[From left to right: Dr Ann Zammit, SEAM Project Leader, Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, MCST Executive Chairman, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, UM Rector, Parliamentary Secretary for Research & Innovation, Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Chinese Ambassador to Malta, H.E. Jiang Jiang]
A new collaboration between a number of Maltese researchers from the University of Malta’s Department of Metallurgy & Materials Engineering and Southeast University in China (SEU) will see the two working on a project to optimise 3D printing technology used in marine transport.
Surface Engineering for Additive Manufactured parts used in marine transportation (SEAM), is a two-year research project being jointly led by Dr Ing. Ann Zammit and Prof. Jian Chen, with the aim of determining the suitability of additive manufactured parts used in the marine transport industry.
This will be achieved through the optimisation of additive manufacturing technologies for surface finish and strength of metallic parts, the designing, developing & application of anti-corrosion and anti-fouling surface engineering technologies on the 3D printed parts, and the building of prototype parts to be tested in a marine simulated environment.
The SEAM project is in line with Malta’s National Research & Innovation Scheme, which lists eight priority areas, including high value-added manufacturing – innovation in product development and prototyping and decrease in manufacturing lead time.
Introducing the project at a kick-off meeting which took place on Friday 18 September, 2020, Dr Ann Zammit said that thanks to this initiative, which has a budget of €350,000, a number of researchers will be given the opportunity to conduct their postgraduate studies.
The research is being funded by the Malta Council for Science & Technology, with Executive Chairman Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando deeming “international cooperation to be of immeasurable help in fostering local research & innovation capacity, and MCST provides all the necessary support required. He added that this programme has proved to be a success, so much so that MCST will be intensifying its collaborative efforts to not only secure further bilateral initiatives with China, but also to establish other international collaborations in the near future.”
With marine transportation being one of the major modes of freight transportation in Malta, the University’s research in optimising the use of technology to make this process as efficient as possible is useful not just for the people working in the industry, but also for those who make use of the goods transported. "We are grateful for this collaboration, which certainly is a sign that our university’s global research footprint is expanding”, commented UM Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella.
Denoting the importance of this collaboration, Chinese Ambassador to Malta, H.E. Jiang Jiang remarked that “today’s project is of great significance, not just in the areas of science & technology. It has the added value of cooperation between our two countries, as we learn from each other’s expertise”.
“This project kick-off is a pivotal milestone on which we can build a forward-looking society that embraces change, which is in line with Malta’s vision of being a knowledge-based economy”, concluded Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Parliamentary Secretary for Research & Innovation, on the occasion of launching the project by the University of Malta and Southeast University, China.