Thu, 25 March, 2021
TWI’s Core Research Programme (CRP) is designed to address technical, operational and sector-based challenges, shared by TWI’s Industrial Member companies who are experiencing similar issues and would like to come together with TWI to address them collaboratively. New research into the area of concern is facilitated by the establishment and delivery of CRP projects, which typically have a 2-5 year duration, and are co-ordinated by TWI on behalf of Industrial Members on a rolling annual basis. Subsequently, project outputs are disseminated to all TWI Member companies, providing new technologies, insights and solutions that can help to inform future business direction.
For 2021, a strategic review and technology diagnosis is being carried out with the aim of identifying the most pressing challenges that TWI Industrial Members, or the sectors they operate in, are currently experiencing and, crucially, how they might be most effectively tackled.
As part of this process, a CRP Technology Mapping Workshop took place on 22 March 2021. Prior to the event, attendees were asked to complete a questionnaire about their company’s main priorities to help identify key topics for discussion on the day.
During a full afternoon, over 60 attendees, comprising Industrial Members from TWI’s Research Board and TWI technology experts, came together for the online workshop to focus on the areas of joining and fabrication, inspection and monitoring, structural integrity and materials.
Opened by Darren Wood, Vice Chair of TWI’s Research Board, the event started with a series of presentations to ensure that Industrial and Research Board Members had all the background they would need for the ensuing brainstorming and milestone setting sessions:
- Background on the day – Prof Tat-Hean Gan, Director of Innovation and Skills
- Membership overview – Dr Steve Shi, Director of Industrial Membership
- Transforming technology for Industrial Member benefit – Dr Paul Woollin, Director of Research
- Structure of the technology mapping sessions – Angela Angulo, Innovation Consultancy Manager
Four technical breakout sessions followed, with attendees across all sectors each joining one of these to participate in their appropriate technology mapping working group. The sessions were led by TWI technology specialists Colin Ribton, joining and fabrication; Ian Cooper, inspection and monitoring; Yanhui Zhang, structural integrity; and Alan Taylor, materials, and supported by their respective moderators, Kate Kell; Angela Angulo; Andra Stancu; and Robert Cooper. Group working utilised a digital workspace for visual collaboration called MURAL, which maximises interaction and teamwork in a virtual environment.
Angela Angulo, Innovation Consultancy Manager, TWI said, “The aim of the technology mapping exercise was to achieve the best possible alignment between the CRP, TWI’s technology areas and TWI Industrial Members’ needs to maximise the value of CRP for Members.” Explaining, “The mapping approach enables this by providing an effective tool and processes with which to plan for technical growth, develop crosscutting themes and set realistic timeframes for research project deliverables.”
The event was closed by Simon Webster, Chair of TWI’s Research Board. Reflecting on the workshop, Simon said:
“I really enjoyed the technology mapping workshop with so many of our Members involved. This type of activity gives our Members the opportunity to shape our research and is key to ensuring TWI remains relevant and delivers value. I am particularly excited to see TWI thinking boldly about the future and how it can play a leadership role in the area of materials and joining, especially as the world transitions to a sustainable and lower carbon future.”
Find out more about TWI’s Core Research Programme (CRP).