Academic consultant from Newcastle University makes material difference to science services firm

Offshore oil and gas platforms must meet high safety standards. Hydrocarbon fires are intense and it is important to understand how all construction materials will behave.

MMI Engineering, a technical consultancy working with BP, approached Newcastle University for expertise on the fire behaviour of fibreglass gratings, which are widely used on such platforms.

The University’s Enterprise team put them in touch with Professor Geoff Gibson, a leading authority on composite materials. His consultancy and testing work was part-funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, giving MMI a discount to ensure the study was affordable.

The academic perspective gave both MMI and BP a better understanding of the fire behaviour of composite gratings, which an industry perspective alone would not have provided. The work also resulted in the publication of revised guidance by the UK Health and Safety Executive. The publication of the results in an academic journal also meant that wider industry benefitted, enabling the development of new, safer products.

Policy areas

Related case studies

Reducing blood transfusions to lower patient risk, reduce costs and save lives

More than half a million people in the UK receive a blood transfusion each year and demand is increasing. Our ageing population, and a stringent donor selection process, mean the supply of blood is limited. 40% fewer new donors came forward last year compared with a decade ago. Recognising these challenges, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown the benefits of reducing the use of blood transfusions in intensive care and surgery.

Read more >