Project SUNRISE and accreditation success: News from the College

Mike Wright

Mike Wright

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From funding for a revolutionary research into solar energy, to new institution-wide accreditation, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Kicking off project SUNRISE

A partnership of 20 institutions in 13 European countries, including Imperial College London, has received 1M in initial funding to revolutionise solar energy.

SUNRISE joins together stakeholders from academia, industry, policy and society, with the aim of providing an alternative to fossil-fuel-based energy by investigating and improving ways to convert and store solar energy.

The initial funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme will allow the partnership to create a roadmap for how their ambitious research and development project will roll out in the future, with the potential for major further funding expected to follow, depending on Brexit.

The Imperial contribution is led by Professor James Durrant from the Department of Chemistry.

The life of Abdus Salam

A new documentary film about the life of Professor Abdus Salam had its London premiere at Imperial this week. Salam was a long-time academic at Imperial, joining in 1956 before setting up the Theoretical Physics Group.

He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for his work on the electroweak unification theory, which led to the standard model of physics. He was also a great advocate for science in the developing world and particularly his native Pakistan. However, he faced persecution for belonging to a particular Muslim sect, and his grave stone was defaced as a result.

The film was hosted by the Imperial College Pakistan Society on what would have been Salam’s 93rd birthday. For more information about the film visit the website for Salam: The First ****** Nobel Laureate.

Image credit:

Job security

Mike Wright, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Business School, will soon publish research showing leveraged buyouts do not lead to job insecurity, and in fact may be a lifeline for firms that would otherwise fail.

This goes directly against some of the main assumptions that have informed EU regulation (both past and pending) of private equity firms.

“To set LBOs up as barbarians at the gate risks constraining activity that could well be the difference between survival and failure for struggling firms,” wrote Professor Wright. “The latter, of course, would be the most devastating in terms of job loss.”

Accreditation success

Imperial is the first UK university to achieve institution-wide accreditation of its postgraduate courses from the Royal Society of Biology and the Institute of Physics - alongside the existing Royal Society of Chemistry accreditation.

This means that all postgraduate students on courses relating to these areas can get Registered Scientist status and/or Member of a Society (either RSC, RSB or IOP) while they are studying at Imperial. Accreditation also offers an accelerated route to Chartered Status, which graduates can achieve after one year in the workplace - rather than the usual three or more years.

For students, accreditation offers recognition of ongoing professional development and increases future employability, for example in industry - some companies require Chartered Status for promotion and progression.

Top image credit: Shutterstock

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Elizabeth Nixon
Communications and Public Affairs

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