The University of Manchester has signed a collaborative agreement with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) – based at Sellafield – to share knowledge and develop opportunities in a specialist field of the industry.The two organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to establish joint opportunities in the field of nuclear materials.
The university’s Materials Performance Centre and the NNL will also jointly bid for funding opportunities for new projects and work pro-actively to secure the necessary funds.
NNL staff will contribute directly to joint research activities at the university and researchers at the university will be able to access NNL equipment and active facilities and work alongside NNL staff as part of joint research activities.
The two bodies will also work together to define trends and requirements for skills in nuclear materials for the nuclear industry and strategically address any skills gaps.
The NNL will provide teaching material, guest lecturing and design projects and there will also be the opportunity for secondments or placements, including visiting roles for both organisations to make the maximum potential of the agreement.
Support will be made available for students using bursaries, awards and vocational placements at NNL establishments, and the university will assist the NNL in mentoring such students throughout their degree course.
Prof Andrew Sherry, University of Manchester Director of Materials Performance, said: “This agreement reinforces our existing links with the NNL and creates new opportunities for young researchers to benefit from the outstanding expertise and facilities at the NNL. We look forward to developing new collaborative research programmes to address materials performance in nuclear applications and to develop the UK skills base.”
Dr Peter Bleasdale, managing director of the National Nuclear Laboratory, said: “We have been working with the university for many years and this is an extension of that work which also presents new opportunities.
“The field of materials science is crucial to development of technologies and skills in the nuclear industry and we are delighted to be working with and helping to develop some of the brightest young people around in this field.”
Part of the mission of the NNL is to strengthen collaboration with academia, and the two organisations believe that collaborative ventures in their respective areas of expertise can be to their mutual benefit.