The Research Support Office was launched one year ago by RWM to harness and grow the academic community carrying out some of the essential independent research required for a UK Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

Its long-term programme includes wholly funded research, part-funded research carried out with partners in the government’s UK Research and Innovation body (UKRI), academia and industry, together with PhD studentships and engagement in international projects.

Since formation of the RSO, RWM has funded 8 PhD students, 2 Post-doctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) and has committed to fund a further 16 PhDs and three PDRAs this coming year.

During the 2-day event in Manchester, RWM and experts from universities and research institutions across the UK will explore the latest developments in geological disposal research.

A researcher sits at a computer, surrounded by equipment

A UK GDF will be underpinned by world-class science and engineering. Photo courtesy of Dalton Nuclear Institute.

Conference delegates will hear from academics in engineering, mathematics, materials science, social science, geoscience, radiochemistry and manufacturing, reflecting the wide range of disciplines involved with developing and constructing a GDF. Each research discipline is led by the UK’s most foremost experts in their respective fields.

RWM’s Lucy Bailey, Head of RSO, said:

I am excited that the RSO community is coming together in person to celebrate the progress which has been achieved in its first year and to welcome our first full cohort of RSO PhD students as they embark on their research.

The conference will highlight our current research areas as well as looking ahead at future research needs to ensure that a GDF is underpinned by world-class science and engineering. An important aspect of the conference is the opportunity for RWM staff and leading academics to work together to ensure the widest possible understanding and engagement with the GDF programme.

Prof Katherine Morris, Academic Lead for the RSO, said:

We are excited to meet our colleagues from RWM and academia for the first time in person since the RSO Launch. The event offers us the opportunity to highlight the new research being undertaken in the RSO, and consider the future research needs for the RSO as we build our community.

The exchange between the academic community and RWM Subject Matter Experts is at the heart of the RSO, and we are looking to build on our excellent progress to date at the event with the launch of our PhD Bursary Scheme and our workshop on Lower Strength Sedimentary Rocks as well as technical and question and answer sessions.

In partnership with The University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield, the RSO aims to deliver the scientific, engineering and social science understanding to underpin the GDF programme and develop the next generation of scientists and engineers to contribute to long-term science and technology innovations, enabling RWM to be successful in its mission to protect people and the environment.

Further information is available via the RSO website.

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    RWM brings together the top academic experts from across the UK

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