The AMCASH project is an ERDF part-funded initiative established to support small-to-medium businesses (SMEs) across four Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas, namely Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, and The Marches.

The AMCASH project, which is a part-funded ERDF programme, is co-ordinated through the School of Metallurgy & Materials at the University of Birmingham. The project offers regional SME organisations technical assistance of typically a 2-day duration, within materials science related projects.

The AMCASH project specifically covers the following technical areas:


Project Offering to SMEs

We are able to offer a minimum of two days work for qualifying SMEs. In order to qualify, the SME must be based within one of the four target LEP areas, and meet the financial definitions of an SME organsisation, namely having less than 250 employees, and less than €50M turnover.
AMCASH offers a wide range of support to SMEs, including:

  1. Access to research and development facilities at the University
  2. Analytical services
  3. Contract research
  4. Consultancy
  5. Collaborative projects

Equipment Available

In order to best address and support the needs and project requirements of the regional SMEs, the project has access to a number of useful equipment for use on AMCASH assist projects, in the following key themed areas:

Microscopy & Characterisation:

  • Numerous Jeol and FEI Scanning Electron Miscroscopes (SEM)
  • Numerous FEI and Jeol Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM)
  • Dimension 3100 Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
  • UES Robomet3D tomography
  • Nikon H225 X-ray tomography (XRT / CT)
  • FEI Quanta 3D FEG Focused Ion Beam (FIB) SEM
  • FEI Talos 200X Scanning / Transmission microscope (S/T EM)
  • Bruker S2 Ranger X-ray Flourescence (XRF)

Polymer Science:

  • Hot Press
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) - Mettler DSC1 and FLASH DSC fast scanning chip-calorimeter
  • Laser FLASH - Netzsch 427 Laser Flash Apparatus
  • Infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) – ThermoNicolet 8700
  • Hot-stage microscopy – polarised optical microscope with a Linkam hot-stage.
  • Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) - Polymer Labs/ Netzsch DMTA.
  • Dielectric thermal analysis – Polymer labs DETA and Solartron impedance analyser.
  • Thermal mechanical analysers (TMA) – dilatometer.
  • Rheology – Malvern Kinexus Pro Rheometer, TA Instruments Ares Rheometer.
  • Mechanical Testing – Instron 5566.
  • Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA).

Computational Modelling:

  • Numerous academic-licenced CFD and FE commercial software packages.
  • The University of Birmingham super-computer, BlueBEAR
  • Data-storage backed-up network drives
  • Micro-epsilon TIM160 Thermal Imaging camera
  • Photron Fastcam Mini UX100 High Speed camera
  • Thermocouple data-logger
  • Micro-Epsilon optoNCDT laser triangulation sensors
  • Infra-red Thermometer


The AMCASH team consists of 8 full-time Research Fellows, a project manager and two staff responsible for business engagement activities, working for the technical-lead academic staff. The research staff have different areas of expertise covering the three technology areas of the AMCASH project. 

Project Management & SME Engagement:
Mrs LiPing Byron-Liu
Mr Nick Haigh
Mr Omar Bellfield

Microscopy and Materials Characterisation:
Dr Minshi Wang
Dr Jing Wu
Dr Gnanavel Thirunavukkarasu
Dr Xinyu Lu

Polymer Science:
Dr Catherine Kelly
Dr Kate Robbins

Computational Modelling:
Dr Richard Turner
Dr Lucia Scotti

Upcoming AMCASH Events

Recycling and Sustainable Plastic Technologies Workshop

March 25th 2019

School of Metallurgy & Materials, University of Birmingham




Breakfast and Arrivals




Mike Jenkins (UoB, Polymer academic lead in AMCASH project)


Recycling Legislation



Challenges with recycling

Kate Robbins (UoB)


Coffee Break



Recycling manufacturing waste

Kate Robbins (UoB)


Recycling of household waste

Bill Hopkins (ReFormative Technologies Ltd)


Recycling composites

Gary Leeke (Lecturer, UoB)


Coffee Break



Novel recycling technologies

Catherine Kelly (UoB)


Biodegradable plastics

Catherine Kelly (UoB)


Tours of polymer labs

Catherine Kelly / Kate Robbins (UoB)


Individual project discussions (if applicable)





Contact Us:

To contact the business engagement team for the AMCASH project:

Telephone: +44 (0)121 4143436


Further information on the AMCASH project can be found on our external website.