St Catharine’s Fellow Professor Julian Allwood has been awarded the International Prize for Research & Development in Precision Forging, which is given by the Japan Society for Technology of Plasticity (JSTP) every three years to two leading researchers who have contributed to the worldwide advancement of metal forming technology with high-quality research work. Comprising a gold medal and substantial cash prize, the award is the highest international honour for research related to metal forming.
Professor Allwood leads The Use Less Group, which is based in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and pursues world-leading research into the sustainable use of materials, energy and resources. He shares the 2021 prize with Professor Paolo Martins of the University of Lisbon.
The winners were announced at the opening ceremony of the 13th International Conference on the Technology of Plasticity. In presenting the award, Professor Kazuhiko Kitamura, chairman of the JSTP, cited Professor Allwood’s work on innovative metal forming process inventions, on the science of metal deformation and related to the holistic analysis of energy and metal use. He also praised Professor Allwood’s work in preparing the community for tomorrow, through outreach to school children, ten years as joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Material Processing Technology, and his chairmanship of metal forming activities in the International Academy of Production Engineering.
Professor Allwood commented, “I am honoured and profoundly grateful. I would like to thank the selection committee, the JSTP, Professor Kitamura, Nichidai Corporation as the sponsors of the prize, and three previous winners, Professors Erman Tekkaya, Reiner Kopp and Kozo Osakada, whose generosity and support have been the foundation of my career.
“I am of course receiving the prize on behalf of The Use Less Group, and I would also like to thank all of the people who have been part of our shared journey. I’d particularly like to mention the enormous team who worked with me on the 2017 International Conference on Technology of Plasticity and Dr Christopher Cleaver who leads our lab today with great intelligence and kindness.”
Professor Allwood chaired the 2017 International Conference on Technology of Plasticity – also known as the ‘Olympics of Metal Forming’ – when it came to Cambridge and the UK for the first time in September 2017. The six-day multi-track programme was attended by 630 delegates from 30 countries, and included lectures, social events, technical tours and industry visits, as well as a public lecture at the Cambridge Corn Exchange delivered by Sir Tony Robinson to which 500 local school students were invited.
As director of UK FIRES, Professor Allwood is also responsible for a £5 million programme aiming to explore all aspects of Industrial Strategy compatible with delivering zero emissions by 2050. ‘Absolute Zero’, the first publication of UK FIRES attracted widespread attention including a full debate in the House of Lords in February 2020, and has led to a string of other reports, research and impact. He explained the relevance of metal forming to his work in response to climate change:
“Due to climate change, we are moving into an era in which we will produce much less metal. The focus of metal forming will change rapidly, and I look forward to exploring the consequences with the younger researchers attending the International Seminar on Precision Forging next year.”