Leading exploration and production organisation British Petroleum (BP) has joined with The Welding Institute (TWI) to become a Founder Sponsor of the newly established funding body Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF).

SIRF is funding the new industry-led research centre for postgraduate engineering education, the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC), which is currently under construction in Cambridge. The funding body promises the new research centre will provide facilities for 530 postgraduates in the 10 years of operation, and will be resourced by staff from a variety of industrial and academic backgrounds.

Christoph Wiesner, Chief Executive at TWI, said, “This is an important step for SIRF, and in welcoming BP to the Foundation we are strengthening vital links with those industries who will benefit most from needs-driven research into structural integrity.”’

Patrick Phelan, Managing Director of Aquaterra Energy, said: “Providing facilities for young engineers in the UK is vital for the future development of our industry, and BP and TWI have shown commitment to research in the UK with their sponsorship of this new centre in Cambridge.

“Aquaterra Energy is also committed to the establishment of industry and academic collaboration, and since opening its offices in Cambridge, has built a strong relationship with the Cambridge University engineering department. Following a successful Knowledge Transfer Secondment (KTS) scheme with the Computational Structural Mechanics Lab at the University, Aquaterra Energy now looks forward to the new research centre and to developing further collaborations with the University in the future.”