A Platform for Hybrid Manufacturing Process research

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Hybrid Manufacturing concerns digitally-driven and template-less manufacturing processes which are founded on cross-technology process platforms. Our group focuses on how truly transformative capability may be realised by the next generations of this ideology. Our Hybrid Manufacturing Process research is founded on the premise that future generations of products, with multi-faceted complexity and transformative capability may be realised through the combination of multiple process technologies within a singular platform, while incorporating emerging research from the physical sciences (such as functional materials). This aims to provide an exponential increase in the capability for complex manufacturing and the magnitude of resultant value.

Our pioneering research has been recognised by a number of eminent parties and international peers. Our research group possess unique research capability, which is significantly due to the recruitment and development of a cohort of outstanding researchers and our suite of globally unique experimental manufacturing apparatus. The growth and momentum of our current activity, along with our pipeline of future research and innovation, now warrants a supporting platform in order to secure and maintain our world-leading position. It will enable us to stengthen our strategic approach to leading research, allow us to continue to shape and capitalise on emerging opportunities, and further develop the next generation of truly interdisciplinary research leaders. This will ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of this exciting and valuable field of manufacturing process research.

Planned Impact

The UK's innovation capability is critically dependent on manufacturing as the route to achieving rapid and profitable commercialisation of new products, processes and services. Hybrid Manufacturing Processes will enable transformative next generation products featuring greater complexity and capability in application. Innovation and development in this area will support a variety of industries, and place the UK at the forefront of technological developments. This platform grant will enhance and accelerate impact through:

- Skills base - It will help to grow the UK's next generation of leaders in manufacturing. Our team will receive targeted coaching on topics such as; outreach, industry liaison, funding landscapes, mock panels, networking, cross-disciplinary publication strategy, independent leadership and routes to exploitation and commercialisation. Developing versatile skills through cutting edge research will enable our researchers to have the required tools for leading and shaping the future UK manufacturing landscape ensuring its position as a global leader in high value manufacturing. The platform grant will also enable researcher mobility across our research projects and secondments to industrial collaborators, thus providing a method for cross-fertilization of ideas to facilitate greater innovation across a range of beneficiaries.

- Increased spin-out activities - Spin-out companies are a major source of generating impact, wealth and employment in the UK economy. The Platform will provide a diverse set of training activities for all researchers so they can maximise the commercial exploitation of their research. They will be given the appropriate mentoring and guidance alongside the proactive support from experts and inspirational speakers that 'have done it' to create an entrepreneurial culture which strives for high growth and high value spin-out activities.

- UK economy - Manufacturing innovation is a driver for sustainable growth and creating economic value for the UK. Developing the next generation of hybrid manufacturing approaches will be key to providing this discovery and innovation for continued economic development.

- New exploratory research - This platform grant will allow speculative research, that is often otherwise difficult to enact, to be conducted in a responsive and efficient manner. Such fundamental research concepts are expected to inform the basis for future novel and innovative developments, ensuring the pipeline of high impact scientific and engineering breakthroughs.

- Wider public society - Developments in hybrid manufacturing processes will lead to greater resource efficiencies in production and material consumption allowing more sustainable manufacturing. New manufacturing techniques will enable revolutionary bespoke products that benefit society and lead to new discoveries in science and engineering. Our researchers will act as ambassadors for the UK and will conduct various outreach activities to inspire the next generation of individuals into science and engineering.


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Description This platform grant is an award that provides underpinning support to a variety of our research activities. It is at a relatively early stage but is already providing impact both internally and externally. It has facilitated multiple engagement activities with industrial parties and other EPSRC research programmes. Training and development actions for our researchers have been reported as well received and is already having positive impact on their career development.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal

Description An invited talk for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An invited talk to the cohort of researchers in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training describing some of our research in new manufacturing processes. Conducted 15 March 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
Description Invited presentation to a EPSRC programme grant project meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to make a presentation on our research in new manufacturing processes to a large of researchers working on miniaturised ingestible devices in the EPSRC programme grant EP/K034537/1 / EP/K034537/2. Conducted 12th October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
Description Training activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact As part of our researcher training within this Platform Grant, we conducted the first in a series of debates of research methods.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008