Recent Events

M2RI Consortium Meeting

The Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute (M2RI) at Swansea University recently funded a pivotal meeting of the NEURONE consortium, comprising partners from UKAEA, Swansea University, Imperial College London, the Materials Processing Institute, Sheffield Forgemasters and the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford, Manchester, and Sheffield.

NEURONE is a £10m endeavour, funded by the UK Fusion Futures programme, to develop an industrial scale advanced steel over the next 5-years for use in the commercial fusion sector. The consortium represents considerable breadth across the entire TRL scale, from atomistic modelling and atom probe tomography at one end, through alloy prototyping and irradiation testing, all the way up to major producers of steel at the other. The diverse expertise within the consortium ensures a comprehensive approach to addressing the significant challenges associated with developing an industrial-scale advanced steel for fusion applications.

M2RI Consortium Meeting

At Swansea University, Prof. Nicholas Lavery and Dr Stephen Jones from MACH1, hosting the event, will be taking a key role in the design and prototyping of novel alloys, using facilities recently upgraded with funds from the Welsh Government Smart Expertise grant. The Institute of Structural Materials (ISM) will be performing advanced mechanical testing and contributing toward the crucial final qualification of the alloy.

Dr David Bowden, Materials Group Leader at UKAEA and NEURONE programme lead, had this to say: “The amount of progress made to date has been impressive, and it was excellent to see the enthusiasm from all partners as we grapple with this immense challenge. The capabilities established at Swansea University are well-positioned to support the NEURONE programme to deliver next-generation steel for the UK fusion sector.”

Across the two-day event, 35 representatives from the partner institutions attended technical presentations describing the considerable work undertaken already and participated in workshops to develop the plan for the next four years of the programme. A significant outcome of the event was the commitment to a shared strategy, which left all attendees with a clear sense of both the scale of the challenge before them and the necessary tasks to achieve the programme objectives. The success of the NEURONE programme will see significant strides in the development of advanced steels, position the UK as a key player in the commercial fusion sector, and contribute to the materials innovations required for a clean energy future.