Daniel J Backhouse
<[email protected]>

Dr. Daniel Backhouse is a KTP Associate in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Sheffield, working on compositional development with Superglass Insulation Ltd, beginning in October 2016. Previously, he obtained his PhD at Sheffield on ‘A Study of the Dissolution of Nuclear Waste Glasses in Highly-Alkaline Conditions’, and his MPhys degree from the University of Warwick in 2010.


Industrially-Focused Learning: Real-World Glass Projects within an Undergraduate Degree Environment
1*Daniel J. Backhouse, 2John Allan, 2Andrew Nelson, 1Russell J. Hand
1 Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield, Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD
2Superglass Insulation Ltd., Thistle Industrial Estate, Kerse Road, Stirling, Scotland, FK7 7QQ.

The 4-year MEng in Materials Science & Engineering offered by the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield, includes 3 Industrial Training Packages (ITPs). Each ITP takes the form of an industrially focussed group project, and one the ITPs is linked to the glass industry. The overall purpose of all of the ITPs is to prepare students for professional industrial practice by exposing them to the challenge of working on a real-world problem to a tight deadline. For the last two years, Superglass Insulation Limited has been the primary partner for the glass ITP project. Different projects have been run in both years involving two very different problems. The projects have given 3rd year MEng students the opportunity to work on a specific glass related industrial problem, with few constraints placed upon their approach. This has given them vital experience in problem-solving from an industrial perspective, and given them an insight into the glass industry. Superglass has provided direct input into the project setting and assessment, along with an industrial visit by the students to Superglass in Stirling. In return, Superglass has gained input from people who have never worked in the industry, providing fresh ideas and enthusiasm. The projects have enabled significant number of person hours to be committed to issues of importance to Superglass, with relatively little time/monetary cost being incurred. An overview of the benefits of this type of collaboration to both Superglass and the University students will be presented.