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School of Engineering wins new multi-million pound project on energy

14 March 2016

Electrical pylon

Cardiff University’s School of Engineering will lead a new £24million research project, named FLEXIS, focused upon meeting the global energy needs of the future.

The Minister for Finance and Government Business, Jane Hutt AM, visited the School on Monday, 14th March to launch the initiative, which will bring together engineers, technologists and social scientists from Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of South Wales.

The FLEXIS project will see the institutions collaborate on a multi-disciplinary approach to solving the current and future energy challenges faced by Wales and countries across the world.

Backed by the Welsh European Funding Office, the programme will centre on a systems approach to energy generation and supply; research objects include decarbonisation, the creation of intelligent energy systems, more efficient storage to cope with periods of peak demand, energy security and more cost effective energy solutions.

This integrated approach to research is set to place Wales at the forefront of energy development and to deliver benefits on a national and international level, making the country a hub for innovative research and development which will deliver energy expertise and a range of economic benefits.

A number of key research groups at Cardiff University which already have an international research profile in energy will be involved in the project. The following research staff, all of whom have a distinguished track record in energy research, will be lead the Cardiff University contingent:

Professor Nick Jenkins FREng FLSW is the leader of the Energy Theme in the School of Engineering, and leads the Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply;

Professor Manu Haddad is the leader of the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre (AHIVE) at the School of Engineering, and is Research Director of the large scale offsite research facility, the Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory;

Professor Nick Pidgeon MBE is Professor of Environmental Psychology and Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group within the School of Psychology at Cardiff University;

Prof Hywel Thomas FRS FREng FLSW is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation & Enterprise & Engagement at Cardiff University. He is also Professor of Civil Engineering, and Director of the Geoenvironmental Research Centre in the School of Engineering;

Professor Phil Bowen from the School of Engineering is the Head of the Gas Turbine Research Facility based at Port Talbot.

These research groups will be expected to engage with research active companies and organisations, both in Wales, the UK, and globally, with a view to developing world leading collaborative research projects.

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, said: “The FLEXIS project promises to tackle some of the major societal challenges that we are facing today, from climate change to fuel poverty and rising energy prices.

“By bringing together expertise from across Cardiff University and the rest of South Wales, FLEXIS will establish Wales as a pioneer in energy systems and deliver significant benefits to the nation as a whole, attracting new businesses, creating jobs and training the research engineers of the future.

“This significant amount of funding received from the Welsh European Funding Office is yet another example of how financial support from Europe is helping to propel the fundamental research that is being performed here in Wales.”

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