BPI Masterclass 2020

Registration for this year's Masterclass in Energy Supply and Demand (7—8 December) has opened.

BPI PhD Scholarships

The BPI is pleased to announce a competition for BPI PhD Scholarships.

Covid 19-related research

Research is ongoing on the mixing and ventilation of aerosols and viruses in buildings. Key results and publications will be added below as they become available.


The University has just announced plans to divest from fossil fuel companies or the next 10 years, provides a powerful leadership signal for advancing decarbonisation of the energy system which we welcome. The BPI is at the heart of pioneering new research for the energy transition, and continues to work with a range of partners on some of the most challenging problems involved in the transition to zero carbon energy including:

  • carbon capture and storage: a key process which will enable decarbonisation of cement, iron and steel manufacture and the disposal of emissions from biofuels to create a net sink of carbon
  • geothermal power production, including novel closed loop multi well systems, which can provide power generation as well as feeding district heating and agricultural systems
  • innovative coatings for offshore wind turbines to extend their life and inhibit corrosion in such hostile environments
  • low energy building design to optimise air flows through buildings for more energy efficient heating and cooling
  • the use of phase change materials in heat exchange systems to produce much more energy efficient solutions

Introduction to BPI

The BPI is an interdisciplinary Research Institute in the University of Cambridge, with a focus on fluid mechanics and surface science. The research spans subjects ranging from Volcano Dynamics, Carbon Sequestration, Ocean Mixing and Ice Sheet Evolution through to Microscopic Encapsulation Technology, Fundamentals of Wetting and Corrosion, Flow in Permeable Rocks, and most recently Granular Flows The research is characterised by the combination of experimental data, theoretical modelling and numerical analysis to enable quantitative description of many complex and often multiphase flow processes.

The BPI was established in 2000 and has six permanent university faculty, a senior research fellow and lively cohort of over 30 PhD and Post-Doctoral researchers. The BPI has 5 parent departments in the University including Earth Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Engineering.

Over the past 20 years, research from the BPI has had significant impact in a number of key areas including (a) design of low energy ventilation systems for buildings, (b) new insights into carbon sequestration technology, (c) improved functioning of lubricants, and (d) new encapsulation processes for bio-active washing powders.

A flagship enterprise of the BPI is the Annual Masterclass in Energy Supply and Demand, which has been running for over 15 years and includes lively debate on the energy transition, including presentations and discussion of the technology challenges associated with various sources of energy and challenges on reducing energy demand.

The BPI was established through a generous endowment by BP plc in 1999, and over the past 20 years, the BPI has built up very strong links with many partners in both academia and industry, working on problems in the built environment, the energy sector and the environment.