HRH The Duke of York officially opens the Masdar Building, home to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre
HRH toured the new state-of-the-art facility in Manchester yesterday (Monday 10 December) and met with leading academics and the University’s graphene industry partners and entrepreneurs. During the visit The Duke took in an exhibition of the latest graphene products and prototypes including; pioneering graphene-oxide membranes for water filtration, graphene composite battery panels, an innovative unmanned aerial vehicle made with graphene-enhanced carbon fibre, and a modified BAC Mono sports car with graphene-enhanced composite bodywork.
The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) complements the National Graphene Institute’s (NGI) international research focus by concentrating on multi-faceted industry-led applications development. The key areas within the new building include; pilot productions, characterisation and material development. The centre will accelerate the commercial impact of graphene and help realise its potential to revolutionise countless industries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony HRH The Duke of York said: "It is a great pleasure to be back at The University of Manchester and to come and see the next stage in the development of graphene.
"The question I've been asking is, 'how do people who are in manufacturing or other businesses know what graphene can do for them?' or more accurately, 'what can the new 2D materials do for them?'
"This is an excellent place for businesses who may suddenly find that graphene or a 2D material is in their interest, and just from my short visit today, the ideas seem to be limitless in how you can apply them. This is going to be a huge industrial transformation which could benefit both humankind and industry and it starts here. I wish you all every success."
Ramboll provided civil & structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, contaminated land, vibration, acoustics, fire engineering and ecology services for the project. Having also provided a variety of engineering services on the University’s award winning National Graphene Institute and currently delivering the Henry Royce Institute, Ramboll’s involvement in GEIC builds on the already successful relationship with the University of Manchester and other GEIC project team members Arcadis and Laing O’Rourke.
Designed by world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, GEIC provides 8400m2, over three storeys, housing production facilities and laboratories with sophisticated research equipment and processing plant, some of which have extremely low-vibration requirements. Due to the extreme intensity of services equipment and constrained site conditions, the design team worked closely with the client to develop the brief for the building, understand the University’s current facilities, and identify the spaces and function for each area required within the GEIC.
Along with the NGI and the Henry Royce Institute (set to be completed in 2020) the GEIC will be crucial in maintaining the UK’s world leading position in advanced materials. Advanced materials is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons - examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.
Masdar, CEO Mohamed Al Ramahi said: “As a global renewable energy leader, we invest in technologies with untapped commercial potential. Today’s opening of the Masdar Building highlights an exciting future for Masdar, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and The University of Manchester as we work together on this pioneering project over the coming months and years.”
Construction is now complete at the new National Graphene Institute (NGI) a £61 million state-of-the-art facility at The University of Manchester, dedicated to the study, research and development of graphene and its applications.