Mayor Andy Burnham visits Dalton Nuclear Institute

The Dalton Nuclear Institute recently welcomed Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, onto its Manchester campus to discuss nuclear research at the University and the role of the nuclear sector in Manchester and across the North West.

The Mayor and his team met with Institute Acting Director Professor Clint Sharrad, and Associate Directors Professors Scott Heath and Adrian Bull to discuss the Institute’s unique breadth of research, focus on nuclear skills development and impact through policy engagement work.

Vice-Dean for Research and Innovation Professor Richard Curry, Head of the School of Engineering Professor Sarah Cartmell, and Associate Dean for Research Institutes Professor Stuart Holmes discussed the important role the University has to play in contributing to the UK’s Net Zero ambitions nationally through research and teaching, as well as to the Greater Manchester region. There was also an opportunity during the visit to hear from some of the Institute’s young researchers about their work.

The Mayor heard about the University’s world-leading facilities, including the Henry Royce Institute Hub, where the meeting was held, with Professor Abbie Jones, Head of the Nuclear Graphite Research Group, in attendance. Professors Barry Lennox and Fred Currell highlighted our nuclear network across the North West, extending into Cumbria where the Dalton Cumbrian Facility and the Robotics and AI Collaboration (RAICo1) serve as vital hubs in the heart of the nuclear industry.

Mayor Andy Burnham said: "It was a pleasure to visit The University of Manchester and meet with so many talented and enthusiastic people from the Dalton Nuclear Institute and elsewhere in the university working on nuclear research. An incredible amount of work is done in the nuclear industry by the university, an industry that is growingly important for the UK.

"This research also importantly includes decommissioning and the cleaning-up of the UK’s public sector nuclear facilities as well as discovering new ways to manage and dispose of the nuclear legacy to protect our environment. Many interesting discussions were had on energy, skills, the economy and collaboration with the Dalton Nuclear Institute, a great asset for our city-region."

Acting Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, Professor Clint Sharrad said: "We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and his team to the University today and I was pleased to find we have so many areas of common interest, especially in skills, training and education.

"Nuclear is at the heart of the economy across the North West of England, and we all recognised what a great opportunity the sector offers in addressing future energy needs for the country while also providing pathways for young people setting out on their career journeys, as well as those who are mid-career and looking for a new challenge.

"It was refreshing to hear Andy’s strong support for all that we are doing, and we will be having further conversations to make sure we maximise the opportunity for adding value to the region’s economy."