BP pledges $100 million universities develop advanced materials

BP pledges $100 million to universities to develop advanced materials

9:41 AM, 7th August 2012
BP pledges $100 million to universities to develop advanced materials
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: BP will establish a $100 million international research centre, known as the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials or BP-ICAM. This centre will lead research aimed at advancing the fundamental understanding and use of materials across a variety of energy and industrial applications.

The BP-ICAM will be modelled on a “hub and spoke” structure, with the ‘hub’ located within the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, which has core strengths in materials, engineering, characterisation, collaborative working and a track record of delivering breakthrough research and engineering applications that can be deployed in the real world. The “spokes” and other founder members, all world-class academic institutions, are the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The ten-year investment programme will fund research into advanced materials and is expected to support 25 new academic posts, along with 100 post-graduate researchers and 80 post-doctoral fellows.

“Advanced materials and coatings will be vital in finding, producing and processing energy safely and efficiently in the years ahead, as energy producers work at unprecedented depths, pressures and temperatures and as refineries, manufacturing plants and pipeline operators seek ever better ways to combat corrosion and deploy new materials to improve their operations,” said Bob Dudley, Group CEO, BP.

“We are pleased that BP has chosen University of Manchester to be the ‘hub’ for the BP-ICAM, utilising our world-leading breadth of research expertise in advanced materials and their applications to address the current and future challenges facing industry. We look forward to working closely with University of Cambridge, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Imperial College London as the founding “spokes” of the BP-ICAM,” informed Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester.

The BP-ICAM hub will be based in dedicated premises which will use latest tools to support this major international collaboration. It will carry out research into seven primary areas of direct interest to industry - structural materials, smart coatings, functional materials, catalysis, membranes, energy storage and energy harvesting. “This should allow us to change the way we build, operate and maintain our equipment; manufacture cleaner and more efficient products; develop imaginative energy sources and then store that energy for when it is needed most; and increase the use of lighter metals and composites for structures and products,” added Dudley.

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