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NSIRC 2020 Live hailed a success in new online format

Mon, 27 July, 2020

Annual Conference of industrial PhD research goes ahead in new virtual format

This year’s National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) Annual Conference, under its new name NSIRC 2020 Live, took place on 23 July 2020 to a packed online conference audience of over 200 delegates.

The conference was exceptionally well received by the companies, organisations, academic partners, TWI Industrial Members and international students attending, and provided a forum for celebrating the engineering professionals of the future and their industry-relevant research.

Doctoral student research from within industry

In more usual times, the annual conference it would take place at NSIRC’s headquarters in Cambridge, UK at TWI Ltd, however, this new virtual format was a solution to the situation the world finds itself in as a result of COVID-19. It meant that the conference could still go ahead, and the hard work and proprietary research done by the NSIRC students would still be shared and recognised.

The day was chaired by Abbas Mohimi, Heading of Public Funding who welcomed delegates to the conference, following which NSIRC Director Tat-Hean Gan gave an introduction to NSIRC, an update on its strategic priorities, research endeavours and future direction, and explained its impact on industry.

from left, Professor Andrew Curran, Dr Jeremy Silver, Professor Mark Gillan. Photo: NSIRC Social Media
from left, Professor Andrew Curran, Dr Jeremy Silver, Professor Mark Gillan. Photo: NSIRC Social Media

Keynote speakers from across the UK Innovation landscape

Conference attendees heard from three inspirational speakers: Professor Andrew Curran, Chief Scientific Adviser, Director of Research and Head of GSE Profession at the HSE Science and Research Centre who presented on ‘Health and Safety in a post COVID-19 world – understanding risk, using research and building resilience’; Dr Jeremy Silver, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Catapult who gave a talk entitled ‘Send in the drones’; and Professor Mark Gillan, Chief Technology Officer, Innovate UK who spoke on ‘Investing and connecting to accelerate UK innovation’. Each speaker also concluded their presentation with a live Q&A with the audience.

Delegates were able to choose from over 35 student presentations to attend during the day, each of which also finished with a live Q&A with the audience. Student research topics centred on additive manufacturing, joining technologies, inspection and monitoring, composites and polymers, materials, structural integrity, and standards and maintenance methodologies. Attendees were also able to view a showcase of posters by first year students, as well as over 20 technical posters published by post-year 1 students, on the event platform.

"Now more than ever, the international engineering community needs innovative research and development to help tackle the new challenges ahead,"

Tat-Hean Gan, NSIRC Director

NSIRC would like to thank the following NSIRC 2020 Live sponsors for supporting this year’s conference:

  • University of Bedfordshire, Brunel University London, Coventry University, University of Essex and University of Leicester
  • Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), Assist Software, Bursa Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (BUSIAD), Carrs Welding Technologies Ltd, Education Testing Service (ETS), European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA), EXUS, Floteks S.A., GAIA, Hilti Corporation, Iletisim Yazilim, InnoTecUK, Innvotek, Jackweld Ltd, Malvern Panalytical, Marshall Group, Next Engine Technology International, NquiringMinds, STL Ltd and Sundance Multiprocessor Technology Ltd

Tat-Hean Gan, Director of NSIRC said “We were delighted with the support we received from academia and industry for this year’s conference, and with how whole heartedly the new format was embraced by delegates.”

“Now more than ever, the international engineering community needs innovative research and development to help tackle the new challenges ahead, and the work by NSIRC students will continue to play a crucial role in contributing to the development of disruptive technologies that can transform structural integrity applications for the benefit of industry” he explained.

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