Manchester to lead BP's £60million advanced materials centre

BP is to establish a £64million international research centre at the University of Manchester, aimed at developing advanced materials for a range of energy and industrial applications.

The BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, or BP-ICAM, will be located within the university's Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will also partner in the ten year project, which is expected to support 25 new academic posts, along with 100 postgraduate researchers and 80 postdoctoral fellows. Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, commented: "Advanced materials and coatings will be vital in finding, producing and processing energy safely and efficiently in the years ahead, as energy producers work at unprecedented depths, pressures and temperatures, and as refineries, manufacturing plants and pipeline operators seek ever better ways to combat corrosion and deploy new materials to improve their operations. "Manchester has world leading capabilities and facilities in materials and was chosen after a global search to act as the hub of the centre, working with other world class university departments. We look forward to deepening further the very productive partnership that already exists between our professionals in BP and the academic team at Manchester." According to Dudley, the BP-ICAM will carry out research into seven primary areas of direct interest to industry: structural materials, smart coatings, functional materials, catalysis, membranes, energy storage and energy harvesting. He noted: "This should allow us to change the way we build, operate and maintain our equipment; manufacture cleaner and more efficient products; develop imaginative energy sources and then store that energy for when it is needed most; and increase the use of lighter metals and composites for structures and products."