08-Aug-2012 - BP p.l.c.

BP Pledges $100 Million to UK-Led Universities to Create Industry-Changing Materials

BP is to establish a $100 million international research centre, known as the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, or BP-ICAM. This centre will lead research aimed at advancing the fundamental understanding and use of materials across a variety of industrial applications.

The BP-ICAM will be modelled on a “hub and spoke” structure, with the ‘hub’ located within The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, which has core strengths in materials, engineering, characterisation, collaborative working, and a track record of delivering breakthrough research and engineering applications that can be deployed in the real world. The “spokes” and other founder members, all world-class academic institutions, are the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The ten-year investment programme will fund research into advanced materials and is expected to support 25 new academic posts, along with 100 post-graduate researchers and 80 post-doctoral fellows.

The BP-ICAM hub will be based in dedicated premises which will use state-of-the-art tools to support this major international collaboration. 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 – with the initial focus on:

  • Structural materials, such as new metal alloys and composites for deepwater production, and high pressure/high temperature reservoirs;
  • Smart coatings, for increased protection from the elements and improving a structure’s usable life, protecting pipelines and offshore platforms from corrosion;
  • Membranes and other structures, for separation, filtration and purification of oil and gas, water and chemicals in production, refining and biofuels processes and petrochemicals.
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