Appointment of first University of Wales Research Chair

Posted on 17 March 2010

Professor Kelvin Donne (centre) with Swansea Metropolitan University students

Professor Kelvin Donne of Swansea Metropolitan University has become the first recipient of a University of Wales sponsored Research Chair. 

Professor Donne is Dean of the Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering at Swansea Metropolitan University. He has extensive research experience in the Computer Aided Modelling and Visualisation of radiation and thermal transport, Boundary Element and Finite Element analysis and the modelling of crack growth in brittle materials. In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious National Agency for Finite Element Methods and Standards (NAFEMS) World Congress award for Most Innovative Use of Simulation Technology.

The sponsorship is part of the University of Wales’s aim of supporting the economic, social, cultural and intellectual well-being of Wales. It will support the building and enhancement of the research capacity of higher education in Wales, consistent with institutional mission and with the priority sectors identified by Welsh Assembly Government. One of seven new Research Chairs being funded by the University, five of which will be based within institutions which form the ‘University of Wales Alliance’ which includes the University of Wales; Swansea Metropolitan University; University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC); University of Wales Newport; Glyndŵr University;Trinity University College, Carmarthen and University of Wales, Lampeter. The Chairs will also act as focal points for work on pan-Alliance initiatives. This includes working with the University’s prestigious industry-based programme, the Prince of Wales Innovation Scholarships (POWIS). 

Congratulating Professor Donne on his appointment, University of Wales Vice-Chancellor, Professor Marc Clement, said:

“The University is delighted to welcome Kelvin Donne as the first University of Wales Research Chair. The developments planned at Swansea Metropolitan University exemplify the approach being adopted by the University of Wales Alliance to support and benefit Welsh industry using innovative thinking and applied research.”    

 Professor Donne added:

“The Faculty has a well established reputation of supporting Wales’ high-tech economy, in particular the medical devices, automotive manufacturing, design and digital media industries. The University of Wales sponsored Research Chair will enable us to expand our research group so that we can enhance our engagement with Knowledge Transfer activities. It will also provide us with a solid base, over the next five years, to progress our applied research in computer simulation and visualisation techniques that will support the Welsh manufacturing and creative industries.”

Ongoing research activities within the Faculty include the establishment of a Knowledge Transfer Centre in cutting and fabrication, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, the European Regional Development Fund (EDRF), with further support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Professor Donne has led a research group in the Faculty’s Welsh School of Architectural Glass, investigating novel product development methods including the use of recycled glass waste.

Swansea Metropolitan University is also engaged in research for the automotive windscreen repair and replacement industry, which is sponsored by the world market leader Belron®. As the parent company of many recognised brands globally, which includes Autoglass®, Belron® is increasingly an inward investor in the Welsh manufacturing sector and Swansea Met has become one of the key research partners for the company’s worldwide research programme.

In addition, Professor Donne’s research group works with United Aerospace Ltd in Pembroke, Wales, investigating the manufacture of advanced composite materials for the country’s aerospace industry. The University, in partnership with The Welding Institute (TWI), is also a lead academic partner in the Non Destructive Testing and Evaluation Validation Centre, based in South Wales.


Notes to Editors

For press and media information please contact either Joanna Davies, Head of Communications, University of Wales: tel: 02920 3769907 or Steven Stokes, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer, Swansea Metropolitan University, 01792 48369:

1.  The history of the University of Wales, since its establishment as a federal university in 1893, is a very distinguished one.  In 2007, the University was re-constituted as a unitary institution whose relationships with other Welsh higher education institutions are no longer federal in nature. Its governance and management arrangements have been significantly revised and, reflecting its new-found independence, the University has begun to develop and implement its strategy as a unitary institution. More than 40,000 students are currently enrolled in Wales on schemes of study leading to a University of Wales degree or other award.

To find out more about the University of Wales, its degrees and the POWIS Scholarships, please visit the Global Campus website:

2.  Swansea Metropolitan University, and its predecessor institutions, has offered high quality education for over 157 years. With 7000 students, it is an established and respected provider of vocational, industry-driven University of Wales undergraduate, postgraduate and research qualifications, as well as professional programmes. The University has a strong record of graduate employment and research success. undergraduate, postgraduate and research qualifications, as well as professional programmes. The University has a strong record of graduate employment and research success. 

 Despite being an institution that focuses on teaching, sixty per cent of Swansea Metropolitan University’s research work has been rated as being of 'international significance', and in some cases 'world leading', according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with particular strengths in art and design, teaching and engineering.

To find out more about Swansea Metropolitan University, please visit the website:


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