£1million laboratory to equip students for energy challenges of the future

A £1million state-of-the-art chemical engineering laboratory has been officially opened at the University of Aberdeen.

The facility will support teaching for over 150 students striving to become the next generation of energy industry leaders. 

Based in the University’s Fraser Noble Building, the laboratory is equipped with a range of process equipment, designed to provide students with the skills and experience they require to face the current and future challenges of the chemical engineering sector.

The development of the facility took place as part of a wider £9.2million infrastructure investment within the institution’s College of Physical Sciences.

President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Dr Desmond King officially opened the laboratory before an assembled audience of staff, students and representatives from industry on Monday October 18.

Professor Tom O'Donoghue, Head of the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen said:

“The official opening of the laboratory is a key milestone in the development of chemical engineering research and teaching within the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

 “This state-of-the-art facility houses both laboratory and industrial-scale equipment including a separation system, process control loop, and distillation and gas absorption columns.

“It will further enhance the teaching of chemical engineering students, providing them with the fundamental understanding, problem-solving skills and practical experience they require to meet the current and future challenges of the energy industry”.

Welcoming the development, Dr King, who is also President of Chevron Technology Ventures said: “The world is facing an increasing need for energy over the coming decades and chemical engineers are going to be at the heart of our efforts to efficiently develop conventional energy sources like oil and gas as well as developing the new technologies needed to meet our goals on energy supply and carbon emissions. When it comes to energy, the world will need it all.

“I’d like to congratulate the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering on their achievement in developing this new laboratory which will give students a great opportunity to develop their sense of how chemical engineering works in practice.”

Following the ceremony, Dr King gave a lecture entitled Energy, Carbon, Renewables and the Chemical Engineer to an invited audience at the University’s King’s College Conference Centre.