Bristol partners with Grenoble Institute of Technology on nuclear science
22 February 2017
The University has formalised an agreement to collaborate with the Institut National de Physique de Grenoble (INP) on research and education in nuclear science.
Dr Erik Lithander, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Student Recruitment), signed the agreement, which will support efforts by the University-run South West (SW) Nuclear Hub to internationalise its research and educational offer.
From summer 2017, students from the INP will come to Bristol to undertake ‘blue-sky’ and industry-led projects. In return, Nuclear Science and Engineering MSc students at Bristol will be given the opportunity to attend some of the taught elements of the INP courses. This collaboration is to be long-term, with the intention to increase exchanges over several years.
This approach was encouraged and supported by the Hub’s industrial partners, including the EDF Group and EDF Energy. France is seen as one of the world’s most prominent nuclear leaders in terms of industrial activity and academic landscape. Although Bristol has already established international research links with French corporations, this collaboration presents a new opportunity to enhance Bristol students’ experience, as well as providing them with an enhanced international network.
The INP is not only a very prestigious ’Grande Ecole‘ but boasts, in the nuclear field, established links with the EDF group, the Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires (INSTN) and the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Renouvelables (CEA).
This comes at a particularly important time, when international and European collaborations are to be fostered and nurtured more than ever. This is especially true for nuclear science and engineering, where large-scale research activities have always been collaborative rather than competitive over the past few decades.
Professor Tom Scott, SW Nuclear Hub’s director, said: ’Back in June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, but Bristol has not. Our French colleagues recognise that, and today we are pleased to be the first and only UK institution to offer an opportunity to work jointly with the INP to deliver world-class teaching in nuclear science and engineering’.
The Hub teaching team, led by Dr Mahmoud Mostafavi and Dr Ross Springell, is working towards developing partnerships with other prestigious French Engineering schools.
Dr Mostafavi said: ’We are delighted to work with the INP, which is leading the way internationally for Nuclear Science. We are currently completing negotiations with the “Arts et Métiers” in Paris, the best Grande Ecole from a pure engineering prospective. Working in partnership with these schools will allow the Bristol Hub to send the message to the world that we are open for business. Such Franco-British collaborations are a first in the UK landscape, giving our MSc a significant and competitive edge.’
These exchanges will be administered under an Erasmus agreement, providing students and staff with the opportunity to travel, exchange and eventually foster important research links.
The South West Nuclear Hub
The South West Nuclear Hub provides a focus for nuclear innovation, research and teaching in the south west of the UK. The Hub incorporates the existing collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, the Nuclear Research Centre (NRC).
With a dedicated building, which opened in summer 2016 at the University of Bristol, the Hub introduces a step-change for higher education in the region to accelerate and grow nuclear research and teaching activities. The Hub will provide a common location for academia, industry and government to come together to meet the opportunities and challenges facing nuclear energy in the UK.
Within the Hub, the NRC continues to pursue collaborative research opportunities in the UK and internationally. New and existing industrial partners are committing support for the Centre’s long-term research vision by establishing strategic relationships.
The Institut National de Physique de Grenoble
Established in 1892, it was to become in 1970 the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (Grenoble Institute of Technology), an organisation covering six engineering schools.
With meeting industry's requirements a consistent priority, Grenoble Institute of Technology's research laboratories and industrial relations have enabled it to remain at the forefront of innovation and take a leading role in the modern world. After over 100 years the Institute is still on the cutting edge of worldwide developments, with major projects such as the Minatec micro- and nanotechnology cluster and industrial clusters like Minalogic (Grenoble Isère software micro and nanotechnologies) and Tenerrdis (research into renewable energies and new energy technologies in the Rhône-Alpes region).
The Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is a European Union student exchange programme established in 1987. Erasmus+, or Erasmus Plus, is the new programme combining all the EU's current schemes for education, training, youth and sport, which was launched in 2014.
The Erasmus Programme, together with a number of other independent programmes, was incorporated into the Socrates programme established by the European Commission in 1994. The Socrates programme ended on 31 December 1999 and was replaced with the Socrates II programme on 24 January 2000, which in turn was replaced by the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 in 2007.