The Swan Centre draws its name from the famous North East inventor Sir Joseph Swan. Swan is most remembered for inventing the electric light bulb and his legacy is to be seen all around us.
Swan, however, also invented a dry photographic process leading to a huge improvement in photography and progress toward the development of modern photographic film; and he was responsible for developing the cellular lead plate for rechargeable batteries (patented in 1881) - a development which will remain at the heart of transport technologies long after fuel sources change to something 'greener'.
As an entrepreneurial, inter-disciplinary, Newcastle-based energy technology pioneer, the life of Sir Joseph Swan can be regarded as a suitable pre-figuring of the type of enterprise to which we aspire through the Science City programme.
The official Swan Centre Launch Event was held in November 2007 and was attended by 23 members of Sir Joseph’s Swan’s surviving family. Representatives from local industry and the University also attended the event at which Professor Dermot Roddy opened the Centre with an overview of energy activity in the North East.
The event also included tours of the Devonshire Building and visits to Sir Joseph Swan's childhood home, the Sir Joseph Swan School, NaREC's blade testing facility and the Clothier Lab high voltage testing facility.
Download Professor Roddy’s presentation (PDF: 3MB).