Mission Statement of CPI
The pursuit of world class research, education and training in the science and engineering of energy and a sustainable environment.
Objectives of CPI
Charles Parsons Awards
On 28th September 2006, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr Noel Dempsey TD, announced the Charles Parsons Awards which provide funding for research groups engaged in energy research in Ireland. The University of Limerick (UL) has been awarded funding for the work it has been doing in this area.
The purpose of the Charles Parsons Initiative (CPI) in UL is to consolidate the work and expertise of several UL-based research centres focussed on sustainable forms of energy. Several key players in CPI joined UL (from Birmingham, Oxford, Liverpool, London, Twente, Pretoria) during the '90s after each had more than 10 year's experience abroad. These set about establishing independent research groups for studies of biomass, catalysis, geochemistry and carbon sequestration in soils and sediments, photonics and environmental sustainability. Several researchers already at UL were establishing research in wave energy, biofuels, and marine technology. These activities led to the establishment of the Centre of Environmental Research (CER), the Optical Fibre Sensor Research Centre (OFSRC), and the Marine Robotics Research Centre (MRRC), which merged in 2006 to form CPI with the mission to tackle issues of immediate national priority in energy and sustainable environment as set out in the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation.
The Carbolea group was also established, this group have been active for some time in the field to biomass conversion to high-value end products and fuels (biorefining). Their work covers the evaluation and development of bio refining feedstocks and technologies.
Furthermore, the establishment of the Limerick Clare Energy Agency (LCEA) - the first of its kind on a university campus - and the BRE Ireland partnership are a testament to the ability of this critical mass to attract mobile organisations with related interest to Limerick. CPI has 30 faculty and 60 researchers in total and expects to grow this aggressively over the period 2006 - 2013.
CPI have recruited 3 senior research fellows, 6 PhDs and 1 administrator. The long-term sustainability of the initiative will be underpinned by the strategic decision of the vice president of research to ensure that the advertised position of Professor of Industrial Chemistry is filled by a candidate with a strong international presence in energy.