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Universities launch international centre for engineering excellence

See also...
External Sites:
-Centre for Process Systems Engineering, Imperial and UCL
-Center for Process Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For immediate use
Tuesday 15 March 2005

A partnership combining UK and US expertise to create novel engineering solutions for industry is launched this week on 17 March. Based jointly in London and Atlanta, the International Centre for Process Systems Engineering (iCPSE) will promote the transfer of leading edge research into industrial practice.

The new Centre is a collaboration between process systems engineering researchers at Imperial College London, University College London and the Georgia Institute of Technology. It aims to exploit expertise at the three institutions to address challenges in design, operation and management within the process industries.

Process systems engineering technology is used across a range of industrial scales, from maximising the productivity of businesses operating across continents to micro-level work on increasing the efficiency of chemical processes. It can be used to design virtual factories inside a computer, which allows tests on safety, cost effectiveness, waste minimisation and energy efficiency to be made before building in order to optimise performance at minimum cost.

It is becoming increasingly important for industry to be able to tap into this type of interdisciplinary university-based research quickly and easily, according to Professor Stratos Pistikopoulos, Director of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering at Imperial and head of the new iCPSE. He explains:

"As the pace of technological development accelerates, it is vital that innovations move quickly from basic research to the marketplace. With our solid base in high quality science and technology research, Imperial, UCL and Georgia Tech are in a strong position to work with companies to improve and streamline industrial processes.

"This partnership puts collaboration between industry and academic researchers on a global basis. It means businesses will have access to an unparalleled pool of world class experts in the development, evaluation and demonstration of technology who can address their needs at every stage of the manufacturing process."

The iCPSE will work with companies including AstraZeneca, ICI, Shell and BP to tackle issues of process and product design, production planning scheduling and control, supply chain optimisation, molecular systems engineering, biological systems engineering and energy systems.

Journalists are welcome to attend the launch of the iCPSE, which will take place at 12 noon on 17 March at Imperial's South Kensington campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the Centres research agenda and discuss ongoing projects with researchers from the three partner institutions.

For further information and to attend contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Notes to editors:

1. The Centre for Process Systems Engineering based at Imperial College London is a joint research centre involving Imperial and University College London. Established in 1989, it has grown to be a multidisciplinary research grouping of approximately 100 researchers drawn from academia and industry. It was launched with the aim of becoming an internationally leading interdisciplinary research centre in process systems engineering. Its objectives are:

  • to undertake world class research
  • to be relevant to the needs of industry
  • to transfer technology to industry
  • to serve the wider community

In 2003 the Centre was awarded the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize. These recognise and reward the outstanding contribution that universities and colleges in the UK make to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social life of the nation.

2. The Center for Process Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech was established in September 2003 with the mission of becoming a world leader in research and education that will sustain the process industries innovation embodied in products or processes. Currently, 10 faculty members from various departments participate in the center. Their research interest and expertise cover scales ranging from molecular phenomena to supply chains and atmosphere. Its industrial consortium has three members (Owens Corning, LG Chem, Weyerhaueuser) with several additional prospective members currently in negotiation.

3. About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (10,000) and staff (5,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions, which enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.