Your University magazine 2022-23

Page 14



Major new sustainable fuels centre announced


he Energy Institute is building a new Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre (SAF-IC) to test, validate and certify new sustainable aviation fuels. The first of its kind in the UK, the centre will lead research, innovation and commercial testing of sustainable aviation fuels. The centre will be part of the University’s Energy Institute. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Sheffield and is located at the University’s Innovation District. Work has already begun on the centre, which is expected to be fully operational by July 2022. SAF-IC will be the first centre in the UK to be able to capture CO2, produce green hydrogen, convert them into sustainable aviation fuels and analyse their performance in a single location. The facility will work in combination with the Translational Energy Research Centre, also part of the University of Sheffield, to support research and

provide testing capabilities to help make sustainable aviation fuels ready for commercial use. Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Director of the University of Sheffield’s Energy Institute, said, “We are extremely excited to be establishing this state-of-the-art innovation centre in the heart of the University’s Innovation District. SAF-IC will help the UK to determine the best pathways to net-zero aviation and play a crucial role


New AI model helps discover causes of motor neurone disease


esearch from the Neuroscience Institute is working to better understand the nervous system and find treatments that improve the lives of patients and their families. In partnership with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr Johnathan Cooper-Knock from the Neuroscience Institute developed a new machine learning tool for the discovery of genetic risk factors for diseases such as motor neurone disease (MND).

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MND, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), affects approximately 5,000 people in the UK and 450,000 worldwide – with numbers on the rise. There is currently no cure for this devastating neurodegenerative condition. Using machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, the research team has made a significant breakthrough in discovering genes which put someone at risk of MND.

The centre will be the first of its kind to research fuels which are made without any fossil fuels in the process.”