Henry Royce Institute

UK’s National Institute for Materials Science Research and innovation

United Kingdom

The Royce is the UK national centre for research and innovation of advanced materials.

It operates as a hub and spoke model, with the hub at The University of Manchester, and spokes at the founding partners, initially comprising the universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London, as well as UKAEA and NNL. In the future, we would like to grow our partners to include as many of the UK’s leading materials scientists as possible.

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Key staff:

Dr Andrew Hosty
CEO, Henry Royce Institute

Andrew Hosty joins the Institute having previously worked for Morgan Advanced Materials Plc, where he was Chief Operating Officer.

A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Andrew has more than 25 years’ experience of the commercial sector with main board experience of FTSE 250, SmallCap and private businesses and has worked at all stages of business growth and economic cycles.

He was one of the key architects of the technology-led commercial strategy for Morgan Advanced Materials, and is tasked with ensuring Royce becomes a world leading centre for advanced materials research and commercialisation.

Andrew’s broad expertise in advanced materials spans strategy, research and operations for ceramic, alloy and composites businesses across aerospace, medical, electronic and petrochemical sectors.

He has been responsible for manufacturing facilities and successful high value contract negotiations in Europe, China, India and Latin America and has led a number of acquisitions and divestments.

Professor Mark Smith
Chair, Strategic Facilities Advisory Board

Professor Smith is the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Lancaster. He studied natural sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge before completing a PhD at the University of Warwick. After time in industry in Germany and with CSIRO in Australia, he was appointed to the University of Kent in 1992 and returned to Warwick as Reader in 1998. There he held roles within the Physics Department before being appointed Chair of the Faculty of Science in 2005, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in 2007, and subsequently Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

His external appointments include member of the Board of the UK Research Reserve; member of Ampère Prize Committee; member of the Board of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and member of Engineering and Physical Research Council’s College since its inception, being a panel member on numerous occasions. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

He was also a member of the UK Government Treasury/Financial Skills Council (2006-08) working group looking at issues concerning the supply of people for the wholesale financial services sector and was a member of the Russell Group Pro Vice Chancellors for Research Group.

His research interests centre on applying advanced magnetic resonance techniques to understand a range of problems in materials physics including structural problems from disordered condensed matter such as glasses and nanocrystals.

Professor Phil Withers FRS, FRENG
Chief Scientist

A fellow of both the royal society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Withers is one of the UK’s leading exponents of advanced techniques.

In 2008 he established the Henry Mosely X-Ray Imaging Facility at The University of Manchester which he has grown of the most extensive suites of 3D X-ray Imaging Facilities in the world.

Baroness Brown of Cambridge
Chair, Henry Royce Institute

After 16 years as an academic researcher and University lecturer at Cambridge and Nottingham Universities, The Baroness Brown of Cambridge joined Rolls-Royce Plc in 1994, where she held several senior positions including Managing Director of the Fan Systems business and Engineering Director of the Marine business.  In 2002 she became CEO of the Institute of Physics, and in 2004 was appointed Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College London.

Baroness Brown became the Vice-Chancellor of Aston University in December 2006. Under Julia’s leadership, Aston was transformed into one of the UK’s leading universities for business and the professions, where original research, enterprise and inspiring teaching deliver global impact.
Her academic research includes over 160 papers on fatigue and fracture in structural materials and developments in aerospace and marine propulsion.

In 1997 Julia was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 1999 she was awarded a CBE for services to materials engineering. She was awarded a DBE for her services to education and technology in 2012 and three years later was elevated to the Peerage as a crossbench member of the House of Lords. Julia was awarded an Honorary Degree from Aston University in July 2016.

Baroness Brown left Aston University in October 2016, to take up her role with Royce.


Key facts:

Our Vision

Our research has the potential to have a significant impact on the world around us. The Royce will be a focal point, nationally and internationally, for people to come and learn about materials science and develop it into a major economic force.

Collaboration between world-leading researchers and world-leading companies will see real solutions, driven by research and making a fundamental difference to the UK economy.



As a national facility, the Royce is overseen by a clear and transparent governance structure. Royce will be established in two parts; the first phase is delivery of the facilities (building and equipment) and the second phase covers the operation of the Institute.