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Northwest Composites Centre

Researcher working at a computer in a laboratory

About the NWCC

The Northwest Composites Centre (NWCC) acts as a regional centre of expertise in supporting, evaluating and introducing innovation in manufacture, design and testing of advanced composites.

The NWCC is a collaboration that incorporates researchers from several Schools in The University of Manchester, together with colleagues from the universities of Liverpool, Lancaster, Bolton and Glyndwr to create a centre of international scientific reputation to the benefit of academia and industry. It was established in 2006 following a £2.1 million grant from the Northwest Science Fund, which was administered by the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

High performance composites have gained great acceptance in areas where their lightweight and exceptional strength outweigh cost issues, for example in the aerospace sector. Developments in materials, automation and low-cost processing technologies mean that composites can be used economically in a growing number of applications in automotive, wind/tidal energy, marine, rail, civil-infrastructure, medical and recreational sectors.


The NWCC's mission is to:

  • undertake basic and applied research leading to the development of new, cost-effective, low-energy, low-cycle-time composite processing routes for making components and demonstrators;
  • establish the effect of these production routes on composite structure and performance and thereby optimise their fitness for purpose;
  • act as a regional centre of expertise supporting, evaluating and introducing innovation in composite manufacture and design;
  • increase the supply of well-trained graduates at MEng, MSc and PhD level for industry and academia.