The South West Nuclear Hub has recently celebrated the second anniversary of its doors opening and colleagues gathered in the David Smith Building to reflect on the success in addressing nuclear skills, research and innovation challenges so far.
Building on the success of the Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre (NRC), the South West Nuclear Hub offers access to a powerful research network to both the UK and international nuclear energy community that supports the safe operation of current and future generation nuclear systems in the UK and around the world.
Commenting on the anniversary, Professor David Knowles, Co-Director (Engineering) of the Hub, said: “It’s difficult to believe how quickly the last two years have passed and the breadth of activities with which we have been involved.
The Nuclear MSc continues to mature and the breadth of students and projects continues to impress, with many of our graduates being snapped up by the nuclear industry. I’ve been particularly excited by the international agreements we have signed with the likes of ENSAM (Arts et Métiers ParisTech) and INP [Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble] in France, and the University of South China.
Research has outstripped all expectations, particularly across Science and Engineering and we have exceeded £8 million income in the last year”.
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research said: “It is excellent to see the progress made by the Hub, with important industrial links made and its positive contribution to growing the University’s nuclear research portfolio. The Hub will have a key role to play in leading and coordinating this strategically important area for the University in the years to come”.
Further multi-disciplinary collaboration needed in the future
The Hub continues to expand its membership, with the National Nuclear Laboratory and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre joining in recent months to add further expertise to the existing industry and academic members. Representatives from both organisations were present to celebrate this occasion.
Professor Knowles added: “The challenge is now to expand our reach across different disciplines, drawing on the range of expertise amongst our members. 2019 will see us building on our engagement with our national and regional industrial members, driving more innovation into the industry..watch this space.”
The South West Nuclear Hub
The South West Nuclear Hub provides a focus for nuclear innovation, research and teaching in the south west of the UK. The Hub incorporates the existing collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, the Nuclear Research Centre (NRC). With a dedicated building, opening in summer 2016 at the University of Bristol, the Hub will introduce a step-change across Higher Education in the region to accelerate and grow nuclear research and teaching activities. The Hub will provide a common location for academia, industry and government to come together to meet the opportunities and challenges facing nuclear energy in the UK.
Within the Hub, NRC continues to actively pursue collaborative research opportunities in the UK and internationally. New and existing industrial partners are committing support for the Centre’s long-term research vision by establishing strategic relationships.
Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre (NRC)
The Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre (NRC) is a virtual centre for nuclear fission and fusion research established by the two Universities in 2011, bringing together complimentary expertise and facilities. Its Directors are Professor Tom Scott from the University of Bristol and Professor Chris Grovenor from the University of Oxford.