Morgan Advanced Materials

Morgan Advanced Materials Launches Cutting-Edge Carbon Science Centre of Excellence with Penn State University

Global leader in materials science Morgan Advanced Materials has opened the doors to its new multi-million-dollar Carbon Science Centre of Excellence (CoE) research and development facility at Penn State University.

The CoE, which is a collaboration between the manufacturer and the university, will pioneer research into carbon materials and technologies. Carbon-based materials are used in a wide range of industries and engineering applications, including aerospace, healthcare, industrial, power generation and more.

Located at the Penn State Innovation Park, Morgan’s CoE is close to the university staff, students and facilities. Penn State’s reputation as a world-renowned institution for carbon and materials science-focused research and its collaborative approach to working with business, was key when choosing a partner for the project. The partnership brings together resources, experience and knowledge from both sides, with researchers and scientists on site, many of whom have existing ties to Penn State.

Despite specialising in carbon science materials, the CoE will be utilised by Morgan’s wider businesses and to date, has also become the home of research projects for the company’s Thermal Ceramics, Technical Ceramics, and Braze Alloys businesses.

Mike Murray, Chief Technology Officer at Morgan Advanced Materials, said “We’re incredibly proud to have launched this ground-breaking Centre of Excellence with Penn State. It marks an important milestone in both organisations’ history, as we both strive for excellence and understanding of the properties and uses of carbon.

“With brilliant science minds on our doorstep, we hope the synergies created between us can accelerate our engineering and solutions for our customers, while benefitting more and more industries going forward.”

The CoE will closely support work being undertaken in Morgan’s Electrical Carbon and Seals and Bearings businesses. One of the key projects will be developing electrified rail products including the carbon current collectors used in pantographs at the top of train carriages to connect to overhead wires. Electrified rail is a growing global market as economies seek environmentally clean public transportation options for rapidly expanding population centres.

Neil Sharkey, Vice President of Research for Penn State University, said “The work undertaken at our facility with Morgan will truly be revolutionary. The electrified rail carbon strips that Morgan is already working on, for example, will change how train transport works, making it safer, more reliable and decrease down time.

"Our partnership with Morgan places us at the forefront of developing new methodologies in line with Morgan’s mission and values as well as our own. Their existing expertise and insights will help our researchers and students turn new ideas into commercially viable solutions. The Centre itself is a huge attraction for other businesses to join the Innovation Park, furthering job creation and economic development in Pennsylvania.”

Pete Raby, Chief Executive Officer at Morgan Advanced Materials, said: “Our Centres of Excellence ensure Morgan remains at the forefront of materials development on a global scale. In addition to helping us to create world-leading materials, our partnership with Penn State also allows us to recruit some of the best talent in carbon science and provide unrivalled training to our technologists and engineers.”

The CoE is part of Morgan’s ongoing commitment to research and development, with an increasing percentage of sales in recent years committed back to R&D. The Penn State CoE is the fourth of its kind globally, joining its Metals and Joining CoE in Hayward California, and its UK-based Insulating Fibre CoE and Structural Ceramics CoE.