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Advanced Manufacturing

Strategic Outlook

As manufacturing enters the digital-age, Scotland is extremely well-positioned to produce major socio-economic benefits generated from the digitalisation of manufacturing and the ongoing innovation and technical advances being made across its underpinning technology areas.

Scotland's universities undertake internationally leading research in a number of areas within advance and digital manufacturing. Our nation has a strong heritage in manufacturing and our research community boasts significant strengths across the key underpinning technology areas within advanced manufacturing (AM) / digital manufacturing.


Our sub-themes align with the grand challenges and opportunities within the Advanced Manufacturing theme and its industrial application sectors. They also align with the strengths and capabilities of Scotland in Advanced Manufacturing, and the opportunities for growth and synergy which can be catalysed via pan-Scotland SRPe collaboration across the university research sector and with industry and the public sector. They reflect the challenges and opportunities that exist today and that are anticipated for the future based on knowledge of megatrends (e.g. population growth, growing demand for customised products; ageing population and workforce; changing skills needs), technological trends and innovations (emerging and disruptive technologies e.g. the Internet of Things (IoT); digitalisation and scale-up), emerging policies, and opportunities for economic growth and socio-economic impact.

SRPe's Sub-Themes within the Advanced Manufacturing theme:

  • Digitalisation in Manufacturing

  • Light-Weight Manufacturing

  • Advanced Manufacturing for Medical Applications

  • Advanced Materials for Energy Applications

  • Photonics and Precision Manufacturing

  • Circular Economy

Key Research & Technology Areas­:

  • Advanced Forming & Forging

  • Advanced Machining & Fabrication

  • Precision Manufacturing / Advanced Micro & Nano Subsystems

  • Laser Enabled Manufacturing / Industrial Photonics

  • Advanced Materials

  • Automation & Robotics

  • Sensing & Measurement Technologies

  • Data & Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies

  • Simulation & Modelling

  • Advanced Processes & Systems

  • Advanced Systems Integration

Thematic Leadership Group

The SRPe Advanced Manufacturing Thematic Leadership Group (AM-TLG) is a national strategic research resource that provides expertise to government and industry, as well as to the wider UK and international research communities.

We promote and support the growth and development of advanced manufacturing research and its key industrial sectors of application which will underpin Scotland's future.

The AM-TLG membership comprises key experts from across Scotland's leading universities delivering research and development in advanced and digital manufacturing and its underpinning technology areas.

Leadership and membership details of the AM-TLG are provided below:


Professor Bill Ion
Director of Research / Deputy Head of Design, Manufacturing & Engineering Management / Projects Director Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC)
University of Strathclyde


Professor Duncan Hand
Director of Research / Deputy Head of School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University


Dr Amir Siddiq
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
University of Aberdeen

Dr Keith Wilcox
Head of Research Postgraduate Studies of the School of Science & Engineering
University of Dundee

Dr Edward McCarthy
Lecturer in Composites, Design & Testing
University of Edinburgh

Professor Anthony Kelly
Professor of Optoelectronics (Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering)

Professor James Njuguna
Strategic Lead Engineering Research / Professor in Composite Materials & Structures for Centre for Advanced Engineering Materials
Robert Gordon University

Dr Caroline Cantley
Executive Director
Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (SRPe)