Crown Announces Appointment of Lecturer to Swansea University

Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (, a leading supplier of metal packaging products worldwide, has announced the appointment of Dr. William Harrison to the College of Engineering at Swansea University (UK). 

As part of its strategy to drive more innovation and sustainability in its products, Crown has appointed Dr. William Harrison as the new Crown Lecturer in Finite Element Modeling at the College of Engineering. In his position, Dr. Harrison, who has over 10 years of experience in computational engineering and materials science, will work closely with Crown to further advance its capability in design and lightweighting of metal packaging designs. Finite Element Modeling (FEM) is an important computational engineering tool in simulation-driven packaging development and this Crown Lectureship will specialize in using FEM to predict the behavior of thin sheet metal at high speeds during forming processes.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to further develop what Crown Technology is already doing in this area and also to deepen our relationship with Swansea University while exploring new ideas and perhaps the next generation of FEM,” says Dr. Cormac Neeson, Director of External Affairs, Crown Technology.

Currently, Crown extensively utilizes FEM in the design of new products and to advance lightweighting initiatives, but hopes to expand and further improve its FEM capabilities by working with the University. Crown anticipates that the partnership will allow even greater reductions in the amount of material used in its packaging, improving sustainability, as well as speed to market by decreasing the evaluation and testing of new products in the physical world. FEM modeling is a computerized method for predicting how a product will behave in the real world in a virtual environment while enabling researchers to make educated predictions of its behavior prior to prototyping or manufacture.

Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, Crown’s Chief Technology Officer, stated: “As a result of this lectureship, Crown expects to uncover new opportunities that will further advance FEM of thin metal sheet to the next level, enabling a new generation of metal packaging.”

The appointment also coincides with the recent major investment of more than $630 million in Swansea University’s newly opened Bay Campus. Swansea University was chosen as the location for this position as Crown already has a well-developed relationship with the University’s College of Engineering, funding multiple Engineering Doctorate students there. In addition, Swansea University was one of the original universities that helped develop FEM in the 1950’s and has a strong track record in research and development in this space.

Dr. Harrison, who has significant expertise using high performance computing, completed a PhD in FEM of metal alloys for Aero-engine applications in 2007 and has since published over 10 international peer-reviewed journal papers, working with companies like Rolls Royce Aircraft Engines. He has presented his work at national and international conferences and has teaching experience on computational engineering and materials-based subjects. Dr. Harrison will be required to teach and publish his findings as part of the lectureship program sponsored by Crown, as a way to garner student interest and further Crown’s development in  FEM.

“I am really looking forward to working with the engineering design team at Crown and combining my experience in both materials science and computational engineering to develop a greater fundamental understanding of how thin sheet metal behaves during high-speed forming,” Dr. Harrison said.

Head of Swansea University’s College of Engineering, Professor Steven Brown said: “The College of Engineering is incredibly proud to partner with Crown Packaging and the appointment of a Crown sponsored lecturer highlights the College’s commitment to engaging with the industry. Swansea University has a strong record of research in Finite Element Modelling and this new position opens up exciting opportunities for long-term collaborative research into the modelling of sheet metal forming using FEM.”