renewable engineering skills

Boost for renewable engineering skills with £6.5 million investment

Sustainable Glasgow partner, the University of Strathclyde, will help train a new generation of postgraduate students in the most innovative future technologies as part of a new Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE).

Working at the heart of industry, alongside global leaders like EDF Energy, Shell and Rolls-Royce, the engineers will be trained in everything from designing cost-efficient new wind turbine blades to testing the latest wave energy technology.

A £6.5 million investment from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will see Strathclyde working in partnership with Edinburgh and Exeter universities to deliver the high quality training.

Professor Atilla Incecik, Head of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Strathclyde, is the research manager for the new centre. He said: "The UK has ambitious targets to meet for renewable energy deployment and it is vital that we vastly increase the number of highly trained engineers to successfully reach those targets.

"At Strathclyde we are committed to producing the engineers of the future and IDCORE will provide us with the opportunity to increase our output of highly qualified graduates. As a leading technological university, we are committed to sharing knowledge and working with industry to ensure that we deliver real benefits to the Scottish and indeed UK economy."

Joining Professor Incecik in IDCORE will be Professor Bill Leithead, Director of the Wind Energy Systems Centre at Strathclyde, who is a member of the executive committee for the centre. Professors David Infield, Nigel Barltrop and Peter McGregor will join Dr Sandy Day in delivering the taught programmes at Strathclyde.

The research and teaching activities will be co-ordinated through the Strathclyde Marine Institute, with the engineers trained to understand the needs of business and develop their entrepreneurial skills alongside boosting their research and technical skills. The first graduates are expected to begin their training in January 2012, and will gain an internationally-leading Engineering Doctorate.

Attending the launch of the programme, Business Secretary, Vince Cable said: "Engineering skills are vital for the growth of a more sustainable economy and are in high demand from employers. This scheme will see industry working with universities to provide students with the training and commercial experience businesses want.

"Scotland has real strengths in renewable energy - wind, wave and tidal power, building on a strong tradition of hydro. These students will have the chance to work with some of the leading energy companies based here and tackle one of our biggest challenges - developing technology for a greener future."

The Centre forms part of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme which aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. Led by the EPSRC, the Energy Programme is investing more than £530 million in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £360 million over the past 5 years.

The Centre will also form a key part of the ETI's Marine and Offshore Wind Programmes, addressing a priority area for the ETI's engineering and technology developments. The ETI has so far invested £61 million in these two programme areas.

Strathclyde is already home to the UK Wind Energy Research Doctoral Training Centre, with its multi-disciplinary research teams working closely with industry to help develop its global position in the field and meet ambitious renewable energy targets.

Read the official EPSRC press release