The University of Manchester

Prominent Parliamentarian Explores High Voltage Lab and Engages in Policy Discourse with University of Manchester Scholars

Sir Mark Hendrick, a Member of Parliament, paid a visit to The University of Manchester’s impressive High Voltage Lab. This state-of-the-art facility is the largest electrical test and research center in UK academia. During his visit, Sir Mark engaged with leading academics to discuss a new collection of articles that delve into national resilience policy.

Professor Qiang Liu, the Professor of High Voltage Engineering and Head of the High Voltage Research Group, personally guided Sir Mark on a tour of the £9 million lab. The tour included a demonstration of the lab’s renowned 2MV impulse generator, which allows researchers to test the resilience of equipment used on the electrical grid by simulating lightning voltages.

Additionally, Sir Mark had the opportunity to meet with Professor Maria Sharmina, who is not only an academic co-director but also a contributor to the publication On Resilience, which is part of the Policy@Manchester initiative. On Resilience presents research-based solutions to some of the most pressing policy challenges that the UK faces, ranging from energy security to food production.

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

Professor Qiang Liu expressed his enthusiasm for showcasing the lab’s work to small businesses, industry representatives, and national governments. The insights gained from the lab’s research help address real-world problems. The University of Manchester takes great pride in training the engineers of the future who will be responsible for identifying and implementing improvements to revitalize the energy system.

Sir Mark Hendrick MP commented on the visit, stating that it was excellent to witness firsthand how the High Voltage Lab fosters innovation. He also highlighted the University of Manchester’s significant contribution in training electrical engineers and supporting PhD researchers in electrical power.

Sir Mark found his meeting with Professor Maria Sharmina particularly informative, as On Resilience covers various topics that are directly relevant to his work on the Energy Security and Net Zero Select Committee. He expressed his eagerness to stay connected with the University’s latest research through Policy@Manchester.

Overall, the visit was a success, and Sir Mark looks forward to keeping abreast of the University’s advancements in the coming months.

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