High-Value Manufacturing Research Group

The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Group conducts world class research that has valuable impacts and applications in manufacturing industry.

The Group has a strong track record of collaborative research with industrial partners to solve manufacturing challenges, including working with Airbus, BAE Systems, Bosch, Mazak, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Qioptiq, Renishaw, Sony, Tata Steel and Zimmer Biomet. It is established as a centre of excellence within Europe and has extensive, modern laboratories and state of the art equipment. Industrial partners are able to access equipment, academic expertise and skilled technical specialists.

The HVM group conducts research across a range of areas including:

  • Additive Layer Manufacturing – Wide range of technologies including selective laser sintering, photo polymerisation (stereolithography), fused deposition modelling, selective laser sintering and 3D printing.
  • Autonomous Systems and Robotics – Industrial robotics, service robotics, robots for medical applications and security, autonomous/semiautonomous control, human-robot interaction, intelligent navigation, object recognition and human tracking.
  • Design and Manufacturing – Digital design, digital manufacturing, computer-aided product, process and systems design, manufacturing informatics, digital life cycle management, business process modelling and Industry 4.0.
  • Intelligent and Knowledge-based Systems – Data mining, knowledge discovery, image processing, decision and performance support systems, optimisation, pattern recognition, machine learning, semantics, knowledge management and knowledge-based applications.
  • Micro/Nano Manufacturing – Laser machining, product miniaturisation, future product platforms and production scale-up.
  • Smart Systems – Systems with embedded intelligence, smart sensors, intelligent condition monitoring and prognostics, machine and process health management strategies and high speed real time data analytics.
  • Systems Engineering – Systems integration, systems modelling, risk assessment and risk management, Cyber-Physical systems, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.
  • Sustainable Manufacturing – Design for sustainability, sustainable manufacturing, resilient and sustainable supply chains, energy efficiency and remanufacturing.


  • Additive Layer Manufacturing Laboratories
  • Autonomous Systems and Robotics Laboratory
  • Condition monitoring Laboratory
  • Digital manufacturing Laboratory
  • Laser Machining Laboratory
  • Micro/nano manufacturing Laboratory
  • Renishaw Metrology Laboratory

Additive Manufacturing Research

The Additive Manufacturing (AM) Laboratory is a pioneer of AM in the UK having conducted research in this field since 1995. The AM Laboratory has a strong track record of regional, national and international collaborative research with recognised leading organisations in AM (TNO, DTU, EPSRC CIM in AM), as well as industrial partners (Renishaw, BAE Systems, Qioptiq). Our partners can directly benefit from the unique expertise of our academic and skilled technician specialists developed over the last 20 years and access our extensive range of equipment comprising of an industrial fleet of three resin based machines (Stereolithography and Digital light processing), three polymer and one metal powder based machines based on Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technologies. The AM Lab conducts research across a range of areas including:

  • Materials - Development of application specific metal materials for SLM and polymers for Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM).
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing - Benefit from our experience in a wide range of AM processes to answer your design problem or develop functional geometries to answer specific requirements (weight reduction, shock or vibration absorption).
  • Applications and simulation - Use computer simulation to improve design functionality, manufacturability, performance and topology optimisation.
  • Process characterisation, improvement and stability - Develop a better understanding, monitor and improve the capabilities and processing conditions of your AM process.
  • Manufacturing process chains - Incorporate AM to your existing manufacturing process chain. Combine AM with conventional and high values manufacturing processes.
  • AM Support chain - Investigate AM supply chain and distribution.

Digital Manufacturing Research

The Digital Manufacturing (DM) laboratory has a strong track record of collaborative research with industrial partners including Airbus, Bosch, Ford, Mazak, Olympus Surgical, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Qioptiq, Renishaw, and Tata Steel. We are able to provide the digital and smart solutions needed in creating a knowledge based economy. Skilled researchers work in our modern laboratory, which is equipped with state of the art intelligent software and equipment. Industrial partners are able to work with us and access our facilities, academic expertise and skilled technical specialists. We provide bespoke digital manufacturing solutions to improve process flow, machine management and efficiency, profitability and sustainability. The DM Lab research interests include:

  • Design Informatics - Create and exploit advanced ICT solutions to integrate complex design information and pervasive user-generated data in the design of innovative products, systems and services.
  • Manufacturing Informatics - Harness ICT technology and advanced data analytics to improve manufacturing intelligence. Support collaboration, increase efficiency and provide decision support to boost innovation, and enable new business models and sustainable technologies.
  • Industry 4.0/Cyber-Physical Systems - Embrace Industry 4.0 in the digitisation and automation in the factory and supply chain. Connect communication cyber-systems to physical machines and sensors for networking and information sharing. Analysis of information for prognostic condition-based maintenance. Develop, test and deploy autonomous control and decision making in real-time environments.
  • Big data analytics - Examine large datasets to uncover hidden patterns, unknown working principles and correlations. Interpret intriguing market trends, latent customer preferences and implicit insights to enhance engineering design and manufacturing.
  • Semantic Technologies - Extract knowledge and information from unstructured text and images using lexical resources, taxonomies, ontologies and semantic networks. Provide improved modelling, reasoning with meaning and context, and decision making.

