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10 May 2006 PR 06/46

Renewable energy entrepreneur opens new solar power laboratory at Loughborough University

Local businessman Professor Tony Marmont, whose generous donations have helped to establish the Angela Marmont Renewable Energy Laboratory (AMREL) at Loughborough University, will officially open the University’s new Photovoltaics (PV) Laboratory on May 10.

The facility represents a multi-million pound investment by the University, together with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the UK’s PV industry.

Photovoltaics technology enables the conversion of sunlight directly into electricity without the production of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – one of the main gases affecting climate change. The opening of Loughborough’s new PV Laboratory marks the latest expansion of facilities for CREST, the University’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology. The lab is the largest dedicated PV research facility in any UK university, and top international researchers have been recruited to lead it.

Companies that have supported the establishment of this facility include BP Solar, Plasma Quest Ltd, ICP Solar, Schott Solar and Crystallox.

Whilst at the University Professor Marmont will also meet staff and industrial collaborators who are involved in Loughborough’s new Research School in Sustainability. He will visit the campus-based Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems research centre and meet senior staff from E.ON UK, the UK’s largest integrated power and gas company, who are also a key partner in the development of the School and its research.

The Research School in Sustainability was established at the University earlier this year to bring together experts from across the campus, other academic institutions and industry. The School’s aim is to take a leading role in moving the international community towards a sustainable future, and its research focus is on six key areas: Sustainable Design and Manufacture; Sustainable Energy; Water Supply, Waste Water and Waste Management; the Built Environment and Transport; Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management; and Sustainable Societies and Economics – Polices, Practices and Impacts.

ENDS

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Notes to editors

  1. Members of the media are invited to attend the official opening of the Photovoltaics Laboratory, which will take place at 12.noon. Media wishing to attend should contact the Public Relations Office prior to the event.
  2. CREST is part of the University’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and is a member of its Research School in Sustainability. It is world renowned for its research and teaching in renewable energy technology, primarily working in wind and solar energy, and the integration of these sources into electricity systems.
  3. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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