Imperial College London is establishing a groundbreaking research institute dedicated to developing clean, safe and sustainable air-travel.

Supported by a £25 million philanthropic donation, the Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation will pioneer the breakthroughs and technologies needed to support the aviation industry’s transition to zero pollution.

Its researchers will look at all elements of air transport, from fuel and aircraft design to airport infrastructure, air traffic control and aviation policy.

The £25 million donation – one of the largest in the College’s history – comes from Aeronautical Engineering alumnus Brahmal Vasudevan, Founder and CEO of private equity firm Creador, and his wife Shanthi Kandiah, founder of legal firm SK Chambers.

The gift will make Imperial one of the most significant global centres for sustainable aviation research and follows news that Imperial ranked top of the Research Excellence Framework, with a greater proportion of “world-leading” research than any other UK university.

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: “We are deeply grateful to Brahmal and Shanthi for their generosity and vision. They have provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to take on one of the greatest challenges in the fight against climate change.

“The Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation will focus Imperial’s world-class research, recently ranked top in the UK, on the grand challenge of low-carbon flight.

"Translating scientific breakthroughs for societal benefit is Imperial’s mission, and this Institute will empower our researchers to collaborate, innovate and pursue new ideas across fields. The benefits of this work will be felt for generations.”