MANCHESTER is to receive a royal visit next Friday as Prince William and Princess Kate take time out from their busy charitable calendar to visit the National Graphene Institute (NGI).
Their visit to the University follows a series of engagements around the city including The National Football Museum and Francis House Children’s Hospice
A world leader in engineering and science, one of Manchester’s biggest discoveries is also one of its smallest: just one atom thick, the isolation of graphene in 2014 (which involved a pencil and sticky tape) won Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov a Nobel Prize in Physics.
The ‘wonder material’ - more than 200 times stronger than steel - is currently being celebrated in a premiere exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry.
The royal couple will tour the state-of-the-art cleanrooms and laboratories, and meet some of the researchers and industry partners who work at the complex; where academics and commercial partners work side by side on applications of the future. They will also view the world’s first graphene car, made by Briggs Automotive Company in partnership with Haydale.
The tour will continue onto the site of the £350m Manchester Engineering Campus (MECD), which will be one of the single largest construction projects ever undertaken by a higher education institution in the UK.
Whilst on site, the Duke and Duchess will seal a time capsule - to be displayed within the building once construction is completed - as well as unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “Over the past 100 years the University has celebrated many achievements in science and engineering, from Rutherford splitting the atom to the isolation of graphene almost a century later.
"MECD will create a world-leading teaching, learning and research campus to develop the engineers, scientists and innovators of tomorrow and it is an honour to be joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as we mark the commencement of the next milestone in the University’s campus masterplan”.