Challenge leads

Transport and Mobility

David Grant 410

David Grant

Director of the Energy Institute

David Grant is the Director of the University of Nottingham Energy Institute and leads the Advanced Materials Research Group. He coordinates the Energy Institute's Transport and Mobility challenge.



Alasdair Cairns

Director of the Powertrain Research Centre

Professor Al Cairns is the Director of the Powertrain Research Centre at University of Nottingham and has over 23 years’ experience in light and heavy-duty engines, decarbonised fuels and electric hybrid propulsion systems.

His early career involved 10 years with engineering consultancy Cosworth/MAHLE Powertrain, managing large collaborative R&D programmes. He has since successfully led over 25 EPSRC, Innovate UK, Advanced Propulsion Centre and directly funded projects in his field with global industry partners. He is currently Programme Director for the MariNH3 which is investigating the potential of green ammonia to fuel and decarbonise commercial shipping.



Martin Dornheim

Leverhulme International Professor for Hydrogen Storage Materials and Systems

Martin Dornheim is an internationally recognized leading scientist with a special focus on hydrogen storage and compression. He leads a team of experts exploring green hydrogen technologies, which are set to play a key role in enabling the UK to meet net zero emissions targets.



Steve Sapsford

Industrial Advisor for Transport

Steve has a background of working in the automotive industry at Director level, and in 2018 set up his own consultancy to focus on future propulsions systems and the role for sustainable fuels in complementing electrification.

He is Industrial Advisor for Transport at the University of Nottingham Energy Institute and is also chair of the Powertrain Systems and Fuels Group at the IMechE.



Surojit Sen

Assistant Professor

Surojit is an academic in the Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMC) research group with teaching duties in the Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing (M3) Engineering department.

His research area can be summarised into three focus areas: electrical powertrain modelling and simulation, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation of electrical systems with special focus on power HIL, geographically distributed HIL and Digital Twins, and battery systems design and optimisation for sustainable futures. Surojit has been involved in electrification in motorsport for the last 8 years through Formula Student and other industrial collaborators in the same field.




Energy Generation and Management


James O'Shea

Associate Professor and Reader in Physics

Operating at the nanoscale, James investigates the self-assembly and electronic structure of a variety of nanostructures.

Resonant photoemission techniques are used to investigate the charge-transfer timescales of molecular solar cell fragments to understand the fundamental principles.



Henner Wapenhans

Professor of Innovation for Zero Carbon Technologies

Henner is Professor of Innovation for Zero Carbon Technologies and leads the strategy and implementation of the Zero Carbon Cluster for the university.

Henner’s work focuses on identifying and developing high impact areas of zero carbon research and working with industry and other stakeholders to accelerate their application. He sits on the aircraft technology sub-delivery group of the JetZero council.



Maria Karafyllia

Assistant Professor in Strategy

Maria's research interests include paradoxes of strategy and innovation, unlearning, open innovation, necessity entrepreneurship, and market ambidexterity. Her JPIM article (co-authored with Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen) "Perspective: Leveraging Open Innovation through Paradox" won the Albert L. Page Award for Outstanding Professional Contribution.



Orla Williams

Anne McLaren Research Fellow, Biomass Based Processes

Orla is an Anne McLaren Research Fellow, exploring the potential to use biomass based processes, collectively known as bioprocessing, to produce critical raw materials from industrial wastes found in the UK. Anne's fellowship will explore the potential for specially selected biomasses (plants) to absorb metals from polluted land and then extract critical raw materials from these plants.




Communities and the Built Environment


Lucelia Rodrigues

Professor of Sustainable and Resilient Cities

Lucelia is Professor of Sustainable and Resilient Cities and Director of Transport, Mobility and Cities. She leads the masters programme in Architecture and Sustainable Design.

Lucelia's work focuses on sustainability and resilience in the built environment, particularly energy, carbon management and comfort.



Mark Gillott

Professor of Sustainable Building Design

Mark has over 20 years experience in low-carbon sustainable energy technologies and sustainable building design.

He is the research and project manager for multi-award winning community energy sustainable housing projects and coordinates the Energy Institute Communities and the Built Environment challenge.



Hafez Abdo

Associate Professor of Accounting

Hafez Abdo is an Associate Professor of Accounting. Research is focused on accounting and taxation of the extractive industries, energy policy, energy security, investments in renewable energy options. Hafez represents the Nottingham University Business School as part of the Communities and Built Environment challenge for the Energy Institute.



