ABERDEEN University today announced the establishment of a new energy institute to create a global centre of research, industry collaboration and education in the booming sector.
A spokeswoman for the university said the Aberdeen Institute of Energy would build on the institution’s existing reputation for excellence in research to provide a “multi-disciplinary environment” to respond to the major energy challenges facing society.
John Scrimgeour, a former chief executive of Gaelic Energy and European regional manager for Suncor, has been appointed the institute’s first executive director.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Aberdeen University, said: “This is a hugely exciting development for the university. Building on our strengths in research, teaching, innovation, and collaboration with industry and other partners to create a highly distinctive Institute targeted at tackling the major challenges we face in meeting the growing demand for energy against a background of increasing environmental and sustainability awareness.
“The result will be a centre of excellence in interdisciplinary research, professional development and education that is a one-stop shop for the energy sector. It will be the principal source of information and guidance for those charged with making energy policy, and a symbol of the university’s commitment to playing a leading role in securing a safe, sustainable energy future for generations to come.”
‘Single point of contact’
Mr Scrimgeour said the new institute was exactly what industry, government and policy holders needed. He said: “It is a single point of contact right here in the Energy Capital of Europe to link up with all the latest multidisciplinary teaching and research concerning the energy sector, building on the expertise built up through working closely with the oil and gas industry located on our doorstep. We’re looking forward to having an outstanding facility to showcase our excellent research.”
Professor Jim Anderson, leader of the university’s energy research initiative, said “We have a long track record in working with the oil and gas industry, and the institute is built upon this. As we move towards a low carbon society this strong foundation stands us in good stead for tackling the challenges we’re meeting across the whole picture of energy systems - including economic modelling, licensing and regulation, environmental impact and energy transmission.
“And we’re strengthening even further our research capacity. This year already the university has made 20 appointments further to enhance energy-related research capability, including new Chairs and senior appointments in energy law, geophysics, geology, engineering, chemical engineering, and energy politics.”
The university spokeswoman explained: “A centre of excellence for a multitude of stakeholders, the Institute will be located in a purpose built facility of 15,000 square metres on the university’s ancient King’s College campus, occupying the northwest corner between the Sir Duncan Rice Library, the Fraser Noble Building, and the students’ Hub.
“It is the product of an extensive and expanding portfolio of national and international partnerships and collaborations with both the public and private sector and adds further value to a research reputation already at the forefront of the disciplines involved.”