New centre a boost for sustainable business

05/13/04

Engineers and management experts combine talents

Cardiff University is to be home to a world-leading research centre to help put UK manufacturing industry at the forefront of sustainable practice.

The Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre brings together three leading research teams at the University to enable companies to develop a sustainable future, using new management and engineering approaches.

Cardiff has won funding of 3.25M from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council to create the centre by combining the expertise of the Lean Enterprise Research Centre and the Logistics Systems Dynamics Group in Cardiff Business School and the Manufacturing Engineering Centre in the School of Engineering.

The initiative builds on the hugely successful track record of the three centres by integrating engineering and management knowledge. It further develops Cardiff's status as a leader in sustainability research, through centres such as the Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS), and the Centre of Excellence in Waste Research.

Professor Peter Hines, Director of the Lean Enterprise Research Centre, said: "The new Centre will provide a focal point for the UK manufacturing industry to understand why they must change their businesses along sustainable lines, what strategic directions they require, what this will mean to them operationally and how they should go about implementation."

Minister for Economic Development and Transport, Andrew Davies AM said: "This news is a boost for innovation in Wales and is a further example of the commitment of the Welsh higher education sector and Team Wales to supporting a modern manufacturing sector. The Welsh Assembly Government has a statutory duty to promote sustainable development in everything it does it is good to see that industry is also prepared to take the initiative in exploring sustainable new technologies."

Professor Duc-Truong Pham, of the Manufacturing Engineering Centre and Professor Mohamed Naim, of the Logistics Systems Dynamics Group, will be co-directors of the new Centre with Professor Hines. Dr Chandra Lalwani, Dr Nick Rich and Dr Stefan Dimov will be deputy directors.

The Centre will help firms to learn from existing best practice and will research the next generation of manufacturing technologies, tools and applications.

The Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre has three central research themes each with one major flagship programme and a number of smaller pieces of research. Each project is designed to provide industry with a set of sustainable solutions.

  • Sustainable Change: Enabling business to achieve sustainable change at every scale - including individual/personal change, team level, shop floor, complete site, supply chain, group of centrally owned companies and complete industry/region.

  • Sustainable Technologies: Enabling UK manufacturing to focus on advanced high-value added products, drawing on University expertise in areas such as future-proof technologies, miniaturisation and waste minimisation.

  • Sustainable Logistics: Helping achieve sustainable economics for the manufacturing industry and their supply chains. Areas to be examined include: shared and collaborative logistics, warehousing and transport; localisation.

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