Lord Mandelson visits Engineering
19 January 2009
The Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Lord Mandelson, received an insight into Cardiff’s work on low carbon technology when he visited the School on Thursday. Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson, also attended the visit to the School's energy research laboratories.
The Minister had requested a visit to the University to find out about some of its research while on a tour of South Wales. His office had expressed particular interest in the University’s research into energy generation and supply and in the Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) – the all-Wales partnership on sustainable research which has its hub at the Welsh School of Architecture.
Lord Mandelson was welcomed to the School of Engineering by the Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant and the Director of the School of Engineering, Professor Hywel Thomas. He was introduced to key players in sustainable research and industry partnerships at Cardiff, as well as to Mr Stephen Lawrence, Divisional Director of Mott Macdonald. This international consultancy has just entered a partnership with the University to share consultancy, engineering and research expertise.
Lord Mandelson inspected the laboratory at the School of Engineering’s new Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS). The Centre is the result of a £3.8 million EPSRC/HEFCW award to establish a centre to develop research into energy generation and supply. Professor Manu Haddad explained the work of CIREGS and introduced Lord Mandelson to the Power Systems Simulator, a unique system within Europe which can recreate power flows on the National Grid. Professor Haddad explained that the Simulator can model the entire Grid and can also be used to forecast the effect of additional renewable power sources, such as wind or marine power, to increase the potential for green electricity supply.
Professor Phil Bowen, Deputy Director of the School of Engineering and LCRI board member, gave the minister an overview of sustainability research at Cardiff and the work of the LCRI. He explained that the LCRI was set up with a £5.1m award to build capacity around existing energy research capability in Wales and to promote interdisciplinary energy research activities.