Plans for new University of Aberdeen £100m energy centre



Aberdeen uniPlans for a new £100m energy research centre have been announced by the University of Aberdeen.

The 19,000m2 purpose-built Energy Building will contain world class, sustainable facilities to build on the University’s and Aberdeen’s reputation for ground-breaking research and innovation, and create a modern, engaging learning environment for students.

Maximising economic recovery of existing fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy and energy economics are just a handful of areas of research to be carried out in the new facility, whilst retaining a dedication to fundamental research.

The Energy Building represents the latest phase of the University’s half a billion pound campus investment plan which has already seen the completion of the Sir Duncan Rice Library, the Suttie Centre and the Aberdeen Aquatics Centre.

The new facility will increase opportunity for industry engagement, collaboration and professional development programmes through the Aberdeen Institute of Energy – the University’s single point of contact for all its energy activities.

An ‘Open Lab’ outreach policy will help demystify science for youngsters, and provide a source of inspiration and encouragement for the next generation of scientists with particular focus on attracting girls into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects.

The flexible space will also serve as a venue to host events, functions and exhibitions for the local community, industry and others.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK welcomed news of the “ambitious” project.

University principal professor Ian Diamond said the facility will “greatly enhance” the university’s work and provide “world class” facilities.

The project is independent from previously announced plans for a government-backed Oil and Gas Authority, which will also be based in Aberdeen.

Mr Diamond said: “Ground-breaking research requires cutting-edge facilities, an environment that encourages collaboration and and a ‘shop front’ suitable for welcoming visits from industry sponsors and other stakeholders.

“The new Energy Building seeks to meet these needs, providing state-of-the-art facilities to enhance greatly our research, teaching, collaboration and outreach activities.

“This building will provide world class facilities, as well as a new home for the Aberdeen Institute of Energy, consolidating our position as a global energy university.”

The announcement was welcomed by industry body Oil and Gas UK.

Alix Thom, Oil and Gas UK’s employment and skills issues manager, said: “We welcome the announcement of an ambitious new building that will bring together scientists involved in research into oil and gas exploration and enhanced oil production.

“We are also pleased to see an initiative that encourages the next generation, particularly girls, into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

The university’s Meston building on Elphinstone Road is expected to be demolished following the construction of the Energy Building.

Members of the public are invited to hear more about the University’s vision at a Public Meeting on the first floor of The Hub on the corner of Elphinstone Road and St Machar Drive on Wednesday December 10 between 6.30pm – 7.30pm.



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