Sheffield joins the space race after signing university deal for Chinese rocket research

University of Sheffield makes advanced manufacturing links to China's space programme
University of Sheffield makes advanced manufacturing links to China's space programme
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EXPERTS at a Yorkshire university are to work with counterparts in China on the construction of commercial rockets.

A new joint institute has been created to bring together Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. (SAST).

SAST is a key part of China’s space programme, which includes the development of the Tiangong 3 Space Station, which is set to launch in 2020.

The AMRC will work with SAST to develop strong thin-walled structures for commercial rockets. A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Sheffield vice chancellor Prof Sir Keith Burnett and Prof Guang Meng, vice principal of SAST. The collaboration also includes Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Sir Keith said: “I am delighted that two world-leading organisations such as SAST and the University of Sheffield’s AMRC with Boeing are collaborating so effectively to find technical solutions to complex aerospace issues.

“This is a priority area for China as announced by President Xi Jinping, and also one of longstanding expertise at the University of Sheffield.”

The signing took place in Shanghai where Sir Keith has been part of a delegation, led by Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Jo Johnson.