Conference Programme

Our confirmed guest speakers are Prof Sam Turner of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Prof David Dye of Imperial College London. 

Prof Sam Turner High Value Manufacturing Catapult

High Value Manufacturing Catapult Research and Technology Strategy


Professor Sam Turner is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. He joined the HVM Catapult team from his role as CTO of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, where he worked on a range of projects and capabilities including the flagship digital facility Factory 2050, machining, casting and composites technology. As a founding member of the AMRC, Sam developed the AMRC’s Machining Group to its current level of 85 staff and £5M turnover, with successes in delivering impact to UK industry, before moving into the CTO role. In addition to his industrial work, Sam has secured Innovate UK, EPSRC and EU funding for over £20M for manufacturing R&D in machining and automation. He has written over 40 publications, including 16 journal papers in the area of machining. Sam is active in machining, automation and digital manufacturing and chairs the Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Leadership Group.


The High Value Manufacturing Catapult is the oldest and largest of the UK government’s Catapult centres. The HVMC is the catalyst for growth and success of UK manufacturing comprising of seven centres working across all manufacturing sectors and with businesses of all sizes. The HVM Catapult helps to develop ideas into commercial reality and mature manufacturing technology and processes to the point at which they can be readily exploited by industry.

The HVM Catapult has a new HVM strategy, working with sector bodies and industry to chart the path to maximizing UK value for the key sectors such as aerospace, automotive, defence, food and drink. The HVM Catapult is working with academia and RTOs to map the underpinning technology and capability that is required to meet industry needs and realise the transformation of the UK manufacturing base. Some examples of collaborations with industry and academia will be presented to illustrate how research is being transformed into value and creating a differential capability for the UK manufacturing base.

Prof David Dye Imperial College London

Better is possible: Making better alloys to address societal challenges


David Dye is a Professor of Metallurgy in the Department of Materials at Imperial College, London, UK. He mostly works on the fatigue mechanisms, micromechanics and design of titanium and nickel/cobalt superalloys, with additional interests in twinning induced plasticity steels, zirconium and in superelastic NiTi-based alloys.  Primarily, he collaborates with Rolls-Royce and across the aerospace and nuclear sectors.  Prior to moving to Imperial in 2003, he worked at the neutron spectroscopy facility in Chalk River, Canada. His undergraduate degree and PhD were from Cambridge University, on the weldability of nickel-base superalloys.  He has received a number of awards for his work and has published over 100 journal articles. He was an EPSRC Leadership Fellow, 2010-15 and is presently a Royal Society Industry Fellow.


Some contend that all the interest in materials science is in ‘new materials,’ such as thin film functional ceramics and glasses for new products such as solar photovoltaics and cell phones. In contrast, the ’smokestack industries’ of metallurgy are supposed to be declining, and irrevocably associated with high temperature, CO2-heavy thermal power generation and automotive. In this talk we will explore three topic areas where new metallic materials will advance the decarbonisation of a jobs-rich UK economy. First, we will look at the opportunity for new metallic materials in jet engines, where the UK supply chain exports over half of the jet engines for twin aisle aircraft - specifically Co-base alloys and new fatigue resistant titanium alloys. Then we will turn to think about crash resistant, >1.5GPa TWIP-assisted Mn steels  and a UK scrap-based low-CO2 production route for these to serve the European automotive industry. Finally, we will look at resource efficiency as applied to solid state elastocaloric alloys for heat pumps for, addressing the hard problem of decarbonising space heating.

Dr Oliver Schauerte Volkswagen

Materials research in the automotive industry


Oliver Schauerte studied mechanical engineering and materials science at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum an did his PhD at the Technische Universität Hamburg Harburg on the high-temperature fatigue behavior of a titanium alloy in 1998. Afterwards he joined the Research Centre of the Volkswagen Group as a project manager for the automotive application of titanium and special materials. In 2001 he moved as a team leader to the chassis development at the Volkswagen brand. In 2004 he went to Bugatti Engineering  as responsible for lightweight design, from 2005 he also took over the responsibility for chassis development and aerodynamics in the Bugatti Veyron project. From 2007 – 2012 Oliver was assistant to the CEO of Bentley and Bugatti and Group Motorsports and additionally he was responsible for the Bugatti customization activities. 2012 he moved to Audi and was in charge for the materials and property development for carbon fibre reinforced plastics at the Audi Lightweight Centre at Neckarsulm. Since 2015 he is head of the materials and manufacturing research within the Volkswagen Group Research Center in Wolfsburg.


For the last hundred years the development of materials for automotive applications has followed the motto “stronger, harder, more ductile”, but today materials research and production is facing new challenges forced by the fundamental changes in the mobility of the future. E-Mobility, autonomous driving systems — also in connection with shared mobility and digitalization — are significantly influencing future vehicle concepts and vehicle structures and thereby the requirements for automotive materials. Autonomous driving functions increasingly relieve the driver from controlling the vehicle and so enable him to benefit from a digitalised interior. Furthermore, the power of new battery and fuel cell drives will be significantly determined by the potential of new functional materials e.g. cathode materials or magnets. In this context, new opportunities in microstructure and quantum simulations enable new developments at a speed not known until today. These methods in computer-based materials design are also increasingly being used in the development of classical structural materials, as well as for new surface designs and heat treatment processes. Thus, lightweight design will remain one of the key technologies in the vehicle development. The presentation will highlight all aspects of automotive related materials research from classical material development to the application of new, nature-based materials up to the latest developments in computer-based material design.