Digital Fingerprinting of Materials Microstructure

principal investigator: Kody law

Being unable to describe a microstructure digitally is a major roadblock for the storage, analysis and exploitation of data across the life, materials and earth sciences. If we can establish a language (rather like a genetic code) to describe the features making up a microstructure, this would enable us to take full power of digital techniques such as machine learning to:
• Compactly store the state of a material digitally;
• Provide a framework for new data to be generated, reported and made publically available;
• Be able to digitally monitor materials supply chains;
• Make links between genes and certain processes or outcomes;
• Learn which genes are associated with certain behaviours to optimise existing materials processes and invent new ones.
This is very much an enabling cross-council project with both short term (e.g. better quality control, few mistakes) and long term (e.g. exploitation of big data sets) benets. The Turing Programme with which this project most closely aligns is the Data Science for Science Programme, but it has a signicant overlap with Data Centric Engineering, as well as Security and Defense.

Description and work packages

This two year project comprises two primary work packages, each of which has its own deliverable, and which will be executed serially.

Impact and plans for follow-on funding

This project brings together two national institutes, namely, the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and the Henry Royce institute for Advanced Materials along with the newly formed Manchester Data Science Institute and the National Collaborative Computational Projects (CCPs).

We are currently planning an inaugural scoping workshop at Manchester in May 2019. The plan is to generate ideas for a portfolio of joint research between the two institutes, centred around and seeded by this topic, and eventually to establish a spoke center at Manchester focused on Data Science for Materials Science and Engineering. There will be a follow on meeting in May, 2020. By the end of the project it is anticipated that Manchester will host an extensive portfolio of related research funding, spanning the School of Mathematics, Materials Science, Informatics, and Digital Futures.

Industrial Partners

Rolls Royce and Airbus are very excited about this project and will be involved.