The GW4 Alliance has invested over £2.3m in 68 collaborative research communities, which are addressing major global and industrial challenges. Explore these communities by keyword or theme.

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Aerospace and Advanced Engineering

Creative and Cultural Economy

Digital Innovation

Living Well

Next Generation Microelectronics

Resilience, Environment and Sustainability

Composites for Enhanced Lightning Performance

Inititator Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Richard Butler
University of Bristol: Fabrizio Scarpa
Cardiff University: Manu Haddad
University of Exeter: Chris Smith

Project overview

This project addresses the ‘Advanced Materials’ grand challenge through the development of innovative lightweight materials and coatings with improved mechanical and electrical properties under lightning strike for the aerospace sector.


Controlling Nucleation & Growth to Deliver Novel Materials Functionality

nititator Fund

This project has been developed from the Initiator funded Functional Materials Far from Equilibrium community.

Project period: May to November 2015

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Professor Johannes Zimmer
University of Bristol: Dr Isaac Chenchiah
Cardiff University: Dr Stefano Leoni
University of Exeter: Professor David Wright

Project overview

In materials, nucleation is the formation of a new stable phase or structure via self-organisation. It manifests in many everyday phenomena, and a classic example is the formation of ice crystals in water.


Functional Materials Far from Equilibrium

Inititator Fund

This project has been awarded Accelerator funding for the Controlling nucleation & growth to deliver novel materials functionality community.

Project period: October 2014 – January 2015

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Johannes Zimmer, Chris Bowen
University of Bristol: Isaac Chenchiah
Cardiff University: Nicolas Dirr
University of Exeter: David Wright

Project overview

Established new cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional contacts from a wide range of departments (Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics) at all GW4 universities.


GW4 Network on Advanced Molecular Platforms for Plastic Photonic Technologies (AMPHOTECH)

Accelerator Fund

Project period: July 2016 – March 2017

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: G. Dan Pantos
University of Bristol: Sara Nunez-Sanchez, Ruth Oulton, Martin James Cryan
Cardiff University: Stephen A Lynch
University of Exeter: William Leslie Barnes

Project overview

We will address the development of photonic applications for these molecular materials by combining multidisciplinary expertise and perspective from the four South West Universities (Exeter, Bristol, Cardiff and Bath) including plasmonics, nanophotonics, quantum photonics, ultrafast spectroscopy or supramolecular chemistry.


Paramagnetic Species for Catalysis and Materials Applications

nititator Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Mike Whittlesey
University of Bristol: 
Robin Bedford
Cardiff University: 
Damien Murphy

Project overview

This project has developed a new GW4 community with interests in the catalytic and materials applications of paramagnetic species.


Unlocking the Science for an Autonomous Structural Health Monitoring System

Accelerator Fund

Project period: October 2014 – April 2015

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Alicia Kim
University of Bristol: Stephen Hallett
Cardiff University: Carol Featherston
University of Exeter: Meiling Zhu

Project overview

The integrity of critical structures such as aircraft wings is currently assured by scheduled inspections. These are costly, in terms of the activities themselves, and more critically the downtime involved, and in the majority of cases find no significant deterioration.