Ian Wood donates £4.5m to university energy centre

Sir Ian Wood has donated money to Robert Gordon University's Oil and Gas Institute. Picture: Jane Barlow
Sir Ian Wood has donated money to Robert Gordon University's Oil and Gas Institute. Picture: Jane Barlow
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BUSINESSMAN Sir Ian Wood is to donate £4.5 million to support oil and gas research at an Aberdeen university.

Sir Ian said the funding would support the aim of Robert Gordon University (RGU) to become a “world-class centre of excellence” in the sector.

The Wood Foundation is pleased to be able to support the university in its quest to build globally-recognised centres of excellence through the development of international research, bespoke industry solutions, collaborative research and Masters levels’ programmes

Sir Ian Wood

A £500,000 donation from the Wood Foundation in 2013 helped set up the university’s Oil and Gas Institute and appoint its first director.

The retired Wood Group chief executive said £3.1 million of the £4.5 million donation will assist the institute in developing four “knowledge centres” in drilling, operations, decommissioning and business excellence.

The university’s programmes in remote healthcare will also benefit from the funding package.

Sir Ian said: “RGU is renowned for its strengths in oil and gas and remote healthcare, both of which play a vital role in our local economy.

“The Wood Foundation is pleased to be able to support the university in its quest to build globally-recognised centres of excellence through the development of international research, bespoke industry solutions, collaborative research and Masters levels’ programmes.

“By attracting industry experts and internationally-renowned academics to lead the teaching, consulting and research programmes, the Oil & Gas Institute will be able to provide a valuable resource for the industry worldwide.

“More importantly, it will help secure Aberdeen’s future as an international oil and gas hub long after our own resources have been depleted.”

RGU principal Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski said: “We are extremely grateful for the huge generosity of The Wood Foundation.

“Sir Ian’s leadership in the oil and gas industry is universally recognised, most recently in the response to the Wood Review on maximising recovery in the UK Continental Shelf.

“It is hugely significant to RGU to have his support as we develop our ambitious plans for the institute and create investment and continuing prosperity in the north east of Scotland.”

Since it was established in March 2007, the Wood Foundation has supported projects in Scotland, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Earlier this month it announced a £10 million donation to Aberdeen’s Foresterhill campus - site of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the local children’s and maternity hospitals - for the construction of a new car park for patients and visitors.