Engineering excellence award for Imperial College London spin out company

Chemical process plant

Royal Academy of Engineering awards celebrate innovation - <em>News Release</em>

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Process Systems Enterprise

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Imperial College London News Release

For immediate use
Wednesday 6 June 2007

One of Imperial College London’s first successful spin out companies, which provides the chemical process industry with mathematical modelling software, has won the Royal Academy of Engineering’s MacRobert Award of £50,000.

HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh presented the prize at the 2007 Academy Awards last night. The MacRobert Award is the UK's most prestigious prize for innovation in engineering. It is awarded annually for the demonstration of engineering excellence and innovation with proven commercial outcomes and benefits to the community.

Co-founders of PSE - From L-R, Professor Sandro Macchietto (Chemical Engineering), Professor Costas Pantelides (Chemical Engineering), Professor Nilay Shay and Professor Stratos Pistikopoulos (Chemical Engineering)Spun out of Imperial College London in 1997 and now part of the portfolio of Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation and investment company, Process Systems Enterprise (PSE) is a global operation with 75% of the company’s revenues coming from exports.

The company’s innovative software, gPROMS®, helps process industry companies to maximise product quality, minimise production cost and control environmental impact through the use of high-accuracy predictive mathematical models of their processes. For example the software can accurately predict temperatures and product compositions inside a complex chemical reactor, helping to improve production and product quality and providing advance warning of dangerous 'hot spots'.

The technology is based on the research of Professor Costas Pantelides and colleagues in the Centre for Process Systems Engineering at Imperial. Professor Pantelides, who is also Managing Director of PSE, says:

"We are delighted and honoured to have won the MacRobert Award. As a company that not only innovates but also helps others to innovate, we value this recognition highly. The process industry is going through a period of significant opportunities and challenges: unprecedented demand for products, increasing customer expectations of product performance, decreasing availability of primary raw materials, and global concerns relating to energy consumption, safety and environmental impact. We bring the means to make decisions rapidly, based on accurate numbers."

Susan Searle, CEO of Imperial Innovations says:

"Imperial Innovations is delighted that PSE has won the MacRobert Award. We recognise the tremendous progress and future potential of PSE, and are working with the company closely to develop new geographical markets and sectors for its growth. In particular, we see that PSE has major potential in the environment sector where companies are designing new product manufacturing methods with lower carbon footprints and large metropolitan areas are developing more environmentally sustainable urban systems."

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For more information contact:
Naomi Weston
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 0207 594 6704

Notes to editors:

About Imperial College London:

Rated as the world’s ninth best university in the 2006 Times Higher Education Supplement University Rankings, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 11,500 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.

Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

With 62 Fellows of the Royal Society among our current academic staff and distinguished past members of the College including 14 Nobel Laureates and two Fields Medallists, Imperial's contribution to society has been immense. Inventions and innovations include the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of our research for the benefit of all continues today with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to tackle climate change and mathematical modelling to predict and control the spread of infectious diseases.

The College's 100 years of living science will be celebrated throughout 2007 with a range of events to mark the Centenary of the signing of Imperial's founding charter on 8 July 1907.


About Imperial Innovations:

Imperial Innovations is one of the UK's leading technology transfer and commercialisation companies. The company was founded in 1986 and its ordinary shares admitted to trading on the AIM Market of London Stock Exchange plc in July 2006, raising £26 million. The company’s integrated approach encompasses the identification of ideas, protection of intellectual property, development and licensing of technology and formation, incubation and investment in technology businesses. A wide range of technologies are commercialised within the areas of healthcare, energy, environment and emerging technology trends.


About Process Systems Enterprise Ltd:

PSE is one of the world’s foremost providers of Advanced Process Modelling software and Model-Based Innovation services to the process manufacturing industries. These apply high-accuracy mathematical models of process equipment and phenomena to provide high-quality information for decision support in process innovation, design and operation. Use of PSE’s technology and services results in faster innovation, improved designs of processes and products, enhancement of existing operations and more effective R&D and experimental programmes. Results are achieved with relatively low investment compared to alternative approaches – where these exist – with rapid return on investment and transfer of modelling know-how to industry.

PSE’s global customer base of process manufacturing companies and their technology suppliers is served by offices in the UK, USA, Germany and Japan, and agencies in China, India and Korea.


About gPROMS:

gPROMS® is the world’s leading Advanced Process Modelling (APM) environment. It is used to provide high-quality information for decision support in innovation, design and operation across all sectors of the process industries, with particular focus on modelling of complex operations such as reaction, crystallisation and polymerisation.

Companies apply gPROMS to reduce time-to-market for new processes or products, improve designs, enhance production, reduce capital and operating expenditure and comply more effectively with safety, health and environmental requirements.

gPROMS is applied across the 'process lifecycle', from laboratory experimentation, through process and detailed design, to online operation, and is central to the emerging technology of Model-Based Innovation. PSE is committed to maintaining gPROMS at the leading edge of modelling technology.

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