South West Nuclear Hub celebrates research and skills growth on second anniversary

The South West Nuclear Hub recently celebrated the second anniversary of its doors opening, and colleagues gathered in the David Smith Building to reflect on the success in addressing nuclear skills, research and innovation challenges so far.

Building on the success of the Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre (NRC), the South West Nuclear Hub offers access to a powerful research network to both the UK and international nuclear energy community that supports the safe operation of current and future generation nuclear systems in the UK and around the world.

Commenting on the anniversary, Professor David Knowles, Co-Director (Engineering) of the Hub, said: ‘It’s difficult to believe how quickly the last two years have passed and the breadth of activities with which we have been involved.

‘The Nuclear MSc continues to mature and the breadth of students and projects continues to impress, with many of our graduates being snapped up by the nuclear industry. I’ve been particularly excited by the international agreements we have signed with the likes of EMPA [Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology] and INP [Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble] in France, and the University of South China.

‘Research has outstripped all expectations, particularly across Science and Engineering, and we have exceeded £8 million in income in the last year’.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, said: ‘It is excellent to see the progress made by the Hub, with important industrial links made and its positive contribution to growing the University’s nuclear research portfolio. The Hub will have a key role to play in leading and coordinating this strategically important area for the University in the years to come’.

Further multidisciplinary collaboration needed in the future

The Hub continues to expand its membership, with the National Nuclear Laboratory and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre joining in recent months to add further expertise to the existing industry and academic members. Representatives from both organisations were present to celebrate this occasion.

Professor Knowles added: ‘The challenge is now to expand our reach across different disciplines, drawing on the range of expertise among our members. 2019 will see us building on our engagement with our national and regional industrial members and driving more innovation into the industry. Watch this space.’