Waikato University partnership boosts titanium industry

29 September 2010

TIDA Group

Agreement on Titanium: From left TiDA Chief Executive Warwick Downing, Chairman Ian Macrae, University of Waikato Dean of Science and Engineering Professor Bruce Clarkson and Professor Deliang Zhang at the Memorandum of Understanding signing.

Waikato University and the Titanium Industry Development Association have joined forces to help boost New Zealand’s titanium industry.

The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work collaboratively to develop research, teaching and resources to support the development of the titanium industry in New Zealand.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the partnership is a joint commitment to meet industry needs. “This partnership will help to enhance New Zealand’s competitive advantage in the titanium industry by fostering research and teaching capabilities.”

Earlier this year the Titanium Development Association (TiDA) opened the government-backed Applied Powder Metallurgy Centre in Tauranga aimed at providing technical services to industry by testing new titanium alloy and other metallic products. The university will work with TiDA to develop a national research and development strategy for the titanium industry.

TiDA was formed to help firms develop new titanium products for the international market using powder metallurgy consolidation methods. It came about from the work of Titanox Development Ltd, which was established in 1997 to develop market-ready titanium alloy products based on the work led by Waikato University’s Professor Deliang Zhang.

Professor Zhang says the university’s partnership with TiDA reflects the nature of research and development in the 21st century. “It encompasses the strategic importance of combining targeted medium to long term fundamental research and industry based short-term research,” he says.

The TiDA centre will complement the university’s research facilities, and the combination of the two will provide world-class support for the titanium industry, says Professor Zhang.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on September 27 at the TiDA Applied Powder Metallurgy Centre. The TiDA centre is on the shared University of Waikato and Bay of Plenty Polytechnic Windermere campus. The understanding between the university and TiDA also recognises the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic as a partner.

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