On 30th September 2015, University College Dublin Vice-President for Research, Prof. Orla Feely, was joined by Bekaert Chief Technical Officer, Geert Van Haver, to launch  the Bekaert UTC within the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, UCD. The joint UCD-Bekaert centre will provide innovative solutions to industrial problems through the application of world-class research and facilities.
Bekaert, a world leader in steel wire transformation and coating, is a global producer and supplier of highly specialised steel wires and profiles for a wide range of applications; Bekaert has a worldwide production and sales network with customers in 120 countries, a combined sales turnover of €4 billion and an employment of 27,000 people.  An example of one of their many products is steel cord for the reinforcement of radial tires for companies such as Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, with nearly one out of three tyres in the world being reinforced with Bekaert steel cord.
Speaking at NovaUCD, dedicated to fostering innovation within UCD, the Vice-President for Research, Prof. Orla Feely said: “Building on core competencies of processing, characterisation, simulation and optimisation, the industrially focussed projects combine innovation with world-class research and facilities to provide unique insights into the Bekaert processes and eventually design of more advanced materials”.
Bekaert Chief Technology Officer, Geert Van Haver said of the UTC: “It raises our research co-operation to a higher level and it supports a broader scope of fundamental research but it also ensures that the research is rapidly and successfully applied in our process and product applications. Product cycles are becoming shorter and next generation products are coming faster to the market. To support this and to be able to have a leadership position in this evolution, fundamental research and understanding of materials is paramount”.