Paper lantern for a greener planet

23 May 2008 09:00:00.000


The University of Nottingham — described by The Times Good University Guide as Britain's 'truly global university' — has unveiled its latest eye-catching research centre, built to house some of the world's leading experts in sustainable energy technology.

In the shape of a paper lantern, the new building is one of the 'greenest' in international higher education, as well as one of the most distinctive.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies — at the campus of The University of Nottingham Ningbo China — places environmental innovation at the heart of the world's fastest growing economy and most rapidly developing nation.

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Professor Peter Buttery, Provost and Chief Executive Officer of The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, said: "China is a rapidly growing country consuming a significant proportion of the world's energy, and is receptive to research into more efficient use of energy, particularly in buildings. So it is appropriate to build a research centre here in China to compliment the research going on in Nottingham UK at the University's School of the Built Environment. I believe this research can make a significant difference to the problems of global warming that we all face."

Professor Jo Darkwa, Director of Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies, said: "This venture between the UK and China is a very important project which demonstrates how two countries can co-operate in tackling global problems of energy and the environment. Construction is one of the highest energy-consuming sectors in China. There has been massive redevelopment going on here for some years now, and we want to help ensure that new buildings are sustainable, that they can adapt to change in the future, and that they are affordable. CSET will be a living project, developing research that is viable, visible, and which can be translated into practical technologies."

The centre was launched in East China today Friday 23 May 2008 by the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor Sir Colin Campbell, and was attended by political, educational and business delegations from both the United Kingdom and China.

Professor Sir Colin Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, opened his speech with an expression of sympathy for victims of the recent earthquake.

Sir Colin said: "Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected, and all those whose families have been affected, by the tragic earthquake in Sichuan province and our thoughts and prayers go out to the rescue workers who are doing as much as they can to help."

Announcing the launch of CSET, he said: "Everyone here is aware of the importance of sustainable development in China and worldwide. President Hu Jintao, speaking at the 17th Annual Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, declared the importance of energy and the sustainability agenda time and time again, and declared that he wanted to involve every family in the pursuit of sustainable energy.

"Today we are marking the role that research and technology transfer can play in addressing this agenda in China. As China rebuilds in the aftermath of the earthquake, this work will be even more vitally needed. Our hope is that these research and development applications will help to rebuild the communities that have been devastated recently”.

The Vice-Chancellor also thanked Kin Kwok Chung, Chairman of the Maxdo Group, for his 'tremendous support' to the work of the university. He also expressed his continuing gratitude to the Wanli Education Group.

Mr Zhao Hongyan, Representative from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said: "In order to realise the sustainable development of China and to develop an environmentally friendly society we have a lot to do.

"The terrible earthquake in Sichuan province showed we need to improve the quality of construction and this is very important for sustainable development. We believe that the establishment of CSET in Nottingham Ningbo, with the assistance of a network of experts and expertise, we can make a huge contribution to the sustainable development of China. I hope this research centre will have great success."

Teams of engineers, architects, scientists, social scientists and mathematicians are working across sites at The University of Nottingham and The University of Nottingham Ningbo China to help solve some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges.

A fuller flavour of their research, with interviews, can be viewed in a multi-media presentation at

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is 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.

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 More information is available from the University's Communications Office on +44 (0)115 951 5765.
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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