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Top academic will lead research into energy networks

Professor Phil Taylor has been named as one of the three Supergen Leaders selected to prepare research hub bids

The world-leading expert in the field of energy systems engineering is among the three leaders who have been identified to lead the next phase of the Supergen Programme. The project will ultimately draw up detailed proposals to establish new hubs investigating ground-breaking new approaches to sustainable energy technologies, whilst addressing user-inspired challenges in the sector.

As part of the Supergen Programme, managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), they have received six-month grants to prepare and build consortia, scope out research strategies and devise networking and engagement plans designed to maximise impact in their fields. If they are successful at a second stage in 2018, they will each be awarded £5 million of funding to establish the new hubs.

Securing a lower carbon future

Led by Professor Phil Taylor, the Supergen Energy Networks Hub aims to establish a vibrant, well-connected, diverse, open and communicative energy networks community with a deeper understanding of whole systems approaches to energy networks. The EPSRC funding for initial six-month grant is £149,944.

Despite their vital importance to the UK’s energy sector, industry and society, there is no current whole systems approach to studying the interconnected and interdependent nature of energy network infrastructure, and the challenges it faces. The hub would integrate a wide range of stakeholders while complementing national and international investments in energy networks, with the hub designed to allow all stakeholders to fully exploit opportunities in the sector.

Speaking about EPSRC’s announcement, Professor Taylor, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, said: “The Supergen programme is all about exploring areas of energy research that can secure a lower carbon future and transform our energy system for future global society. This award gives Newcastle University the chance to build and lead a consortium of academic and industrial partners who want to change the way our global energy system works and achieve carbon reductions.

Dr Sara Walker, senior lecturer and fellow investigator on the project, added: “Innovation for clean energy needs to happen through collaborating internationally and Newcastle University is a major international hub of expertise for energy and power.”

This award is the latest addition to a wide range of energy research at Newcastle University that includes working with Northumbrian Water to explore energy-efficient sewage treatment techniques, leading the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration in partnership with engineering giant Siemens, and a Smart Grids laboratory – for studying next generation electricity grids – in the University’s new £58m Urban Sciences Building that opens next month on Science Central.

Read more: Press release

published on: 11 September 2017