24 November 2008
Corporate News

Tata Steel Group endows Professorship in metallurgy at University of Cambridge

A major gift from one of the world’s foremost industrial groups will support fundamental and far-reaching research into one of the modern world’s most sustainable and indispensable materials.

Tata Steel has announced the donation to endow a Professorship of Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge.

Based in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, the first Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy will be Dr Harry Bhadeshia, a world renowned expert on the physical metallurgy of steels.

The holder of the Chair, to be inaugurated in Cambridge on November 24, will be known as the Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy. The endowment recognises the commitment of the Tata Steel Group and the University to world-leading research in the field, particularly in steels, as well as Professor Bhadeshia’s distinguished work in the subject.

The Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy in the University of Cambridge has a track record of contributing significantly to industrial materials technology and to academic leadership of the field at an international level. The Department carries out world leading research on a wide range of materials, improving existing materials and creating new ones.

Professor Harry Bhadeshia is one of the world’s leading experts on physical metallurgy in general, and on the manipulation of steels in particular. His specific expertise is on how processing steel influences microstructure. Based on deep understanding using experimental observations, he and his group have developed computer programmes for predicting microstructure. His breakthroughs are in the control and design of steel microstructures. Some of the microstructures are so different from the conventional that what results could be regarded as a new material.

A key point is that having predictive power from the computer greatly cuts down on the cost of trial-and-error experiment.  Harry talks of steels 'designed using theory alone'.

In a joint statement Mr. B. Muthuraman, Managing Director of Tata Steel, and Mr. Philippe Varin, CEO of Corus, said: 'In this partnership we are fortunate to have found a combination of passion, inspiration and dedication towards the further development of steel.  Our industry is already facing a shortage of metallurgists in the UK and across the world, but we believe that the continuing efforts of Professor Bhadeshia in his field will highlight the exciting opportunities this industry makes available to young people in their career choices.”

Professor Lindsay Greer, Head of the Department of Materials, Science & Metallurgy at Cambridge University, said: “The Department and Cambridge University are very grateful to Tata Steel Group for the endowment of this professorship.  We are proud that we have on our academic staff a scientist of the distinction of Professor Harry Bhadeshia.  Harry, with his world-leading research on steels, is the perfect person to inaugurate the professorship.  As the University approaches its 800th anniversary in 2009, the Tata Steel Professorship will help to maintain Cambridge’s strong record of contributions in the fields of materials science and metallurgy.”

Professor Bhadeshia commented: 'I am thrilled to be associated with Tata Steel Group.  I will do my utmost to promote education and creativity in steel.  I believe the steel industry has a lot more potential than has yet been revealed.  I am particularly delighted that this endowment will provide a long-lasting source of funds for in-depth research into this most wonderful of materials.”