Two days: Keynote speeches, presentations from Industry leaders, and breakout academic seminars on a range of cutting edge areas.

Details of the 2 day conference programme are listed below. If you are keen to be involved in the 2020 event, please contact

Day One Monday 12th March 2018

Doors open for delegates 

Registration, VIP tour of exhibition / networking


Plenary Session 

Chaired by Sue Dunkerton OBE, Director, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)

Formal Opening by Rt Hon Lord Haskel of Higher Broughton

Keynote Speakers: Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, CEO, Innovate UK
Prof. Philip Nelson CBE, CEO, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Rebecca Endean, Director of Strategy at UK Research & Innovation (UKRI)

More names to be announced!


Industry Q&A
chaired by Stuart McDill freelance 
broadcaster & 

MRE Question Time Panel Discussion with Andrew Hosty, Henry Royce Institute; Duncan Fitzsimons, Director, 7TH Design & Invention; Dr Bryan Allcock, CEO Group, TRL9 Limited; Jacqui Murray, Head of Advanced Materials, Innovate UK; Deirdre Fox, Director Strategic Business Development, Tata Steel; Prof Leela Biant, Academic Head of Dept Trauma & Orthopaedics University of Manchester.



Tour of exhibition & networking

SEMINAR STREAM A (Location - Auditorium)
14.00 – 15.45

Disruption, innovation and the Royce

Facilitated and chaired by Regius Prof Phil Withers, Chief Scientist, Henry Royce Institute  

Growth in the materials industry in the mid-20th century was driven by substituting traditional materials with new ones, such as plastics - but the focus has now shifted from substitution to the creation of bespoke materials with tailored functionality. This ability to deliver unique materials has disruptive potential that could drive the type of innovation we perhaps thought was impossible just a few years ago. This is therefore our chance to ask ‘what if …?’

What if 2D materials could make products faster, stronger, smaller and lighter? How would our world look and perform? What if we could reduce our reliance on antibiotics through the use of advanced biomaterials? What if our mobile devices featured a safer battery with three times the energy density and 10 times more charge? A panel of selected champions from across the Royce will highlight exciting visions of how advances in their research themes will help tackle the grand challenges we are all facing.

16.00 – 17.30

Exhibitor Pitches 

Chaired by Ajay Kapadia, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Knowledge Transfer Network

MRE18 exhibitors will pitch live on stage to showcase their innovation. A fast paced introduction to the newest of materials innovation - designed to present cutting-edge innovation across key supply chains through different sectors. Please do come and connect.

SEMINAR STREAM B (Location - Room D)
14.00 – 14.45

Materials for Aerospace Challenges 

Led by Mark Summers, Aerospace Technology Institute 

The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) was established as a collaboration between Government and industry; to create the UK’s aerospace technology strategy, advising and challenging the sector through £3.9 billion of secured R&T investment, to ensure the UK retains its global competitive position. The Institute’s mission is to help the UK realise the opportunity available of capturing a valuable share of the growing global civil aviation market.

The session will focus on civil aircraft material challenges that are being addressed through the current research portfolio or have been identified as key opportunities for future investment. The session will identify architecture requirements that impact material choices through whole aircraft efficiency, performance, and operating cost targets. Additionally, industrialisation aspects will be analysed with respect to optimising production efficiencies through the smart application of materials and processes.

Panel members include: Billy Beggs, Engineering Innovation Manager, University of Central Lancashire; Mark Bowering, Chief Technologist, National Composites Centre and Robert Deffley, R&D Manager, LPW Technology Ltd

15.00 – 15.45

Composites for automotive applications – innovating towards market acceptance

Chaired by Innovate UK 

A panel of industry experts will present and discuss the topic of automotive composites including current state of the market, recent innovations and achieving market penetration at scale. 

Panel members: Alan Banks, Commercial Vehicles, Ford; Paul Gallen, Sector Lead Automotive, National Composites Centre and Kevin Lindsey, Technical Director Far-UK.

