Professor Sridhar Seetharaman has this week taken up the new post of Professor of Low Carbon Materials Technology at WMG, an academic department at the University of Warwick in the UK.
The new Chair is jointly sponsored by Tata Steel and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Professor Seetharaman has a wealth of experience in developing ways of working with next-generation steels, including steels whose enhanced strength can help automotive companies meet their obligations to make lighter and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The appointment of Professor Seetharaman is in line with the market differentiation strategy that Tata Steel is pursuing in Europe’s mature steel markets. A key element of this strategy entails the use of technical innovation, including the development of new products, to help customers achieve their business goals.
WMG Chairman Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya said: 'We are delighted that the new academic partnership between WMG, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Tata Steel is being headed by someone with as distinguished a research record as Professor Seetharaman. His work will complement the significant research that WMG is already doing in areas such as low carbon vehicle technology, and help major international manufacturers, as well as many SMEs in the UK, further their product development goals.'
Debashish Bhattacharjee, Tata Steel’s Group Director for Research & Development, said: “By supporting this Chair in Low Carbon Materials, with its emphasis on the crucial area of iron and steel making, we are aiming to plug a gap in academic capability that has been evident in Europe for some time. We also see this sponsorship as another means of supporting the High Value Manufacturing Catapult1, which aims to promote advanced manufacturing in the UK. I wish Professor Seetharaman every success and hope there will be new opportunities to strengthen this academic partnership in the future.”
Robert Barrett, Head of Research Programmes at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The Academy is very pleased to be supporting this combination of academia and industry under its Research Chairs Scheme. We believe the research that Professor Seetharaman will carry out at WMG will be of strategic importance to the UK economy.”
Professor Seetharaman has most recently been the POSCO Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Co-Director of the Center for Iron & Steelmaking Research, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He gained his undergraduate degree from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also spent a year as a research associate at Imperial College in London. His work has been extensively involved with the manufacture of Advanced High Strength Steels such as TRIP steels2 for light-weight automotive parts. He has also conducted research into materials performance at high temperatures in fossil-fuel power industries.
In 2008 Tata Steel also endowed a Chair at Cambridge University’s Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, where Dr Harry Bhadeshia, one of the world’s leading experts on the physical metallurgy of steels, was appointed as the university’s first Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy.
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1. The Technology Strategy Board’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult draws on university research to accelerate the commercialisation of new and emerging manufacturing technologies.
2. TRIP, or Transformation Induced Plasticity, steels are grades of steel with enhanced strength and ductility that are increasingly in use in the automotive industry.
About Tata Steel in Europe
The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe's second largest steel producer. With the main steelmaking operations in the UK and Netherlands, they supply steel and related services to the construction, automotive, packaging, lifting & excavating, energy & power, aerospace and other demanding markets worldwide. The combined Tata Steel Group is one of the world's largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 81,000 employees across five continents.
About WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group)
WMG was founded by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 in order to reinvigorate UK manufacturing. The Group started small: just an office, the Professor and his secretary. Today there are over 450 staff working across four buildings at Warwick, with education centres in six countries and an annual programme of over £140m. The Group works with both global companies and regional SMEs to improve their competitiveness through the application of value-adding innovation, new technologies and skills deployment, bringing academic rigour to industrial and organisational practice. The research capabilities span three themes: digital technologies, materials & manufacturing, and operations & business management.
About the Royal Academy of Engineering
Founded in 1976, the Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the UK. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.