Sustainable Manufacturing Research

We conduct research and innovation into sustainable products, processes, materials and supply chains, supporting manufacturing industry as it evolves towards a circular economy. For global long term prosperity, health and resilience manufacturing needs to evolve from a model of high resource consumption and waste production towards one that is resource neutral/ zero waste. Making the circular economy a reality is a major challenge for researchers and industry but working together we can develop sustainable products, processes, materials and supply chains. We provide bespoke manufacturing solutions to improve sustainability of products and processes, reduce waste and energy usage, increase resilience of supply chains and develop new environmentally-friendly materials. Research interests include:

  • Sustainable Products - Design for sustainability, design for remanufacturing and end of life.
  • Sustainable Processes - Energy efficiency, waste reduction and remanufacturing.
  • Sustainable Materials - Including bio composites, composites using recyclates, metal matrix nano-composites for additive layer manufacturing.
  • Decision Support - Product life cycle management, inventory forecasting and measuring sustainability.
  • Supply Chains - Resilient and sustainable supply chains and reshoring.

Micro and Nano Manufacturing Research

The Micro and Nano Manufacturing (MNM) laboratory has been conducting research in this field since 2002. The MNM Lab carries out research in processes and process chains complementary to semiconductor-based fabrication techniques. The main driver is to advance manufacturing knowledge and applications for producing components and devices with micro and nano-scale functionalities in a wide range of materials. The MNM Lab has been involved in national and international collaborative research initiatives, which include leading organisations in Europe (KIT, DTU, IK4-TEKNIKER) and further afield (HIT China) as well as a number of key industrial partners (Zimmer-Biomet, Renishaw). Our facilities enable the direct machining or the replication of features ranging from a few tens of nanometres to a few hundred micrometres. These include short and ultra-short pulsed laser systems, a micro EDM machine and a micro injection moulding machine. These are completed by advanced micro- and sub-micrometre characterisation equipment for dimensional inspection (optical microscopes, white light interferometer, SEM), and for material characterisation and/or for nano-manufacturing operations (atomic force microscope, focussed ion beam). The MNM lab conducts research across a range of application areas including:

  • Nanomachining for future magnetic-based data storage devices - Nanoscale machining realised with the tip of an AFM probe is used to create nanostructures for controlling magnetic domain walls along NiFe nanowires.
  • Laser surface texturing of orthopaedic implants - Pulsed ns laser irradiation of biomedical material is conducted for investigating the effect of different surface textures on the wear resistance of implants.
  • Micro mechanical machining of aerospace materials - Expertise in numerical simulation enables the modelling of the cutting process of advanced composite materials.
  • Computer-aided micro manufacturing - AI tools are developed for the virtual design and automated control of MNM process chains.
  • Post processing of 3D printed metallic components - Micro features are integrated on metallic components produced by ALM to improve surface finish and functionalization.

Lead researcher

Rossi Setchi

Professor Rossi Setchi

Leader - Mechanics, Materials and Advanced Manufacturing Research Theme

+44 (0)29 2087 5720

Academic staff

Samuel Bigot

Dr Samuel Bigot

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 (0)29 2087 5946
Emmanuel Brousseau

Dr Emmanuel Brousseau


+44 (0)29 2087 5752
Roger Grosvenor

Dr Roger Grosvenor


+44 (0)29 2087 5913
Michael Packianather

Dr Michael Packianather

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 (0)29 2087 5911
Paul Prickett

Paul Prickett

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 (0)29 2087 5900
Pete Theobald

Dr Peter Theobald

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 (0)29 2087 4726
Ying Liu

Dr Ying Liu

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 (0)29 2087 4696
Ze Ji

Ze Ji


+44 (0)29 2087 0017
Michael Ryan

Dr Michael Ryan


+44 (0)29 2087 4070

Associated staff

Bo Xue

Research Associate

+44 (0)74 5910 0911

We develop innovative, advanced and environmentally friendly technology for application in the transport, energy generation and manufacturing industries.