New University Institute to focus on the ‘life cycle’ of Energy

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The University of Aberdeen has established a new institute of energy to create a global centre of energy research, industry collaboration and education.

Industry facing and partnering also with government and other stakeholders, the Aberdeen Institute of Energy will build on its existing reputation for excellence in research to provide a multi-disciplinary environment to respond to the major energy challenges facing society.

The institute will maintain and enhance the highest quality research, emphasising innovation and the transfer of new ideas, whilst also representing a one-stop-shop for industry collaboration and continuing professional development.

To spearhead the exciting new project, the University has appointed Mr John Scrimgeour as Executive Director of the Institute. Mr Scrimgeour is a well know figure in the oil industry and boasts expertise in field development, operations, and subsurface.

An advisory board containing strong representation from industry will work alongside Mr Scrimgeour in his new role. Academic energy activity will be drawn together from a broad cross-section of disciplines involving physical, environmental and social scientists, engineers, economists and lawyers. Every stage of the energy life cycle will be covered, from demand through exploration, production and generation, distribution and consumption, to environmental impact, and the choices and behaviours which in turn influence demand.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “This is a hugely exciting development for the University. Building on our strengths in research, teaching, innovation, and collaboration with industry and other partners to create a highly distinctive Institute targeted at tackling the major challenges we face in meeting the growing demand for energy against a background of increasing environmental and sustainability awareness.

“The result will be a centre of excellence in interdisciplinary research, professional development and education that is a one-stop shop for the energy sector. It will be the principal source of information and guidance for those charged with making energy policy, and a symbol of the University’s commitment to playing a leading role in securing a safe, sustainable energy future for generations to come.”

A centre of excellence for a multitude of stakeholders, the Institute will be located in a purpose built facility of c15,000sqm on the University’s ancient King’s College campus, occupying the northwest corner between the Sir Duncan Rice Library, the Fraser Noble Building, and the students’ Hub.

It is the product of an extensive and expanding portfolio of national and international partnerships and collaborations with both the public and private sector and adds further value to a research reputation already at the forefront of the disciplines involved.

Internationally a growing number of partnerships with universities and research organisations in south-east Asia, China, South America, the Gulf and other energy regions are delivering research collaborations, student and academic exchanges, and new scholarship opportunities for students include those established by Halliburton, BP, Talisman, Chevron, with more currently in discussion.

“When the ambition and scope of the Aberdeen Institute of Energy was revealed to me, I realised straight away what an exciting opportunity this was”, said Mr Scrimgeour. “It’s exactly what the industry, government and policy holders need – a single point of contact right here in the Energy Capital of Europe to link up with all the latest multidisciplinary teaching and research concerning the energy sector, building on the expertise built up through working closely with the Oil & Gas industry located on our doorstep. We’re looking forward to having an outstanding facility to showcase our excellent research.”

Professor Jim Anderson, leader of the University’s Energy Research theme, added: “We have a long track record in working with the oil and gas industry, and the Institute is built upon this. As we move towards a low carbon society this strong foundation stands us in good stead for tackling the challenges we’re meeting across the whole picture of energy systems – including economic modelling, licensing and regulation, environmental impact and energy transmission.

“And we’re strengthening even further our research capacity. This year already the University has made 20 appointments further to enhance energy-related research capability, including new Chairs and senior appointments in energy law, geophysics, geology, engineering, chemical engineering, and energy politics.”

For more information on Energy research, courses and other opportunities for industry see