What we do

Manufacturing Advances Through Training Engineering Researchers (MATTER) was developed to provide doctoral level research in advanced manufacturing across three themes:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Packaging

These themes are critical manufacturing areas for the UK economy. The development and improvement of new manufacturing processes and products will ensure the rapid growth and competitiveness of these sectors.

Promoting growth and competitiveness in advanced manufacturing

Promoting growth and competitiveness in advanced manufacturing

Research areas

Projects in the areas of advanced manufacturing currently funded via the EPSRC MATTER scheme include:

  • Novel manufacturing methods and design approaches applied to the Land Speed Record vehicle, Bloodhound SSC - SCA Industries Ltd, and Bloodhound Programme Ltd.
  • Intelligent beams for concept vehicle design - Altair Engineering Ltd
  • Tooling design for high speed metal forming - CROWN Packaging UK Plc.
  • Exploration of the interactions that take place at the doctor blade tip in gravure and flexographic printing processes - Swansea Printing Technology Ltd.
  • Anilox cell geometries for printable electronics and flexible packaging - Advanced Printing Network
  • Simulation of titanium alloy impact behaviour - TIMET UK Ltd
  • Development of multi-scale and multi-physical models of the ALM process - Renishaw Plc
  • Characterising Corrosion on Cr6+- free packaging steels - Tata Steel
  • Next generation full finish products for automotive applications - Tata Steel
  • Electrical steels for high-functional automotive electrical components for corresponding to energy saving - Tata Steel
  • Advanced Manufacture by Printing of Demonstrators based on Functionalised Nanomaterials - Haydale Ltd.
  • Flexible printed electronic emissive display technology - DST Innovations Ltd


MATTER is an exciting venture funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and associated industrial sponsors through Swansea University that will support in the region of 25 students between 2011 and 2018. The final intake to the scheme was in October 2014.

MATTER EngD studentships come with a bursary of up to £16,500 per annum and all UK/EU tuition fees are fully paid by the scheme.

The EngD

Projects are four years in duration, a doctoral level research project with an additional 120 credits of taught modules to enhance knowledge of advanced manufacturing and business skills. This provides the research engineer with an excellent portfolio of skills when entering the work place.

The taught modules are accredited by a variety of institutes depending on the area of research, such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) etc.

Taught modules on the MATTER EngD can vary each year but all research engineers will study generic professional and management training modules along with technical modules, tailored specifically to each research project. This enhances the employability of the research engineer.

Links with industry

Projects are industry led with industrial and academic supervisors and research engineers can spend at least 50 per cent of their time working with their industrial sponsor. Project areas include computer modelling, metallurgy, advanced materials and processing, coatings technology, advanced printing, rapid prototyping and manufacture.

Current industrial partners include Altair Engineering Ltd., SCA Industries Ltd. and Bloodhound Programme Ltd., CROWN Packaging UK Plc, DST Innovations Ltd., Renishaw, Swansea Printing Technology Ltd., Tata Steel and TIMET UK Ltd. 

"Our advanced manufacturing projects are sponsored by some of the UK's largest industries. EngD training provides individuals with excellent employability prospects with 95 percent of graduates achieving employment on graduation." Dr James Sullivan, Lecturer, Materials Research Centre, College of Engineering