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Friday, 16 September 2011

It’s a material world

University of Cambridge
Sept 15, 2011

A specialist company that span out of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering in the 1990s is now the world’s largest company in the niche area of materials information technology.

With a client base across the world, and as a supplier of software to some of the top names in industry, Granta Design has achieved an average growth of 30 per cent over the past ten years. Based in Cambridge, it has retained its strong links with the University and over the summer it employed its largest- ever group of paid interns from Cambridge and elsewhere.

Granta Design is unusual in that it works both with the education sector, the area within which it originated, and with industry, which has accounted for much of its recent expansion. In the education sector it is the leading provider of university-level teaching resources on materials science and related topics. Its activities in the industrial sector fall into three main areas: materials data management; materials decision support; and eco design (materials and the environment).

“We work at the interface between materials science and information technology,” said chief operating officer Patrick Coulter. “Our software helps designers and engineers to choose materials and to control and use the complex materials data that they get from testing, research, suppliers, or the wide range of available reference sources. We are constantly updating our products.

“Last year we launched interfaces to the 3D computer-aided design (CAD) packages that are the routine working environment for many engineers. These interfaces provide Granta tools within very widely-used design software, such as Autodesk® or Pro/ENGINEER®, allowing users to find materials data and use it in their product analysis.”
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