Hitoshi Oike with Professor Arutiun Ehiasarian

Sheffield Hallam University’s ties to an international business were strengthened this week when a delegation from the company awarded an accolade to a leading researcher.

Hitoshi Oike, President and owner of OIKE, a global manufacturing company based in Japan, visited Professor Arutiun Ehiasarian, Head of the National HIPIMS Technology Centre, based at the University, to present him with an award of recognition.

The visit marks the start of a five-year working partnership between the Centre and OIKE. During the past year, OIKE had a work placement alongside Prof. Ehiasarian, studying HIPIMS technology, which is used to apply high-performance coatings to materials.

High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) technology was first used and implemented on large scale at Sheffield Hallam and is now marketed by the industry worldwide. The scientific plasma technology, backed up by multi-million pound equipment in Hallam’s £6m Materials Engineering Research Institute (MERI) laboratories, uses high-power, megawatt, pulses to create a highly ionised metal plasma.

The plasma is used to produce a special coating to enhance performance of hip joints, turbine blades, piston rings and satellites amongst other things.  HIPIMS coatings have exceptional adhesion, wear-resistance and electronic characteristics that can be adapted for a wide range of applications.

Prof. Arutiun said: “We were honoured to be able to welcome Mr Oike to Sheffield Hallam. Working with OIKE will further enhance our global reputation in the sector and will also open more opportunities for us in Asia and around the world.  Our relationship exemplifies the vision of the National HIPIMS Technology Centre to develop fundamental concepts and apply them in a commercial context.”

Professor Roger Eccleston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Global Engagement, added: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Oike to the University to further strengthen our partnership. As an institution, we engage globally through partnerships and academic opportunities, linking Sheffield to the world and the world to Sheffield.”

Sheffield Hallam University is a driver of economic growth, addressing long-term challenges, attracting investment and narrowing the skills gap within the region and beyond.