ANSIN reaches major milestone

ANSIN reaches major milestone

Cathy Hill, a PhD student working with Seagate Technology planning her next set of experiments to develop advanced magnetic shielding for magnetic recording heads. The materials are created by layering different materials each only a few billionths of a metre thick. Cathy's work is now being evaluated in Seagate.

A conclave hosted by Queen’s and Seagate Technology has been described as a major milestone for ANSIN, the £7.5 million international research hub.

Two years on from the establishment of ANSIN at Queen’s, the University and Seagate jointly hosted Seagate Technology’s European Data Storage Technology Conclave for the first time. The research meeting brought together over 100 participants, including the research team at ANSIN, senior management and staff from Seagate Technology, academics from leading UK, European, Japanese and US laboratories and key vendors supporting Seagate Technology in their R&D and manufacturing operation at Springtown.

The conclave was an opportunity to showcase materials research and next generation data storage, and gave participants an opportunity to hear updates on a number of exciting projects that ANSIN at Queen’s and Seagate are working on.

Mark Re, Senior Vice President of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate, said: “Just two years after the launch of Seagate's innovative collaboration with Queen's University Belfast, this conclave is proof positive of the progress we've made. Our objective in establishing this strategic partnership was to provide a stronger base of magnetic and nanotechnology capability in Northern Ireland and already we've had considerable success in doing that.

“At the conclave, we heard updates on a number of exciting projects that ANSIN at Queen's and Seagate are working on together. I'm delighted to see ANSIN continue to grow into the economic development engine we envisioned at its inception."

Professor Robert Bowman who leads ANSIN at Queen’s said: “We are now seeing the fruits of this truly innovative investment by Seagate and early successes are being measured in the attraction of major new funding streams such as the EU Framework programme and EPSRC. The last few months have seen us secure over £1 million of new funding to support activities out to 2016.

“Most pleasing is the support of FEI, the global leader in microscopy, who has provided funding for the creation of a new academic post which will enhance our ability to exploit some of the equipment originally donated to ANSIN.  Dr Miryam Arredondo, from Mexico, has recently joined Queen’s as the FEI Lecturer in Materials Microscopy.

“We are now also seeing the early outcomes of the Seagate supported PhD student projects working with the Seagate R&D staff, where even after only their first 18 months, some preliminary results are now being translated and evaluated by the team at Springtown. 

“Overall these activities provide excellent examples of how ANSIN is creating new collaborations in the UK and EU that pick up major institutional themes of research recognition and impact, sustainability and internationalisation.”

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