The change of name better reflects the scope of the Institute’s research which for several years has been focused on the energy transition and environmental sustainability. The University of Cambridge will continue to work with carefully selected partners from across the energy sector on research to support the global energy transition.

The University of Cambridge has decided to rename the BP Institute. It will now be called the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows. This decision has been made to better reflect the scope of the Institute’s research and its focus on energy transition. By changing its name the Institute hopes to prevent misunderstandings about its research work, promote further interdisciplinary collaboration, and facilitate more diverse fundraising externally.

Professor Andy Woods, Director of the Institute, said: “The researchers in the Institute are working to develop the scientific and technical solutions we need to support the energy transition, from enabling superfast battery charging systems and improving the performance of wind turbines, to the decarbonisation of heating systems and improving the efficiency and safety of carbon storage techniques. This name change reflects the breadth of research carried out at the Institute, as we continue to build a low-carbon economy.”

The Institute’s research projects now cover a wide range of technologies that support both the energy transition and environmental sustainability:

  • modelling decarbonisation of buildings (for example, St John’s College, Cambridge);
  • investigating heat transfer to enable superfast battery charging and research into optimising the power generated from arrays of wind turbines;
  • investigating the fluid mechanics of carbon storage in deep saline aquifers, a key strand of the IPCC strategy to reach the 1.5C target;
  • new models for bubble release from electrolysers to improve their efficiency, a key challenge for the use of hydrogen to store energy;
  • models for the dispersal of particles through the ocean to better understand the environmental impact of deep sea mining.

The proposed name also emphasises the independence of the Institute’s research: the Institute publishes more than 50 papers a year in leading international journals.

The Institute will continue to receive funding from BP for projects that address shared goals related to the energy transition, but as with any project no partner is able to direct research. As part of this commitment to tackling climate change, the University engages with carefully chosen partners across the energy sector whose specialist skills, expertise and access to global markets can help significantly accelerate towards Net Zero. Collaboration with our energy sector partners accelerates global energy transition in a number of ways, including:

Access to expertise across a global energy distribution network, which delivers power into the mobile phone in your pocket, or the electric car charging on the street. Experience across a diverse range of engineering, chemical and technical disciplines which provides the University with the global scale required to realise the tangible outcome of our research.

Professor Andy Neely, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Relations), said: ‘The decision to rename the Institute was made to better reflect the research carried out at the Institute and be clear about its independence.

‘Presently, the world’s energy system is dominated by fossil fuels, and while an energy transition is urgent, it is not possible at the pace and scale required without the current industry’s involvement and willingness to transition. Working with carefully chosen partners from the energy sector on energy transition projects is necessary to develop replacements at a scale that can generate the energy the world needs without a sudden disruption to the global economy that would plunge billions of people into darkness and disrupt vital networks of trade and humanitarian support.’

The building