Reading chosen for new Met Office Academic Partnership
Release Date 01 December 2010
The University of Reading is joining forces with the Met Office, University of Exeter and the University of Leeds to form a new partnership that could lead to better weather and climate predictions.
The Met Office Academic Partnership aims to combine the strengths of the universities and the Met Office to secure the UK's position in leading the world in weather forecasting and climate prediction, and provide an outstanding environment to develop the atmospheric science leaders of the future. The Partnership was officially launched today.
The University of Reading's arm in the collaboration will be led by Professor Stephen Belcher, who was recently appointed as a new Chair in Weather Systems, co-sponsored by the UK Met Office.
Part of Stephen's research aims to integrate and enhance the University's world-class research into the physics, dynamics and forecasting of high-impact weather.
Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Sir John Beddington said: "Our economies and societies are increasingly vulnerable to hazardous weather and climatic changes. To understand the challenges we face and to help build resilience requires cutting edge scientific research and its application to practical policy making and decisions.
"I welcome this Partnership which seeks to boost our national capability, by harnessing better the excellence that exists within the UK Met Office and across academia."
Professor Belcher said: "I am delighted to be involved in this new partnership which brings together research within the Met Office and the Department of Meteorology, and could make a real difference to the forecasting of severe weather."
Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist said: "This is the first time that a group of universities has joined forces with a leading government organisation to form a cluster of research excellence aimed at accelerating science research to benefit society.
"This is just the start of what I hope will be an exciting joint venture and only one element of our collaborations, both here and overseas, aimed at maximising the benefit of the UK's world-class expertise in weather forecasting and climate prediction."
The Met Office already collaborates on around 40 projects with the universities within the Academic Partnership and supports over 30 Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) studentships. This new relationship will create a cluster of over 1,000 scientists working in areas from atmospheric chemistry and air quality to weather extremes and risk management.
For more information journalists should contact the Met Office Press Office by telephone +44 (0)1392 886655 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors:
- As the United Kingdom's national weather service, the Met Office provides weather forecasts and climate change advice to the public, businesses and the military, maintains a suite of models for weather prediction and climate projection, and conducts a wide range of atmospheric research.
The University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (THE-QS World Rankings 2009). Its Department of Meteorology is internationally renowned for its excellent teaching and research in atmospheric, oceanic and climate science. Established in 1965, it is the only UK university which offers a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in meteorology.
In 2005 Meteorology at Reading was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 75% of our research was graded as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our weighted score places it third in the country in the "Earth Systems and Environmental Science" category, and makes it the highest-graded department focusing on the fundamental science of weather and climate.