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British Cryogenics Council celebrates 50th anniversary

The British Cryogenics Council (BCC) celebrated its 50th jubilee anniversary in the Old Library at the Oxford Town Hall, reflecting past, present and future connections.  

Chairman of the BCC, Dr Beth Evans, welcomed the guests, with councillor Jean Fooks, Oxford University alumna and lord mayor of Oxford, extending that welcome.

The inaugural meeting of the BCC took place on 24 May 1967 at the Royal Society. The meeting was addressed by Dr Kurt Mendelssohn at Oxford University's Clarendon Laboratory, where he spoke on the ‘Future of Cryogenics in Industry’. At the 50th anniversary celebration, Professor Chris Grovenor continued the link with the University, reviewing Dr Mendelssohn's 1967 talk and speaking of the new Centre for Applied Superconductivity which he leads.

The minute book from the 1967 event shows that Dr A J Barnard, from the Institute of Refrigeration, attended as a member of the Board, and that Professor G G Haselden, who would later become president of the Institute of Refrigeration, chaired part of the meeting. 

The current Institute of Refrigeration president, Steve Gill, attended this year’s celebration and expressed his delight that the Institute has remained a sponsor of the BCC for the 50 years since its inauguration. Quoting directly from the 2015 Cryogenics Impact Report, Mr Gill commented: “Cryogenic systems find application in fields as diverse as food freezing, manufacturing and engineering, medicine and life sciences, satellite applications, astronomy, space exploration, transport and storage of liquefied natural gas, energy, avionics, defence and security, and in superconductivity. I learned today the perhaps unsurprising fact that cryogenics can be found in approximately 17 percent of the broad sectors representing the UK economy. More specifically, it is estimated that the total GVA contribution of cryogenics-related activities to the UK economy is around £324 million per year. In addition, it is estimated that cryogenics-related economic activities could contribute between £1.6 billion and £3.3 billion to the UK economy in the next 10 years.” 

Registration of interest in sponsoring or exhibiting at the ICEC-ICMC Conference was launched during the celebration evening and it was revealed that European Cryogenics Day 2018 will take place in Oxford on 3 September next year. For further details, visit:

SIRACH will be hosting an event, Applications for Cryogenic Cooling, on 12 October at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). RAL is home to many of the UK’s most advanced research facilities and supports work in a range of areas including space science and astronomy, particle physics, nanotechnology and developing new materials. The SIRACH event will focus on applications for cryogenic cooling and delegates will hear presentations on leading edge technologies. Registration and further details can be found here:


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