BP, one of the world’s leading exploration and production organisations, has signed an agreement with TWI to become a Founder Sponsor of the newly established Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF). SIRF is the funding body behind the new industry-led research centre for postgraduate engineering education, the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), which is currently under construction in Cambridge.
BP joins TWI in UK’s first industry-led postgraduate engineering education centre
In this new phase of collaboration with TWI, BP will benefit foremost from its involvement and interaction with the newly-established NSIRCTM, where it will sponsor PhD students undertaking fundamental research to help underpin its commercial operations. The company will have direct access to purpose-built, world-class facilities and equipment, together with high-calibre students and staff. The technical work programme will be broad, but will include elements such as understanding and testing the performance limits of materials in oilfield environments, where components can be subjected to high temperature, high pressure, aggressive environment and/or cyclic loading. BP staff will attend NSIRC regularly to provide a supervisory role to students.
John Baxter, Group Engineering Director at BP, said, ‘Improving understanding and driving innovation in the fields of science and engineering which underpin structural integrity, is vital for the oil and gas and many other industries. Through working with TWI-SIRF, and with the world-class specialist facilities and expertise of NSIRC, we expect to be able to address many of the fundamental issues that face our industry every day across the world.’
TWI Chief Executive, Christoph Wiesner, added, ‘This is an important step for SIRF, and in welcoming BP to the Foundation we are strengthening vital links with those industries who will benefit most from needs-driven research into structural integrity. We are very pleased to be working alongside BP in this growing venture.’
Importantly, the new partnership between TWI and BP in SIRF will enable the oil and gas company to contribute to defining the overall technical focus of SIRF, which includes NSIRC, as a member of the SIRF Board. It also opens up opportunities for research and innovation to support BP-identified topics aligned with the company’s Facilities Technology Flagship technology development programme. BP will benefit from closer access to TWI expertise and knowhow, linking with applied research. The partnership builds on existing relationships with the University of Manchester, both a major collaborator with BP through the ICAM initiative and an academic partner with TWI in the delivery of NSIRC.
NSIRC will provide industry-driven academic research and relevant training to the next generation of structural integrity engineers and researchers. Through SIRF, the education centre has already been awarded public funding from the UK’s Regional Growth Fund and from the Higher Educational Funding Council for England, with academic partner Brunel University, to set up and equip the new facilities. BP will provide industrial funding to complement this public funding.
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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 and leading industrial partners. There is also support from TWI Industrial 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 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 NSIRC initiative is funded by the following:
- 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), a funding vehicle set up by TWI to fund and operate NSIRC.
Please see more at: www.nsirc.co.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 4500 sites in 80 countries. TWI also houses a professional institution, The Welding Institute, with a separate membership of over 6000 individuals.
TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation with a focus on materials, engineering and manufacturing.