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Research collaboration shortlisted for energy and environment award

Offshore windfarm

A University of Strathclyde research programme which brings together academia and industry to address renewable energy challenges has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) Low Carbon Power and Energy Programme has been shortlisted in the Energy and Environment category in the Engineer ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ awards.

The initiative is funded by ScottishPower, SSE and Wood.

It carries out innovative projects which link Strathclyde’s technical expertise, spearheaded by the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) and linking with colleagues across the engineering faculty including marine, mechanical and civil engineering. Strathclyde’s Management Science department have also taken a prominent role and worked closely with engineering colleagues to deliver impact.

Cost reduction

Dr David McMillan, a senior lecturer in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Strathclyde said: “We are delighted to be nominated for this award.

We have been working for five years to transfer low carbon innovations generated at the University into new tools and capabilities for our industrial partners within the TIC programme.

“In that time we have realised demonstrable cost reduction impact for wind energy projects, which is an important part of the wider cost reduction drive.

“The range of engineering disciplines involved at Strathclyde has been key to this. Achieving successful outcomes from this joint collaboration, across such a wide range of projects, is truly unique and something we are very proud of.”

The project, which started in 2013, demonstrates how different sectors can work collaboratively together to meet key industry challenges– including reducing costs, optimising assets, and a maturing wind fleet.

Research projects

Phase one received £2.8 million funding and focused on reducing the costs and risks associated with both onshore and offshore wind projects and included 13 research projects.

The scheme was renewed in 2018 for three years to find ways to make more efficient use of our energy resources, with a further £1.8 million funding.

The results of the first phase have been independently assessed as having the potential to deliver a net cumulative benefit of up to £200 million.

James Bowers, Engineering Manager in Technology at SSE, said: “SSE continues to find value from this collaborative partnership in providing solutions and/or insight for a variety of industry wide challenges related to project development and asset management. 

“We look forward to continuing this successful collaboration in future and solving some of the key challenges arising in this ever changing industry.”

Collaboration and innovation

Barry Carruthers, Head of Innovation, Sustainability & Quality at ScottishPower, said: “ScottishPower truly values the collaboration and innovation inherent in the programme.  Real challenges are met with new insights and solutions which are developed and deployed in order to help us all deliver affordable, low carbon energy systems. 

“The programme partners continually show how industry and academia can collaborate to find answers to the challenges of both today, and tomorrow.”

Alan Mortimer, Director of Innovation at Wood, said: “The programme demonstrates the power of an effective collaboration between academia and industry to deliver innovative solutions which are pragmatic and create value.

“It is providing genuine advances which are essential to meeting the challenges of decarbonising our energy systems.”

The entries are judged by a panel of leading UK engineers with the winners announced at an awards ceremony in November.

Strathclyde’s TIC is transforming the way academics, business, industry and the public sector work in partnership to enable new research, innovation and technology development.