The University of Aberdeen launched its Centre for Energy Transition (CET) on Monday 31st May to support the move towards a sustainable future.
The event, introduced by University Principal Professor George Boyne, and featuring a pre-recorded address from Anne Marie Trevelyan, UK Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, also included speakers from industry and from local community group Aberdeen Climate Action, followed by an audience Q&A.
Among those who spoke to an invited audience of industry and civic representatives were Jean-Luc Guiziou, Managing Director of Total E&P UK, Keith Anderson, Chief Executive of Scottish Power, and Alison Stuart of Aberdeen Climate Action. There was also be a pre-recorded message from Steve Scrimshaw, Vice-President of Siemens Energy.
These addresses were followed by an online panel discussion – ‘New Technologies for Achieving Low Carbon Economies: Opportunities for Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland’ – featuring leading academics and industry representatives, which was open to the public to attend.
Tavis Potts, Head of the CET, said the launch event provided attendees with the chance to hear from leading figures from across government, industry and civic society, as well as gain an insight into the University’s ambitions as a global leader in energy-related teaching and research.
He added: “While this event will mark the official launch of the CET, work is already well underway across the University to advance energy transition research in key areas including renewable generation, the hydrogen economy, and biomass and carbon capture and utilisation.
“Through our interdisciplinary approach to research we are pursuing activities that reflect the need for a broad approach to energy transition. At the same time, we are developing education and training that’s responsive to the needs of employers and communities to progress a green recovery, such as the UK's first postgraduate degree programme in Energy Transition Systems and Technologies and our recently launched MSc in Sustainability Transitions.
A further funding boost was also announced with the news that TotalEnergies
have allocated £240,000 towards supporting these energy transition courses.
The funding, secured by the School of Engineering through the University’s Development Trust, will benefit research and teaching in the School in areas including hydrogen, biomass, solar and wind energy, carbon capture and utilisation, and offshore energy systems integration.
It will also benefit the newly established Energy Transition Student Society, allowing students to enhance their career prospects through participation in extra-curricular activities and competitions related to the energy transition, as well as membership of professional networks.
The sum has been made available as part of a package which also includes funding for scholarships in the University’s MSc in Energy Transition Systems and Technologies and MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering programmes.
Among the activities it will be used for are the creation of an integrated hydrogen lab to investigate the generation, storage and conversion of hydrogen as a clean energy source, providing greater opportunities for collaboration with industrial partners on UK and international research projects, as well as for teaching.
Professor George Boyne, Principal, added: “Energy transition forms a key part of the University's Aberdeen 2040 strategy where we pledge to show leadership in working for the sustainable future of our planet.
“We have recently been named among the top 60 universities in the world in terms of our positive impact on society by the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, so are in a very strong position to make further progress in our regional and global contributions to sustainability.
“The launch of the CET is an exciting moment for the University, the energy industry and the north-east of Scotland as we harness our capacity and expertise across research, innovation and skills development to benefit wider society, and support a long-term, sustainable regional and national green recovery based on a Just Transition.
“As an Aberdonian I take pride in our city’s status as a global energy capital, and as Principal I am committed to ensuring that the University helps the region to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead in a low-carbon future.”
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