University of Sheffield makes advanced manufacturing links to China's space programme

26 September 2016

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology are launching a new joint research institute to develop strong thin-walled structures for commercial rockets.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett and Professor Meng Guang, of SAST.

Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) is a key partner in China's space programme, which includes the development of the Tiangong 3 Space Station, scheduled for launch in 2020.

The organisation has an annual budget of $60 billion and is a subsidiary of the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation (CASC), a state-owned enterprise and the main contractor for the Chinese space program.

SAST is working with the AMRC on technical issues associated with creating strong thin-walled structures for commercial rockets. The organisation will fund mobility for academic and commercial staff to receive training in advanced manufacturing techniques and send China Scholarship Council (CSC) students to study for PhDs in Sheffield.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the pioneering collaboration, which also includes Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has been signed by University of Sheffield Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett and Professor Meng Guang, Vice-Principal of SAST.

The signing ceremony took place in Shanghai, where Sir Keith has been part of a ministerial delegation, led by Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Jo Johnson.

Sir Keith said: "I am delighted that two world-leading organisations such as SAST and the University of Sheffield's AMRC with Boeing are collaborating so effectively to find technical solutions to complex aerospace issues. This is a priority area for China as announced by President Xi Jinping, and also one of longstanding expertise at the University of Sheffield. We see tremendous potential for companies and products in both countries."

John Baragwanath OBE, Executive Director of the AMRC, added: "The AMRC is delighted to partner SAST on this new collaborative research programme, which will combine expertise in the two centres and lead to improved products and new innovations."

Professor Meng Guang said: "As the AMRC's first partner in China, I feel confident that our joint research initiatives will lead to significant advances in our human and technical capabilities."

To see the full article visit: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/amrc-sast-space-station-1.648304

About the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation (CASC)

CASC is a state-owned enterprise and the main contractor for the Chinese space program. It provides commercial launch services to the international market and with 20,000 employees in Shanghai, is one of the world's most advanced organisations in the development and deployment of high energy propellant technology, strap-on boosters, and launching multiple satellites atop a single rocket.

 

 

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