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Finding a better way with Sir Bobby Charlton

28 Oct 2016

Football legend and University to open a Centre for International Research for the Clearance of Landmines and Explosive

Sir Bobby Charlton at signing of agreement

Football legend Sir Bobby Charlton has signed agreement on behalf of his charity, Find A Better Way, to open a Centre for International Research for the Clearance of Landmines and Explosive with the University.

This is a key step towards achieving Sir Bobby’s dream of a landmine-free world. The Centre for International Research for the Clearance of Landmines and Explosive (CIRCLE) will be a new, purposely built, 500 m2 research and laboratory space which will serve as the hub for the growing network of Find A Better Way-funded landmine detection research projects.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering has been chosen as the home of CIRCLE due to its world-leading research capabilities in this field, including expertise in advanced screening, scanning and imaging technology involving Professor Bill Lionheart (School of Mathematics) and Professor Anthony Peyton (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering).

Along with other partners, the University has been working directly with the Find A Better Way charity to help pioneer research on finding better methods of detecting landmines. A key aim of the research has been to develop smarter equipment that can distinguish between the small parts of metal used in a landmine from other metallic fragments buried in areas where landmines could also be found.

Speaking about the development of CIRCLE, Professor Martin Schroder, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “I am thrilled and delighted that The University of Manchester can work closely with the charity Find A Better Way to develop and deliver the Centre for International Research for Clearance of Landmines and Explosives (CIRCLE).”

Professor Anthony Peyton, Chair in Electromagnetic Tomography Engineering in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, added: “CIRCLE offers a unique opportunity to be a catalyst and a focus to the humanitarian research work supported by the Find A Better Way. We are delighted that The University of Manchester has been chosen to host CIRCLE. We are convinced that technical innovation offers part of the solution to the humanitarian demining problem and believe that CIRCLE will provide the focus and tenacity to deliver significant benefits to the field.”

This is the next step for the University’s commitment to radically improve landmine detection. Our commitment dates back to 2012 when an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Landmines and Unexploded Weapons of Conflict visited campus on a fact-finding tour. The signing of the agreement is a significant move forward as Sir Bobby Charlton’s dream of a landmine-free world takes a leap forward thanks to the partnership with the University and the Faculty.