Senior MP visits High Voltage Lab and talks policy with University of Manchester experts

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Sir Mark Hendrick MP has visited The University of Manchester’s High Voltage Lab – the biggest electrical test and research facility in UK academia – and met with leading academics to discuss a new collection of articles examining national resilience policy.

He was given a guided tour of the £9 million lab by Professor Qiang Liu, Professor of High Voltage Engineering and Head of the High Voltage Research Group, including a demonstration of its renowned 2MV impulse generator which allows researchers to stress test equipment used on the grid by creating real-life lightning voltages.

Sir Mark also met with Professor Maria Sharmina, academic co-director and contributor to the Policy@Manchester publication On Resilience which sets out research-led solutions to some of the greatest policy challenges facing the UK from energy security to food production.

A former electronics engineer, Sir Mark has represented Preston in Parliament since 2000 and currently serves as a member of the House of Commons Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee.

Professor Qiang Liu said:

“We always welcome the opportunity to showcase our work with small businesses, industry and national governments to address real world conundrums which draws on the lessons learnt from our research in the High Voltage Lab.

“The University of Manchester is equally proud of our role in training the engineers of tomorrow who will take on the task of identifying and implementing the improvements needed to revitalise our energy system.

“As a former engineer, Sir Mark takes a keen interest in our mission to deliver an equitable and prosperous net zero energy future.”

Professor Maria Sharmina, Co-Director of Policy@Manchester, said:

“At The University of Manchester, we regard it as an important part of our role as academics to share our research-based ideas with policymakers locally, regionally and nationally, and to hear their personal perspectives on how best to tackle the challenges we face in modern society.

“Policy@Manchester’s widely read publications make a meaningful contribution to the process of formulating and implementing imaginative solutions to pressing policy challenges.

“We had a helpful discussion with Sir Mark about the policy proposals in On Resilience and an equally useful exchange of ideas on related issues.”

Sir Mark Hendrick MP said:

“It was excellent to see at first-hand how the High Voltage Lab enables researchers to find new methods to innovate at pace.

“The University of Manchester also makes a remarkable contribution in training 300 electrical engineers and supporting 150 PhD researchers in electrical power each year.

“My meeting with Maria was particularly informative with On Resilience covering several topics relevant to my work on the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee.

“Through Policy@Manchester, I look forward to keeping in close touch with the latest research at the University in the months ahead.”