Queen's Anniversary Prizes announced

Surrey, Birmingham and Manchester amongst winners

RESEARCH groups at the universities of Surrey, Birmingham and Manchester have been awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, the most prestigious awards that can be awarded to UK universities and colleges.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are given out biennially and recognise excellence in further and higher education institutions, be it in research, community schemes, vocational training programmes or major international development projects, which contribute to the country’s intellectual, economic, cultural, and social life. They are awarded by the Royal Anniversary Trust, and the winners will receive their prizes from Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February 2012.

Surrey was awarded its prize for the Centre for Osmosis Research and Applications, which researches global freshwater availability problems and wastewater treatment and disposal. It is a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for the protection of water quality and human health. Its manipulated osmosis desalination (MOD) process uses less energy and hazardous chemicals than other desalination processes, and won the 2011 IChemE Water Management and Supply Award.

“Our mission is to provide affordable access to water for drinking and irrigation purposes. The Queen's Anniversary Prize is a significant endorsement of our work,” said Adel Sharif, the centre’s director.

Birmingham’s Centre for Formulation Engineering, part of the chemical engineering school, has been awarded the prize for its work in engineering products with complex microstructures, including paints, detergents, pharmaceuticals and food such as chocolate. The microstructure controls the properties of the product, such as texture, taste or cleaning ability. The centre’s researchers collaborate with various multinational companies including Cadbury/Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Johnson Matthey.

Birmingham’s vice-chancellor David Eastwood said: "We are tremendously proud to have been recognised in the Queen's Anniversary Prize for the work we do to connect our internationally-acclaimed academic research with business and industry. The quality, breadth, and scale of our research has allowed us to achieve significant industrial impact across a broad range of sectors.”

Manchester’s multidisciplinary Dalton Nuclear Institute has built up strong ties with both UK and global nuclear industries, and delivers courses to full- and part-time students to ensure the country has the skilled workforce necessary for its expanding civil nuclear industry. Over 16,000 pupils and 100 teachers have attended the centre’s public nuclear awareness programmes, and the centre’s staff have provided advice to the government media and the public on various nuclear issues.

“We are delighted to be awarded the Diamond Jubilee Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which is great recognition of the work carried out by our world-leading staff and the leadership provided by the Nuclear Institute’s Director Professor Andrew Sherry,” said Colin Bailey, vice-president and dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

(Information from TCE Magazine)