Improving safety, quality and performance – the Lloyd’s Register Foundation joins TWI in leading the UK’s first postgraduate education and research centre in structural integrity
The Lloyd’s Register Foundation has signed a heads of agreement with TWI to provide £15 million research funding to establish the new National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) nearing completion at TWI in Cambridge. The Foundation will become a Founder Sponsor and Board member of the newly-established Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF), responsible for industrial support of NSIRC. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation and TWI are now finalising the full contractual terms.
The collaboration between the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and TWI, through SIRF, will work over the next 10 years to inspire and engage the next generation of marine and energy engineers by providing fundamental science and industry-driven research opportunities aligned with a postgraduate education programme.
As a Founder Sponsor of the SIRF initiative, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s funding will create up to 83 PhD and EngD studentships. The research will support the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s charitable aims by focusing on improving the safety of the critical infrastructure that modern society relies on, particularly in the energy, marine and transportation sectors.
Research undertaken by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation students into different areas of structural integrity and new areas of technology will progress as recognised postgraduate degree qualifications through NSIRC’s established relationships with leading universities in the UK and overseas.
A number of Lloyd’s Register group companies are already Industrial Members of TWI, and through the investment the Lloyd’s Register Foundation will strengthen links with the world-class pool of engineering knowledge and knowhow. It will contribute to the direction of SIRF activities, including the unique education hub of NSIRC with its purpose-built facilities and equipment.
Prof Richard Clegg, Managing Director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, said, “Our vision is to be known worldwide as a leading supporter of engineering-related research, training and education. This funding agreement is a significant step in the delivery of our new funding strategy and provides a model for future investments. We want to focus on long-term grants with targeted institutions that deliver both impact and excellence.”
The Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s strategy for 2014-2020 focuses funding on four strategic themes: promoting safety and public understanding of risk; advancing skills and education; supporting excellent scientific research; and accelerating the application of research. Four research themes have been prioritised: structural integrity and systems performance; resilience engineering; human and social factors; and emergent technologies.
Christoph Wiesner, Chief Executive at TWI, added, “We are delighted to be working with the Lloyd’s Register Foundation in this venture and are confident that strong industry partnerships are key to effective education programmes. The collaboration will promote greater understanding of future technical needs as well as safer, and increasingly efficient, practice in the field of structural engineering.”
SIRF has won public support from the UK government’s Regional Growth Fund and the Higher Educational Funding Council for England, with lead academic partner Brunel University, to set up and equip the new facility for NSIRC. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation joins oil and gas exploration and production organisation BP in providing industrial funding for the new venture.
Lloyd’s Register Foundation
The Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) is a charity, set up in 2012, which funds the advancement of engineering-related education and research and supports work that enhances safety of life at sea, on land and in the air. It is funded by the profits of its trading arm, Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, a professional services organisation working mainly in the transportation and energy sectors which also delivers a part of the Foundation’s charitable objectives.
For more information, please go to www.lrfoundation.org.uk
TWI is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in solving problems in all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management technologies.
Established at Abington, Cambridge, UK in 1946 and with facilities across the globe, the company has a first-class reputation for service through its teams of internationally respected consultants, scientists, engineers and support staff.
The company employs over nearly 900 staff, serving 700 member companies across 4,500 sites in 80 countries. TWI also houses a professional institution, The Welding Institute, with a separate membership of over 6,000 individuals. For more information, see www.twi-global.com
National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC)
The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC™) is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with lead academic partner Brunel University, alongside the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester. There is also support from leading industrial partners and TWI Industrical Member companies to establish NSIRC as a national centre for research and development in the field of structural integrity. These organisations contribute long-term industrial commitment.
NSIRC will be hosted in TWI’s new facilities; covering 36,000 square metres approx. and containing laboratories for the study and performance of materials and the impact of welding and joining techniques as applied in industry. These will be supported by a full range of information services, including the library – the world’s most comprehensive library of welding and joining related publications – together with meeting and conference rooms, and restaurants. The build programme is on schedule for completion by the end of 2014.
NSIRC combines industrially driven academic excellence to address the need for innovation, while delivering a supply of appropriately qualified staff to work across the supply chain and generate very significant economic benefits, both to industry and the UK as a whole. The Centre is funded by:
- UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through its Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
- The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
- SIRF (Structural Integrity Research Foundation), set up by TWI to fund and oversee NSIRC.
Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth fund is a £3.2 billion fund designed to help companies in England to grow and supports projects and programmes committed to deliver sustainable jobs and economic growth. For more information, please go to www.bis.gov.uk/rgf.