BHR Group, the independent research and technology organisation specialising in the application of fluid engineering to industrial processes, is preparing for expansion thanks to a £2.6m investment of growth capital from BGF.

BHR grew out of the British Hydromechanics Research Association, one of the founding research associations established by the UK government in the 1940’s alongside the likes of MIRA and PERA. Current Managing Director Raghbir Chand took control of Cranfield University-based BHR in August 2011 and revenues have grown year on year since. BHR currently employs 84 staff; a mixture of scientists, engineers and commercial staff.

BHR has a well-established heritage, and is recognised globally for its engineering excellence and contribution to fluid dynamics, with a diverse cross-section of clients across multiple industries including Shell, DOW Chemical, Mott McDonald and Sellafield.

Projects range across the fluid mechanics sector, from processes involving the effective mixture of nano-fluids, to new product development and validation of advanced and high value engineering systems. BHR also offers integrated design, consultancy and project management solutions, such as city-wide integrated intelligent smart water systems design. BHR has clients operating in the renewables, oil and gas, chemicals, nuclear, water, power, and manufacturing sectors where fluid behaviour is critical to design performance and operational costs.

BGF’s investment in BHR will be used to grow the company’s core consultancy offering, as well as to support additional research and development, and the commercialisation of its own intellectual property and know-how. The new capital will also allow BHR to consolidate and expand into new markets, such as the Middle East where it’s knowhow and expertise is in great demand and key clients seek local presence for larger contracts and joint program deliveries.

BHR will also bolster its Board with the appointment of Michael Stevens as Chairman and Paul Winstanley as Non-Executive Director. Michael was formerly Chief Executive of Linx Printing Technologies, and currently serves on boards of Hydro International plc and Stratophase Ltd. Paul is the former President and CEO of QinetiQ’s USA presence, and is currently serving on the board of several early stage ventures including Alazen Ltd and Entrada Ltd.

BGF has taken a minority stake in BHR and Senior Investment Manager, Jonathan Earl has joined the board, supported by Aaron Baker who will act as Observer.

Raghbir Chand, Managing Director of BHR, said:

“Research and technology organisations such as BHR Group play a pivotal role in taking scientific knowledge and applying this to develop new or improved engineering products and processes. BHR has enjoyed significant growth since 2011 and I am incredibly proud of the level of expertise, high commitment and calibre of the team that we inherited, and have continued to build in a relatively short time.

“We have been seeking a long-term strategic partner that is able to not only offer the capital investment that we need to deliver the identified growth opportunities but also understands BHR’s history of innovation and shares our passion for supporting our loyal and increasingly international client base. This investment from BGF will allow us to rapidly modernise the existing facility at Cranfield, invest in additional state of the art equipment and widen the already broad offering of services that we offer our customers. It will also accelerate the bringing to market of BHR’s owned product opportunities, including the launch of the ‘BHR COOLFIRE’ product portfolio (high pressure engineering cutting and jetting systems) for the fire and rescue services.”

Jonathan Earl, BGF’s Senior Investment Manager, said:

“We have been very impressed with what Raghbir and the team has achieved to date. BHR has a solid underlying business capable of continued growth, as well as significant IP which the company has started to commercialise. The quality of service that it provides helps other businesses to maximise their investment across a huge array of sectors and applications and being the market leader, BHR is well placed to expand its presence in the field of fluid engineering.”