's products, which have a proven track record in manufacturing and have been combined in multi-trade value chains, represent a unique collaborative and open virtual engineering solution known as the Virtual Try-Out Space (VTOS), enabling virtual prototypes to be improved in a continuous and collaborative manner. This integrated protocol allows all the company's solutions to work with each other and with applications developed by independent software vendors. By significantly reducing costs and development lead times and enabling product/process synergies, VTOS solutions offer major competitive advantage by progressively eliminating the need for physical prototypes during product development. The company generated sales of €62.2m in 2005, employs over 500 high-level specialists worldwide covering more than 30 countries.

IBM United Kingdom

IBM is a globally integrated enterprise operating in 170 countries. IBM United Kingdom's history began on November 19, 1951 in Scotland at the Battery Park offices where they assembled electronic typewriters and time recording equipment. Today IBM UK has around 20,000 employees and serves a wide and diverse client base by bringing them innovative solutions to solve their business challenges.

OCF plc.

Based in Sheffield, UK, with customers throughout Great Britain and Ireland, OCF designs, integrates and supports innovative High Performance Computing (HPC), Visualisation (HPV) and Data Storage solutions.

OCF provides solutions to a growing number of commercial clients from the automotive, aerospace, utilities, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, oil & gas and financial Industries. It also provides solutions to 38 (21 per cent) of the UK's 176 Universities, Higher Education Institutes and Research Councils.

OCF holds IBM Premier Partner status and enhances its IBM-based solutions using technology from a range of partners including, AMD, Cisco, Dataram, Mechdyne, Intel, Microsoft, Nallatech, nVidia, Qlogic and Voltaire.


Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is an American multinational semiconductor company based in Sunnyvale, California, that develops computer processors and related technologies for commercial and consumer markets. Its main products include microprocessors, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors and graphics processors for servers, workstations and personal computers, and processor technologies for handheld devices, digital television, automobiles, game consoles, and other embedded systems applications.

AMD is the second-largest global supplier of microprocessors based on the x86 architecture and the third-largest supplier of graphics processing units. It also owns 21 percent of Spansion, a supplier of non-volatile flash memory. In 2007, AMD ranked eleventh among semiconductor manufacturers in terms of revenue. In October 2008, AMD stated that it is going to spin off their manufacturing operations in the form of a multibillion-dollar joint venture with Advanced Technology Investment Co., an investment company formed by the government of Abu Dhabi. The new venture is called GlobalFoundries Inc.. This will allow AMD to focus solely on chip design.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The Eurpoean Regional development fund (ERDF) match-funded the University of Birmingham, Rolls-Royce plc, MTC collaborative project CASiM2 (Centre for Advanced Simulation and Modelling of Manufacturing).

BlueBEAR High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster

The Birmingham Environment for Academic Research (BEAR) is a collection of complimentary IT resources managed by IT Services that are designed to help research, all of which are free at the point of use. The procurement for the current suite of services resulted in an agreement with OCFIBMAdaptive Computing , Mechdyne and IOCOM who bring different areas of expertise to the overall research environment.

BlueBEAR is the Linux-based batch processing High Performance Computing cluster which sits at the heart of the BEAR resource. The PRISM2 research group has purchased a number of computing cores, which are attached to the BlueBEAR HPC, for dedicated use by PRISM2 group staff and students, to compute the sometimes large, memory intensive and long run-time calculations required. 

However, BlueBEAR consists of many more computing cores than just those owned by the PRISM2 group, and there are general purpose computing cores available for post-graduate students from across the schools and departments at the University of Birmnigham to compute upon. 

for further details on the BEAR collection of IT resources, including:

BEAR View (the University's 3D imaging and visualisation screen and teleconferencing facility) 

BEAR research data store (providing storage for work in progress data)

please see the BEAR page on the University of Birmingham intranet site:

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Essentials of Data Visualisation and Infographic Design

Mon 12th October

A two-hour seminar will be given by the data visualisation specialist, Andy Kirk, through a blend of teaching, discussion and group exercise starting from evaluating works, conceiving ideas, exploring data and identifying best-fit solutions to effective data presentation.

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The CHART project

The CHART project

Mon 20th October

The CHART project - Materials Testing and Analysis for Business

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PRISM presents at the Royal Academy of Engineers Summer Soiree

PRISM presents at the Royal Academy of Engineers Summer Soiree

Tue 1st July

The University of Birmingham's School of Metallurgy & Materials were invited to showcase their projects at the Royal Academy of Engineers Soiree at the MTC, Coventry.

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CASiM² Business Engagement Activities

CASiM² Business Engagement Activities

Mon 28th April

As a part of the CASiM project, the University is able to offer West Midlands Small-Medium Enterprise companies 2 days business assist with computer modelling projects

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