Published: 17 December 2013

Surrey lecturer wins €100K EU funding

Dr Stefan Szyniszewski has won four years’ funding for his pioneering research into metallic foam materials and structures.

Dr Szyniszewski, a specialist in Infrastructure Engineering, has beaten stiff competition to win a Career Integration Grant (CIG), securing €100,000 worth of funding for the development of innovative metallic foam – a high value product with wide uses across the UK manufacturing industry, and positive implications for our global competitiveness.

Among other applications, the research could enable light and silent bridge decks, resilient off-shore structures and vibration-free submarines.

Issued by the European Commission as part of Marie Curie Actions, a CIG funds two to four years of research and is much sought-after by researchers from all over the world. Open to those, from any country, who have at least four years’ full-time research experience or a doctoral degree, the CIG scheme attracts around 3,000 proposals from across the EU.

Applicants are judged through an independent peer review based on excellence across a range of criteria, with only those who score over 70 points out of 100 being considered for an award. Dr Szyniszewski’s submission scored a near-perfect 93.5 points.

Dr Szyniszewski’s CIG project will begin in March 2014 and is scheduled to run for the next four years.

He said, “This is fantastic recognition for the University of Surrey, and a terrific opportunity to establish the research on metallic foams and their applications. Being able to compete successfully with researchers from all EU countries feels great."

“In addition to large-scale developments such as off-shore structures, the research will hopefully make an important contribution to manufacturing capabilities here in the UK by developing a high value product that will help to enhance our competitiveness in the global marketplace.”

Dr Szyniszewski joined the University of Surrey as Lecturer in Infrastructure Engineering in January 2013, having previously held research posts at the University of Florida and the John Hopkins University, and also worked as a structural engineer with the Bechtel Corporation. During his research career he has specialised in the characterisation and computational modelling of metallic materials and their failure; structural analysis of complex engineering systems; and virtual prototyping for the development of applications using novel materials.

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