Digital Materials and Metals Manufacturing 2024

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14th May – Early careers sandpit event (more information here)

15th – 16th May – Conference event (full schedule here)


Keynote Speakers 

Prof. Daniel Cogswell (University of Sheffield) – Risk Assuring Future Structure Critical Systems – The challenges of evidencing a materials perspective into Digital Twins

Dr. Robert Kulka (Element Digital) – Improving material passports by accurately quantifying in-service material degradation

Dr. Ioannis Violatos (AFRC) – To be announced

Dr. Jesus Talamantes-Silva (Sheffield Forgemasters) – Simulation and modelling of industrial processes for high integrity components

Dr. Mike White (University of Manchester/UKAEA) – Quantitative description of material microstructure with microstructural fingerprints

Prof. Cinzia Giannetti (University of Swansea) – Data-driven Innovations in Manufacturing for a Sustainable Future



From as early as the mid 1600s, to today’s Advanced Manufacturing Park, South Yorkshire has long been a centre for manufacturing excellence. This places the region as a prime candidate to lead the way into the next wave of manufacturing innovation.

Digitisation has the potential to improve efficiency, productivity, and reduce environmental impacts of manufacturing globally. 

While it is good to aspire to such goals, digitisation also has the capacity to ease the load on those on the shop floor. By enacting digital systems that replace paperwork as well as the use of robotics and cobots (collaborative robots) to take on repetitive, tedious jobs, time can be freed up for people to get on with skill based and decision making tasks that boost productivity. 

Hosted in Sheffield’s historic Cutlers Hall, Digital Materials and Metals Manufacturing is a 2-day conference, looking at how digitisation can aid manufacturing in the high value materials supply chain. The event will include talks from industry experts and academics, covering topics such as digital twins, cyber-physical systems, forging and forming, digital passports, and the successful applications of digital tools. 

There will also be the opportunity for socialising and networking at the conference dinner, held in Cutlers Hall’s impressive main hall. For those early in their careers, there will also be a sandpit event facilitated by Colin Hunter of Potential-2, which will develop an outreach activity using a Design Thinking approach based around the unique Hawley Collection. 


Limited space will also be available for exhibitors





The conference will focus around the following technical themes:

  1. Developing Materials Digital Twins and Passports for Industrial Application
  2. Digital Forming and Forging Technologies
  3. Successful Applications in  Industry of Materials and Manufacturing Digital Systems
  4. Implementing Digital Systems and Data Centric Engineering Approaches
  5. Enacting Cyber-Physical Systems for Digital Manufacturing of Materials



Schedule at a glance 

14th May 2024 

Outreach sandpit event for students and early career attendees (professionals up to the age of 28) in collaboration with the Hawley collection

 15th May 2024 

General Session and Breakouts

Networking Breaks and Lunch 

Evening drinks reception and 3-course conference dinner  – winners of outreach sandpit event announced 

16th May 2024 (ends at 12:45)

General Session and Breakouts

Networking Break



Note: A small cost for attendance at the Sandpit is yet to be agreed and will be announced shortly.




14th May: Sandpit Event – Outreach Activity with The Hawley Collection

As part of the events surrounding the inaugural Digital Materials and Metals Manufacturing conference in Sheffield, we are delighted to be hosting a sandpit event aimed at early career participants.

Focused on developing skills that can readily be applied to all activities and aspects of research and development the event looks to be a great introduction into outreach and scientific communication.

Facilitated by Colin Hunter, CEO of Potential-2, the event will be working with the Hawley collection based out of Sheffield’s Kelham Island museum. It will focus on developing ideas through the Design Thinking Process  The output of the event will be the creation of a new installation for their gallery. 

Run by a passionate group of volunteers, the Hawley collection is a uniquely important collection of tools spanning the history of toolmaking in Sheffield and beyond. The collection combines a vast amount of finished artefacts with several items in various stages of manufacture. This gives a wonderful overview of tool manufacturing and provides an excellent opportunity to link the industrial heritage of the region with the latest understanding in materials science and manufacturing. 

The collection was created by Ken Hawley (29 June 1927-15 August 2014), who saw it as a tribute to the craftsmanship, skills and excellence of the people of Sheffield. 

Funded by: 

This work was supported by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship [grant number MR/T02058X/1].

In partnership with: 

Logo of the Henry Royce Institute             University of Sheffield