New Partnership Between Coltraco Ultrasonics and Durham University

Carl Hunter, Chairman of Coltraco Ultrasonics is delighted to announce a new signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Durham University to formalise the commitment between our two organisations to work together and combine expertise. This will enable collaborative research and innovation, as well as staff development and student placement opportunities.

New MoU

The MoU was signed by Professor Colin Bain, our Vice-Provost (Research), and Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter OBE.

In relation to the partnership, Carl Hunter shared: “I am honoured to formalise this. The Durham Institute of Research, Development, and Invention will enhance our collaboration with Durham University to “inspire the extraordinary”, create opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates to pursue Newtonian theoretical research and Edisonian applied research in a unique environment that also aims to identify and support “England’s Next Newton” bring to Durham’s brilliant academic staff new opportunities to deliver a critical mass of research and scholarship and export driven innovation and technological expansion with UK industry and accelerate all in our country towards science superpower status.We have always recruited heavily from Durham and, for eight years, have run our ‘Rolling Internship’ programme which has seen students acquire part-time and full-time employment with Coltraco. We believe we have been fortunate enough to work with some of Durham’s finest young scientific minds, allowing us to maintain our status as an innovative, science-led company. Our students distinguish themselves, after 2 years with us, of securing a high incidence of first class degrees and first career choices.

In launching DIRDI, we aspire to generate genuine discovery and innovation of the kind that is essential to create new business and ultimately grow prosperity at home and abroad.”

What is DIRDI?

DIRDI is a research institute comprising undergraduates, postgraduates, and academic staff at Durham University as well as Coltraco R&D professionals. It brings together academics and industry professionals across disciplines, primarily Physicists, Engineers, Mathematicians, and Computer Scientists. In doing so, it offers an opportunity for some of the UK’s finest minds to grapple with complex problems, some of which are abstract problems of the sort Newton wrestled with, fundamental questions regarding the nature of the universe. Others are applied problems of a more “Edisonian” nature, concerned with the application of fundamental physical principles to the design and development of new technologies. Core research specialities include acoustics, electromagnetism, and information engineering.

Unlike typical research institutes, DIRDI is primarily commercially-funded. Through the rapid commercialisation of promising R&D lines, the freedom to explore fundamental science is sustained. Without the inhibitors of prescribed grant-seeking processes and the pressure to produce publishable results, DIRDI members are encouraged to pursue blue-skies, curiosity-driven research with the utmost scientific integrity. It is the faith that such research will drive world-changing, prosperity-generating innovation that enables its unconstrained funding. In the years to come DIRDI aspires to grow and nurture its members throughout their academic and commercial careers, identifying and supporting the “Newtons” and Nobel Prize winners of the future, and delivering a critical mass of new research and scholarship.


Giving Students Real-World Research Opportunities

Lewis Kell, Third Year MEng Engineering student has been working with Coltraco Ultrasonics and DIRDI on their ultrasonic level research:

Through being thrown in at the deep end of this project, I have been able to develop both my programming skills and problem-solving skills at a much greater pace than had I not, which will be greatly beneficial for my studies. The team here have been truly welcoming and have encouraged me to continually make progress; I look forward to continuing work with them.”

Xiaoyao Yin, Second Year Physics student has written a paper for DIRDI reviewing the Anisotropic Magnetoresistance Effects in Ferromagnetic Semiconductors:

I am fascinated by research breakthroughs in the field of electromagnetism. DIRDI supports aspiring students to carry out academic research that have innovative real-world applications, and this has motivated me to apply.”

Find Out More

To find out more about DIRDI’s research and opportunities available, please contact Mr Daniel Dobrowolski on