16.00 – 17.30

Materials for Defence Challenges 

Led by Laura Jones, Consulting Fellow, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) ensures that innovative science and technology contributes to the defence and security of the UK. Dstl delivers, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence Chief Scientific Adviser, the Materials for Strategic Advantage (MSA) Programme.

This session will provide an introduction by the MSA Programme team to the niche defence challenges being tackled through investment in Materials Research and Development. However, many developments addressing these important defence challenges will also have civil applications. This session will provide an insight into some of the projects supported with MSA funding which also have exploitation opportunities in civil applications.

SEMINAR STREAM C (Location - Executive Centre)

Materials for Efficient Energy Use

Facilitated by Robert Quarshie, Head of Materials, Knowledge Transfer Network

Recent advances in materials research and innovation are expected to revolutionise the way we create and use energy.  In this session, we will cover two key initiatives that demonstrate the contributions of materials research and processing technologies to solving the energy trilemma.

1.   Buildings as Power Stations - Speaker: Kevin Bygate, CEO, SPECIFIC IKC

The concept of ‘Buildings as Power Stations’ offers the UK a unique global opportunity to create cutting edge buildings that generate, store and release solar energy. When integrated with Electric Vehicles as storage medium, it reduces grid stress, energy infrastructure investment costs and makes a critical contribution to decarbonisation. The concept is based on integrating smart materials into the building fabric.  Creating Buildings as Power Stations will transform the energy sector by delivering the smart, energy positive building we need for our future.

2.   Flash Sintering: A Disruptive Technology - Speaker: Dr Andre Prette, Technical Manager, Lucideon

Flash Sintering is a disruptive technology where an electric field is directly applied to a material body during the sintering process, with the aim of reducing the sintering time and peak furnace temperature, and controlling or enhancing the sintered materials properties. With particular application to ceramics, the presentation will highlight examples of progress in developing processing at lower total energy; significant increases in throughput and thus higher productivity; improvements to functional performance – fracture toughness, elemental retention and the joining of dissimilar materials.


Robotics Challenges - Material Solutions?  

Led by Phil Williams, Knowledge Transfer Network  

Intelligent machines are increasingly being used to augment the skills of people working in some of our most challenging environments. Whether the extreme radioactive conditions of a nuclear power station, the highly corrosive and intense pressures of the deep sea or even the sterile precision of an operating theatre, robotics with AI enables us to work safer, quicker, faster, smarter and better than ever before.

The demands placed on these intelligent machines are often beyond the capability delivered through traditional solutions. Challenge holders and innovators are therefore increasingly turning to the materials world for lighter, stronger and more intelligent materials in order to build the robotic tools of tomorrow.

In this session we will explore the particular challenges faced by industries working in challenging environments and how new materials could help create new products that will further augment human capability.

Speakers include: Adrian Davis-Johnston, Head of Research, Development and Innovation, Nuvia Consulting; Kaspar Althoefer, Director of Advanced Robotics, Queen Mary University of London; Kevin Blacktop, Research & Development Specialist Network Rail and Mark Gaddes, UK/European R&D, Network Rail.


Nanotechnology & 
2D Materials

Facilitated by Tatiana Correia, Knowledge Transfer Network 

HiPerNano2018 is a forum which brings together nanotechnology solution developers and end-users with engineering challenges to solve. This year, this event will showcase the latest developments and innovation in nanomaterials, which promise to revolutionise the way we create and use energy. Who should attend? Engineers, manufacturers, researchers and students, SMEs and large companies.

Speakers include: Simon Donell, Honorary Professor, Norwich Medical School; Toni Amorelli, Campaign Manager - R&D, QinetiQ and Monica Craciun, Professor of Nanotechnology, University of Exeter.

10.00 – 18.00

Exhibition and networking - all day


Evening reception
with canapes
& Prize Awards 

Awards for the poster competition and more!


Close of day one