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The University of Manchester launches Nuclear Fuel Technology Chair

23 Jul 2008

The University of Manchester in collaboration with Westinghouse Electric Company is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Tim Abram as the new Chair in Nuclear Fuel Technology. This is a new position created at The University in association with its Dalton Nuclear Institute and has been made possible through a significant investment by Westinghouse.

The appointment fits strategically with the University’s plans for the Centre in Nuclear Energy Technology (CNET); an anticipated investment of £25 million over the next five years in reactor-related skills in order to support new nuclear build.

Through strong links with Westinghouse, as well as other public and private sector organisations, the Chair enables the University to build a new team associated with nuclear fuels research, reactor physics and fuel cycle studies. Professor Abram is a leading, world-renowned specialist in nuclear fuel and advanced reactor systems.

Westinghouse, as a major vendor of new reactor systems, in particular the unique AP1000 design has a growing order book across the globe.  Their investment in the University will help to build the skills and capabilities that will be needed in the UK to support the nuclear renaissance.

Dr Regis Matzie, Chief Technical Officer for Westinghouse, commented: “Westinghouse is delighted to build this relationship with The University of Manchester and to support this new Chair position. We have a long and established history in the UK, in particular with the north-west of England, and as our global order book grows we need to further strengthen our links with world leading academic institutions and the Chair at The University is a fantastic first step.

To guarantee a sustainable nuclear industry advanced reactor research and development must be supported. The University of Manchester will be a cornerstone for this development in the UK.”

Professor John Perkins, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at The University of Manchester said: “This new appointment and link with Westinghouse further strengthens the nuclear capability at Manchester and will form a key part of the new Centre for Nuclear Energy Technology.”

Commenting on the announcement John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), said:  "I welcome Westinghouse's investment in this new position at The University of Manchester. Nuclear new build has the potential to bring 100,000 jobs to the UK, many of them highly skilled, reduce our dependency on oil and secure a low carbon source of energy for the future. With Tim Abram's leadership, this new team will help the UK build the skills and capabilities it needs to benefit from the renaissance of nuclear power. "

Tim will take up his appointment in the forthcoming academic year in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.