RWM launches its Research Support Office
RWM has established a Research Support Office (RSO) to build a long-term collaborative and strategic relationship with UK universities. The RSO has a Core team, hosted at the Dalton Nuclear Institute, composed of RWM and representatives from The University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield. Spokes reach out from this ‘Hub’, accessing other universities and academic institutions across the following nine key discipline areas:
- Environmental sciences
- Materials science
- Engineering and Advanced manufacturing
- Applied mathematics
- Social science
- Public Communication
In each discipline area an academic lead is paired with RWM subject matter experts to identify and address the research priorities required to underpin delivery of a geological disposal facility (GDF) for the UK.
On 16-18 September the RSO held its first event with the academic community. Spanning three mornings, this virtual event provided the first opportunity to present the aims and objectives of the RSO to the wider academic community, provide an update on the GDF programme which drives our research needs, and share details on funding opportunities and practicalities. The launch event had many highlights, including a guest talk by Dr Allan Hedin, SKB’s Manager of Safety Assessments on the interplay between research and the safety case in the Swedish licensing process. International collaboration is of major importance to the success of the UK programme and it was great to share the story of one of our sister organisations with a more advanced programme, reinforcing that geological disposal is internationally recognised as the best approach.
Another highlight was our interactive workshop on the final morning, led by Simon Norris: exploiting the online technology and ‘breakout rooms’ to engage with 55 expert researchers to help RWM and the RSO develop a funding call in the area of gas generation, migration and reactivity – an important topic for the GDF safety case. The level of engagement in this workshop demonstrated the RSO’s partnership approach and gave a true sense of collaboration between RWM and the academic community.
Over the course of the event the RSO received hugely constructive and positive questions and comments from the participants which will help develop the RSO as we go forward. In total we welcomed 13 UK Universities, numerous research and supply chain organisations, international WMOs, and regulators; totalling over 130 participants across the 3 days.
Full details of the RSO can be found on the website: www.research-support-office-gdf.ac.uk where all presentations from the workshop are now available and where you can register to receive updates on progress, future events and funding opportunities.
For further information contact Lucy Bailey, Head of Research Support Office, RWM