Atkins (Epsom, Surrey, U.K.) reported on Nov. 15 that it has been named as an official engineering services provider to the U.K. National Composites Centre (NCC) on a three-year framework agreement. The NCC is a key part of the U.K. composites strategy launched by the U.K. government in November 2009. Due to officially launch in late 2011, the facility will bring together companies and academics to develop new technologies for the design and rapid manufacture of high-quality composite products. Atkins’ role is to provide composites design and analysis expertise across multiple engineering sectors.
The NCC will work across a broad range of sectors, looking at wherever composites could be beneficial, from automotive and aircraft structures, to state-of-the-art sports equipment and musical instruments. Atkins will support the NCC in providing engineering guidance to organizations or individuals that approach the center with a composites concept, helping them to test and develop initial ideas into high-quality marketable products.
Neil Kirk, the director overseeing Atkins’ composites centre of excellence, said: “The understanding of the behaviour of advance composites is, in relative terms, in its infancy. We have a great deal of experience in the design and analysis of advanced composite materials, and we are excited to be working with the NCC to help fully harness the potential of these cutting-edge materials. We believe that many more applications for these materials will be found and are pleased to play a central role in their development.”
Peter Chivers, NCC chief executive, commented: “The NCC will be the hub of the UK’s effort to develop and implement innovative composite design and rapid, low-cost manufacturing technologies and systems. Atkins was selected for their in-depth knowledge of the latest composite materials and multi-disciplinary experience, and we look forward to working with them over the coming three years.”