Research and teaching in areas related to the energy transition at the University of Aberdeen has been given a significant boost through £240,000 in funding from the energy company TotalEnergies.
The funding, secured by the School of Engineering through the University’s Development Trust, comes as the University marks the official launch of its Centre for Energy Transition, and will benefit research and teaching in the School in areas including hydrogen, biomass, solar and wind energy, carbon capture and utilisation, and offshore energy systems integration.
It will also benefit the newly established Energy Transition Student Society, allowing students to enhance their career prospects through participation in extra-curricular activities and competitions related to the energy transition, as well as membership of professional networks.
The sum has been made available as part of a package which also includes funding for scholarships in the University’s MSc in Energy Transition Systems and Technologies and MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering programmes.
Among the activities it will be used for are the creation of an integrated hydrogen lab to investigate the generation, storage and conversion of hydrogen as a clean energy source, providing greater opportunities for collaboration with industrial partners on UK and international research projects, as well as for teaching.
It will also be used to develop systems for the simultaneous measurement of methane and hydrogen to convert energy from biomass, and for biogas separation processes, such as Carbon Capture and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).
Meanwhile, academics will also develop a hybrid renewable energy system to create a flexible, cost-effective and reliable solution for generating renewable electricity and supplying heating load for rural and off-grid communities.
In addition, the funding will also support a PhD project that will seek to exploit synergies between the offshore wind and oil and gas sectors to reduce costs associated with oil and gas abandonment, and investigate the potential for existing infrastructure to support clean energy projects, among other scenarios. This will build on the results of a project that focused on synergies in the Danish offshore energy sector.
Professor Igor Guz, Head of the School of Engineering, commented: “This portfolio of projects funded by Total offers the School an incredible opportunity to increase research and teaching capacity in the field of energy transition.
“This will provide students and academics with essential resources with which to learn, teach and continue world-leading research, while strengthening our industrial and research collaborations.
“I’d like to thank TotalEnergies for this support, which is testament to our close ties with the energy industry forged over decades and is indicative of work that has taken place within the School led by Professor Russell McKenna to develop a teaching and research plan that aligns to TotalEnergies’s ambitions for the energy transition.”
Jean-Luc Guiziou, Managing Director, TotalEnergies E&P UK, said:
“TotalEnergies is delighted to support Aberdeen University’s Centre for Energy Transition through research funding, bursaries for scholarships and delivering short courses. The energy transition is a massive challenge but by working together, we can take effective action against climate change, reimagine the energy industry and ensure its continued presence in the North East of Scotland.”
Tavis Potts, Head of the University’s Centre for Energy Transition, added: “As we celebrate the launch of our Centre for Energy Transition today, the announcement of this support towards research and teaching is further indication of the University’s ambitions in this area, as well as the strength of our industry connections.
“This is further underlined by TotalEnergies’s delivery of a week-long short course - Fundamentals of Energy Transition – which starts tomorrow and will involve 155 students across all of our related MSc programmes.
“This generous support demonstrates the benefits of working with industry to enhance our research and teaching, as we aim to create solutions and develop skills that will make a real difference as part of the energy transition.”