Success Story

Morgan Advanced Materials partners with Penn State

Penn State and Morgan Advanced Materials Partnership

Representatives of Morgan Advanced Materials toured the Millennium Science Complex with MRI director Clive Randall, Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey, and director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships Jeff Fortin.

Photo: Penn State

Company to occupy new building at Innovation Park at Penn State, hire high-level researchers for first U.S.-based center of excellence, set new precedent for industrial partnership with Penn State.

Morgan Advanced Materials, a U.K.-based global leader in engineered carbon and ceramic materials, announced a precedent-setting industrial partnership with Penn State to establish a local research and development center in Innovation Park at Penn State. The Carbon Science Center of Excellence (COE) aims to drive global developments in the field of carbon research around Morgan’s core competencies: materials and application engineering. This will be Morgan’s third center of excellence, its first in North America, with the company’s other COEs located in the UK.

Mike Murray, chief technical officer at Morgan Advanced Materials, said State College is the ideal location for the new facility due to its proximity to Penn State’s wealth of academic researchers, as well as its cutting-edge facilities. Penn State’s Materials Research Institute includes both a materials characterization lab and nanofabrication lab.

“For us,” Murray explained, “The decision to work with Penn State was a natural one. As a world leader in carbon-related research, Penn State has an unrivaled reputation for innovation in this field, which we believe will add real value for our customers. We hope the partnership will help accelerate our development of new products and capabilities, enabling us to continue to meet the future needs of our customers more quickly, efficiently and comprehensively.”

Over the course of three years, Morgan is expected to make a multi-million dollar investment aimed at creating a world-class, 30,000 square-foot research facility to house the Center of Excellence, slated to open in late 2017.  Once operational, the center is expected to create a range of highly skilled research jobs over the next few years.

Neil Sharkey, vice president of research at Penn State, explained: “The collaboration is a win-win situation for all involved. Our commitment to developing new methodologies and making further scientific discoveries in carbon science is closely aligned with Morgan’s company vision, mission and commitment to the markets it serves. Morgan’s expertise and commercial insights will provide our researchers with a solid foundation to deliver workable, commercially viable solutions that distinguish both Penn State and Morgan in a fiercely competitive marketplace, while contributing to job creation and economic development in State College and in the Commonwealth.”

The agreement is the first global industrial partnership formed through Invent Penn State, the University’s initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success, started by Penn State President Eric Barron last year.

For more information on Morgan Advanced Materials, visit

"As a world leader in carbon-related research, Penn State has an unrivaled reputation for innovation in this field, which we believe will add real value for our customers."

Mike Murray
Chief Technical Officer at Morgan Advanced Materials

Additional Success Stories