Sir Bobby Charlton backs opening of international landmine research centre in Manchester

Sir Bobby Charlton has signed an agreement on behalf of his charity, Find A Better Way, to open an international research centre based at The University of Manchester dedicated to improving the detection of landmines.

The Centre for International Research for the Clearance of Landmines and Explosive (CIRCLE) has been hailed as a key step in the progress towards achieving Sir Bobby’s dream of a landmine-free world.

CIRCLE will be a 500m2 research and laboratory space which will serve as the hub for the growing network of Find A Better Way-funded landmine detection research projects.

The University of Manchester was chosen as the home of CIRCLE due to its world-leading research capabilities in this field, including expertise in advanced screening, scanning and imaging technology involving Professor Anthony Peyton, from the University’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Professor Bill Lionheart, from the School of Mathematics.

An official agreement was signed by Sir Bobby on behalf of the Find A Better Way charity and Professor Martin Schröder, Vice President and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.

“This is a fantastic day,” said Sir Bobby, who went on to praise Professor Schröder and the University for the commitment and support given to this project.

Along with other partners, the University has been working directly with the Find A Better Way charity to help pioneer research on finding better methods of detecting landmines. A key aim of the research has been to develop smarter equipment that can distinguish between the small parts of metal used in a landmine from other metallic fragments buried in areas where landmines could also be found.

Professor Schröder, added: “I am thrilled and delighted that The University of Manchester can work closely with the charity Find A Better Way to develop and deliver the Centre for International Research for Clearance of Landmines and Explosives (CIRCLE).”

Professor Anthony Peyton, Chair in Electromagnetic Tomography Engineering in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, added: “CIRCLE offers a unique opportunity to be a catalyst and a focus to the humanitarian research work supported by the Find A Better Way.