A new institute of energy designed to create a global centre of energy research, industry collaboration and education has been established by the University of Aberdeen. Industry facing — and partnering also with government and other stakeholders — the Aberdeen Institute of Energy aims to build on its existing reputation for excellence in research to provide a multi-disciplinary environment to respond to the major energy challenges facing society.
The institute is setting out to maintain and enhance the highest quality research, emphasising innovation and the transfer of new ideas, whilst also representing a one-stop-shop for industry collaboration and continuing professional development.
To spearhead the new project, the University has appointed John Scrimgeour as Executive Director of the Institute. An establihed figure in the oil industry, Scrimgeour boasts expertise in field development, operations, and subsurface. An advisory board containing strong representation from industry will work alongside him in his new role.
Academic energy activity will be drawn together from a cross-section of disciplines involving physical, environmental and social scientists, engineers, economists and lawyers. Every stage of the energy life cycle will be covered, from demand through exploration, production and generation, distribution and consumption, to environmental impact, and the choices and behaviours which in turn influence demand.
“This is a hugely exciting development for the University," said Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Diamond, "building on our strengths in research, teaching, innovation, and collaboration with industry and other partners to create a highly distinctive Institute targeted at tackling the major challenges we face in meeting the growing demand for energy against a background of increasing environmental and sustainability awareness.
Source of information and guidance
“The result will be a centre of excellence in interdisciplinary research, professional development and education that is a one-stop shop for the energy sector. It will be the principal source of information and guidance for those charged with making energy policy, and a symbol of the University’s commitment to playing a leading role in securing a safe, sustainable energy future for generations to come.”
Scrimgeour added: “When the ambition and scope of the Aberdeen Institute of Energy was revealed to me, I realised straight away what an exciting opportunity this was. It’s exactly what the industry, government and policy holders need — a single point of contact right here in the energy capital of Europe to link up with all the latest multi-disciplinary teaching and research concerning the energy sector, building on the expertise built up through working closely with the oil and gas industry located on our doorstep. We’re looking forward to having an outstanding facility to showcase our excellent research.”
And Professor Jim Anderson, leader of the University’s Energy Research theme, said: “We have a long track record in working with the oil and gas industry, and the Institute is built upon this. As we move towards a low carbon society this strong foundation stands us in good stead for tackling the challenges we’re meeting across the whole picture of energy systems — including economic modelling, licensing and regulation, environmental impact and energy transmission.
“And we’re strengthening even further our research capacity. This year already the University has made 20 appointments further to enhance energy-related research capability, including new Chairs and senior appointments in energy law, geophysics, geology, engineering, chemical engineering, and energy politics.”