Goldsmiths’ Company Charity Gift Funds New Precious Metals Research

Michael Prideaux, Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company

The Goldsmiths’ Company programme in precious metals research, which will be based at Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, will build on the University’s strengths in the study of materials. The Department is one of the world’s leading centres in the study of materials and metals.

The first two students are expected to start in 2019, following a recruitment programme this autumn. The date marks the centenary of a founding gift from the Goldsmiths to establish the Goldsmiths’ Laboratory at Cambridge, in April 1919. The partnership between the University and the Company has long roots, with donations from the Company to support the development of metallurgical studies dating back to the beginning of the last century.

The pool of expertise available to the UK precious metals industry has reduced in recent years, with fewer younger technical experts coming in to the field, and the programme will help to grow capacity and contribute to the UK’s standing as a centre of excellence.

Michael Prideaux, Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, said: “Items have been made of precious metals for millennia. Today, they are used across medical, electronic and aerospace applications as well as in jewellery and silversmithing. We are proud to be further developing a partnership that stretches back over 100 years between the Goldsmiths’ Company and Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science, a centre with an outstanding international reputation.

A key objective of the Goldsmiths’ Company is to contribute to national life. These studentships, our own research, and other plans under discussion are all designed to help position the United Kingdom as a leading country for precious metal research. We look forward to supporting further scientific advances in this area as we approach the 700th Anniversary of the Company’s first Royal Charter in 2027.”

“The studentships will deliver new fundamental research in understanding alloys, and by enhancing Cambridge’s strengths will benefit the UK more broadly as a centre of excellence in this area”, said Professor Paul Midgley, Head of the Department of Material Sciences and Metallurgy. “We are delighted to have this opportunity to enable the most talented young researchers to further advance our understanding of precious metals.”

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