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£3m training centre for energy researchers of the future

   
   
22 Jan 2009 14:26:00.000

PA 11/09

The Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS), led by The University of Nottingham, is being established to provide a unique training programme for the energy researchers of the future.  MEGSs will also provide expertise for knowledge transfer across the spectrum of energy research.

 

MEGS will be run by the Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC) — a flagship collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and The University of Nottingham — which also hosts the £1bn UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). Core funding of almost £3M for MEGS was awarded to the consortium by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

 

MEGS will accelerate the supply of highly trained graduates and postgraduates with specialist knowledge and multidisciplinary ability, equipped with a broad understanding of energy technologies and practical engineering skills. The graduate school will also pilot and develop new methods of training and research collaboration. This will be targeted at delivering a new breed of engineers and scientists to address the urgent challenges for realising the UK Government’s vision for a low carbon economy and cutting edge research.

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The Midlands Energy Graduate School (MEGS), led by The University of Nottingham, is being established to provide a unique training programme for the energy researchers of the future.  MEGSs will also provide expertise for knowledge transfer across the spectrum of energy research.

 

MEGS will be run by the Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC) — a flagship collaboration between the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and The University of Nottingham — which also hosts the £1bn UK Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). Core funding of almost £3M for MEGS was awarded to the consortium by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

 

MEGS will accelerate the supply of highly trained graduates and postgraduates with specialist knowledge and multidisciplinary ability, equipped with a broad understanding of energy technologies and practical engineering skills. The graduate school will also pilot and develop new methods of training and research collaboration. This will be targeted at delivering a new breed of engineers and scientists to address the urgent challenges for realising the UK Government’s vision for a low carbon economy and cutting edge research.

 

Evidence from the Energy Research Partnership (ERP) shows a growing shortage of high level skills in emerging energy technologies. The ERP was established as a high-level forum to enable the UK to become a world leader in the development of innovative new technologies and provides strategic direction to the government on UK energy research design and development. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is providing over £10M funding to train students in energy technologies through two Centres for Doctoral Training based within the Midlands Energy Consortium, one focussing on clean fossil fuels and the other on hydrogen and fuel cell applications.

 

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham said: “The Government has committed the UK to achieving a 60 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide by 2050. The Stern Review recommends that policy to support innovation and the development of low carbon technologies is a key means of achieving our targets. Energy is thus a critical issue for the coming decades and the UK requires the skilled personnel to meet the challenges ahead. MEGS can make a significant contribution to providing appropriately skill personnel.”

 

Responding to unprecedented climate change and the need for more secure energy supply with challenging commitments to CO2 reduction policies and diversification in energy generation, MEGS will train significant numbers of postgraduate research students to help satisfy the increasing national demand for leading academics and industrialists in the low carbon energy sector.

 

Professor Richard Green, Director of the Institute for Energy Research and Policy at the University of Birmingham said: “The energy researchers of the future will need a wide range of skills, and MEGS will provide these by drawing on the expertise across our three universities.  We look forward to working together to give our students the best possible start to their careers.”

 

Professor Dennis Loveday, Director of Loughborough University's Sustainability Research School, said: "MEGS will provide students with an outstanding opportunity to develop their understanding of energy technologies, by working alongside experts from three world-class partner universities."

 

The centre will provide both core modules covering the energy system and transferable skills and specialist modules covering a wide range of energy technologies including: hydrogen and fuel cells; power generation and carbon capture; renewable energy; energy efficiency in the built environment, energy use in transport; electrical infrastructure and socio-economic and policy issues.

 

The MEC provides an ideal platform for MEGS because the three universities have demonstrated a strong base for energy research, a commitment to invest in this area and a proven track record in research training.

 

With strong support from industry the new graduate school will be able to draw on the MEC’s collective strong capabilities in research training, the MEC’s ability to secure substantial EPSRC doctoral training funding and its high quality academics and supervisors from a broad range of expertise.

 

Ian Dwyer, Business Development Executive for Energy in the Energy Technologies Research Institute at The University of Nottingham, said: “This significant initiative is good news for the Midlands Energy Consortium in developing its energy partnership, good news for the evolving energy industry which will benefit from the highly trained students emerging from MEGS, good news for students with interests in careers in sustainable energy, and good news for government and society by assisting the achievement of national targets for carbon dioxide emissions.”

 

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Notes to Editors

: The University of Nottinghamis ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.

 

It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.

 

Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy).

 

Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.

 

The University of Birmingham has around 27,000 students and 6,000 members of staff and a turnover of £360 million.

 

Birmingham encompasses not only the lakeside setting and green landscape of its Edgbaston campus, but also has bases across Birmingham as well at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford upon Avon, the Ironbridge Institute at the Ironbridge Gorge and at its outward bound Priestley Centre on the edge of Lake Coniston in the Lake District.

 

Loughborough University has an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement. 

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes — an achievement bettered by no other institution.

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Colin Snape, The University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 9514166, colin.snape@nottingham.ac.uk or Helen Fletcher, Midlands Energy Consortium Manager on +44 (0) 1509 228494, H.Fletcher@lboro.ac.uk

Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: tara.decozar@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

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