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A good measure of future success – partnership agreed between Imperial and National Physical Laboratory

Imperial College

New partnership paves way for future collaborations<em> - News</em>

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By Danielle Reeves
Wednesday 8 October 2008

A memorandum of understanding was signed today by Imperial College and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK's National Measurement Institute, to facilitate increased research collaborations between the two organisations.

The NPL is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying accurate measurement standards which are used in almost all aspects of daily life, as well as in cutting edge scientific research. Measurement science has a far-reaching impact on society – from allowing people to tell the time accurately to administering the correct dosages of medicines. Precision measurement is also important for researchers working in diverse fields, from calculating the massive distances between stars and galaxies to the detection of single photons, which may revolutionise the future of computing.


Imperial's Professors Maggie Dallman, Lesley Cohen and Sir Peter Knight sign the agreement with the NPL's Martyn Sene and Kamal Hossain

Imperial College researchers are working in many areas that overlap with and feed into the NPL's area of expertise. For example, climate change scientists are measuring the levels of solar radiation absorbed and emitted by the Earth, and nanotechnologists and laser scientists need to take the smallest measurements imaginable: nanometres which are one millionth of a millimetre, and attoseconds which last for just one billion billionth of a second.

The aim of the memorandum of understanding signed today is to encourage the exchange of students, staff and ideas between the two organisations, to further advances in these and many other areas of research.

Professor Lesley Cohen from Imperial's Department of Physics, one of those who instigated the new agreement, said: "There are so many opportunities for Imperial and the NPL to share knowledge, expertise and ideas, and to collaborate on important research projects. Formalising the strong links between our two organisations today means researchers and students from across the College will benefit from the NPL's fantastic specialist facilities and we will be able to work together on many exciting projects in the future."

Professor Sir Peter Knight, Senior Principal of Imperial College London, added: "Imperial has always had a very strong relationship with the NPL, particularly through our Physics department. The MoU we've signed today will allow us to build on and develop this relationship across all the College's faculties and research institutes."

Dr Kamal Hossain, NPL Director of Research and International Co-operation said: "This is a great opportunity and we are really looking forward to sharing our knowhow and challenges between the two organisations."


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