Ignacio Galán, chairman and chief executive of ScottishPower’s parent company Iberdrola, has today been appointed as a Visiting Professor within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. The energy company and the University share a commitment to help lead innovation in new low carbon technologies, and to establish Glasgow as a centre of engineering excellence.
Mr Galán will take on primarily an advisory role, helping to shape University policy on the future of sustainable engineering, by providing a direct insight into the needs and skills requirements of industry. During his tenure at Iberdrola, Mr Galán has transformed the business into the largest wind energy company in the world.
The appointment builds on ScottishPower’s long established relationship with the University of Strathclyde. Over five years ago the ScottishPower Advanced Research Centre (SPARC) was created to develop technologies to operate and manage electricity networks. This programme currently has five research staff undertaking power and energy systems research. The energy company also recently announced £750,000 of funding over five years to create a position called the ‘ScottishPower Chair in Smart Grid Technology’. The role will be pivotal in the development and testing of cutting edge technology to help deliver smart electricity grids of the future.
Ignacio Galán said: “Across the globe massive investment is required to decarbonise and modernise energy infrastructure. Arguably the biggest investment required will be in the people who are needed to deliver this work. I have a concern that there are not enough students graduating from universities with the right qualifications to fill this emerging skills gap. It is vital that Universities and Colleges encourage younger generations to take-up engineering courses and to embrace the new skill sets that will be required to succeed in sustainable engineering.
“The University of Strathclyde has a world class reputation for engineering and is also recognised as a progressive institution for its innovative links with industry and its ability to stay ahead of the times. As a City, Glasgow also has a proud tradition of engineering excellence from its ship building heritage and a reputation as a global trade centre. We firmly believe that the City will have a major role to play in the move to a low carbon economy.
“I am extremely honoured to take up the post of Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, and I hope that I will be able to make a positive contribution to the University’s continued success.”
Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said:”Ignacio Galán has a distinguished career in the energy industry, and we are delighted he is joining Strathclyde as a Visiting Professor to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and business leaders.
“Scotland has some of the most ambitious renewable energy targets in the world and we are working closely with our colleagues in the energy sector to meet the urgent demand for world-class research and skills training. The University is committed to working side-by-side with industry to produce top class graduates and deliver research and technology to secure our energy future.”
ScottishPower is already taking forward a number of smart grid projects across the UK, including a trial at the Clyde Gateway development in Glasgow’s east end. Work is underway on this project and new technology is being installed that will make the electricity network far more efficient, reducing wasted energy and lowering carbon emissions. Further projects that the company is working on include a pilot scheme in the Toxteth area of Liverpool and one in Ashton Hayes, Cheshire.
Across the Glasgow area Iberdrola’s workforce continues to increase. It recently established its global headquarters for offshore wind power projects in the City, which sits alongside the existing headquarters for ScottishPower and ScottishPower Renewables. The company has more than 4,500 employees in the greater Glasgow area and has outlined its desire for the City to be a hub for low carbon innovation.
The University and ScottishPower are also members of Sustainable Glasgow, a city-wide partnership to make Glasgow one of the most liveable and sustainable cities in Europe. It brings together partners from academia, the public and private sectors to work with citizens, communities and businesses.
The University of Strathclyde is a leading member of the Scottish Energy Technologies Partnership, which has established one of the strongest, broad-based research alliances internationally. The University’s Institute for Energy and Environment is the largest energy and power research grouping in Europe, with 200 staff and researchers providing an extensive range of research, training and innovation support to industry and the public sector.
Media information: Simon McMillan 0141 566 4875 / 07753 622 257