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Advanced materials

Advanced materials

Global challenges

Manchester solutions

Advanced materials

Research and innovation in advanced materials at The University of Manchester focuses on solving some of the world’s most critical problems.

We need metals that can survive in the harshest conditions, enabling us to dig at deeper ocean depths or to transport the fuels of tomorrow. As the world becomes more connected we need to travel more often and at greater speeds.

To do this we’ll need stronger, lighter materials. 


At the forefront of advanced materials

Manchester is a world-leader in developing new and existing materials for extreme environments. We also lead the world in the characterisation of materials – measuring and exploring materials that will help us fully understand their properties and potential. Manchester is also at the forefront of biomedical materials, as well as new materials designed to serve the nuclear energy sector.

Our reputation is reinforced by vast capital and research investment, with more than £248m of live research projects. The University of Manchester will be the home of the £235m Henry Royce Institute, supported by partner universities, which will play a crucial role in addressing the challenges facing society and making advanced materials a catalyst for economic growth in the UK. 

In all of our advanced materials research we are working with dozens of industrial partners to bring discoveries from the lab to the lives of real people. We host the £64m BP International Centre for Advanced Materials which has established the University as a leading hub for advanced materials expertise, working in collaboration with some of the finest researchers across the world to further the understanding and use of materials in the energy sector.

University of Manchester infographic: advanced materials
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Materials of the future

And then there’s graphene. One-atom thick, this material is set to revolutionise the material world. Our team of more than 200 graphene and related two-dimensional materials researchers are constantly coming up with new ways to improve and transform current products, from providing clean water for millions in developing communities to creating sustainable energy storage devices.

Manchester’s world-class status as not only the birthplace of graphene, but also the centre of its international commercialisation, has been reinforced by more than £120m of capital funding to establish the National Graphene Institute and the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre. These centres of excellence, along with the University’s ambitious new engineering campus and the Manchester-based Henry Royce Institute, will contribute to the exciting vision of Graphene City – a community of leading 2D materials scientists and engineers that will itself become a worldwide beacon, attracting investment and innovators from around the globe.

At The University of Manchester we’re committed to advancing how materials work for the world. We’re revolutionising applications for society and industry, and finding solutions to some of the planet’s most challenging problems.

Advanced materials: Research breakthroughs