A collaboration between SAS International and Loughborough University has advanced the design and manufacture of novel earthquake-resistant metal ceilings – potentially saving thousands of lives across the globe.

Suspended ceilings can collapse during earthquakes – cutting off exit routes and causing injury – even if the building itself is relatively undamaged.

Ceiling design is therefore hugely significant for countries in seismic regions – spanning the US west coast, Southern European countries, New Zealand, Australia, the Middle East, and Russia.

A three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between SAS International and Loughborough University has developed a solution that is both effective and cost-efficient.

The unique ceiling bracing system has greater performance than existing products, is easy to manufacture and simple to install. Possible patenting options are currently being explored.

In addition, a range of upgrade kits has been created for many of the company’s existing products to ensure they are suitable for use in seismic regions.

These standardised solutions – as opposed to the design of bespoke products – significantly reduces costs without sacrificing safety, making them a standout proposition.

As a result, the markets within which SAS International can now operate has significantly expanded, and the company has opened new offices in the US.

Investment in new R&D facilities and enhancements to the company’s internal knowledge transfer procedures ensure that it is well equipped to continue development in this area.

This KTP was SAS International’s first, and Matt Harrison – Head of Technical at the company – is very positive about the outcome: “The KTP programme delivers opportunities for truly impactful collaborations between academia and industry whilst offering unique development opportunities for graduates.”

More information about the successful partnership is available on the University’s website.


  • Image courtesy of SAS International