Launch of institute to develop new energy sources

wind turbines

The University is to open the first interdisciplinary centre dedicated to energy research in the North West. 

The Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, named after the 19th century engineering pioneers George and Robert Stephenson, will undertake research into renewable energy sources such as fuel cell technology and bio fuels.

As supplies of current fossil-based fuels diminish, the development of new energy sources is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. The Stephenson Institute will bring together energy-related research activities to focus on developing clean and sustainable energy technologies including hydrogen generation and storage, solar harvesting, wind and marine energy and fusion technology.

The Institute is also recruiting 10 world-class scientists to join existing research groups in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science and Engineering. The recruitment underlines the University’s priorities for future research and represents a major investment by the institution.

Professor Werner Hofer, Director of the institute, said: “The provision of energy is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today and the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy will provide a new approach to developing new, cleaner and safer ways to produce energy. Many of the new technologies that will power our future are still emerging and the creation of the Institute will enhance our ability to help tackle this global challenge.”

In addition to its research programme, the Stephenson Institute will allow students and postgraduates to work on energy-related projects and technologies providing them with relevant skills and knowledge to meet the UK and global demand for graduates in this emerging job market. The institute will develop expert networks, including policy-makers and management, to highlight global energy and sustainability issues.

3 thoughts on “Launch of institute to develop new energy sources

  1. Andrew Roberts

    It’s great news that alternative and renewable forms of energy are being taken seriously. There is an ever increasing need to develop them. I researched with the Camborne School of Mines HDR project in Cornwall at the end of the 1980s, but sadly funding for that was scrapped in the early 1990s. I believe there is a project in the North East of the UK looking at harnessing the natural heat in the rocks for space heating in homes. I would be interested in finding out more about what is going on in the new institute.

  2. Werner Hofer

    Dear Phil,

    thank you for the comment. Biomass will play an important role in the research theme Energy at the University level. However, for the new positions, which are in Chemistry and Physics, we are taking a somewhat narrower view. The best way to find out about all activities related to energy at the University level is to attend our monthly seminars and networking events, which take place at the Surface Science Research Centre. Please see the SI website for detailed information.


  3. Philip Robson

    Very exciting initiative!
    Will biomass research play any role in the renewables being looked at, eg short rotation coppice/fast growing cultivares etc?

    Phil Robson

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