Florian Wiedmann

Assistant Professor, Architecture and Built Environment

Florian's research focuses on urban transformation tendencies and energy-wasting commuting worldwide, particularly in emerging cities and major urban agglomerations. He explores integrated urbanism from an interdisciplinary perspective modelling and assessing spatial patterns and human behaviour to detect and understand fragmentation and segregation tendencies and their impact on daily commuting.




Academics and researchers


Pearl Agyakwa

Senior Research Fellow, Power Electronics, Machines and Control

Pearl's work centres on elucidating the degradation mechanisms and failure physics of power electronics packaging components.

Expertise includes exploring and quantifying three-dimensional damage morphologies using 3D X-ray computed microtomography methodologies and mapping damage by using nanoindentation properties.



Reza Beheshti

Assistant Professor

Reza Beheshti teaches and conducts research in international commercial law. He focuses on how commercial law can promote the use of sustainable business models, in particular, the use and development of circular economy in day-to-day business activities.

He is currently working, with a number of academics from other major universities in the UK, on a research project concerning the exploration of a legal and contractual framework for effective implementation of underlying values promoted by the circular economy.



Nick Booth

Head of Engineering Academy

Nick has over 20 years’ experience in the power sector, spanning executive board roles on leading European Commission funded research programmes into Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and experience of asset operations and maintenance at Uniper’s Ratcliffe-on-Soar 2,000MW coal-fired power station. Nick is Head of Uniper’s Engineering Academy.



Samantha Bryan

White Biotechnology Lead, Assistant Professor in White Biotechnology

Sam has a vast array of experience across a range of organisms, with extensive experience in cyanobacterial physiology and developing the biotechnological potential of bacterial chassis, attracting recent funding (>1M) from various sources. Her current research is focused on engineering bacterial chassis to produce bioplastics, hydrogen, ethylene and high value pharmaceuticals.



Richard Campion

Principal Research Fellow

Dr Richard Campion's research focuses on novel functional material and device development. Research on high temperature superconductors progressed to III-V semiconductor materials leading Richard to develop ferro and anti-ferromagnetic materials for spintronic applications. Current work focuses on novel materials and devices for concentrator solar cell, optical and phonon physics research alongside ongoing spintronic work. Developing interests include materials for photocatalysis and water splitting.



Ioanna Dimitriou

Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering

Ioanna's research focuses on Process Systems Engineering for development of algorithms and techno-economic models to describe individual processes and their economic performance. The aim is to determine the economic and technical boundaries of low-carbon energy systems to support policy makers and businesses in decision-making.



Zigeng Fang

Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering and Management

Dr Zigeng Fang is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham. He primarily concentrates on three areas of research: Smart, Shareable, and Sustainable.


Seamus Garvey

Professor of Dynamics

Though originally a rotordynamics expert,  Seamus’ research has increasingly focused on energy storage to complement the adoption of renewables into energy systems. He is especially focused on differentiating the different timescales involved and on integrating energy storage directly into wind turbines. Find out more:
Grid Inertia
Medium Duration Energy Storage
Hydrogen Storage in Caverns



Chris Gerada

Professor of Electrical Machines

Chris Gerada's main research interests include the design and modeling of high-performance electric drives and machines. He is also Associate PVC for Industrial Strategy, Business Engagement and Impact.

Chris coordinates the Energy Institute's Industry Links and Innovation theme.



Robin Irons

Director of Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems Centre for Doctoral Training

Robin’s work looks at different methods of decarbonising existing industries and energy systems. It includes the replacement of fossil fuels or chemical feedstocks with biomass or carbon-free energy vectors such as hydrogen or ammonia and also the capture and use of CO2 as a chemical or biological feedstock.



Lee Johnson

Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry

Lee's research focuses on understanding the chemistry that underpins advanced batteries and how this understanding can be used to unlock a new generation of energy storage technologies.

The approach combines electrochemistry and a range of operando analytical methods.



Lorna Kiamba

Assistant Professor in Environmental Design and Architecture

Lorna's research aims to underpin a sustainable approach to the design of our buildings and cities, by integrating people, processes, and places, to address global warming and climate change.

Current work addresses energy efficiency; just transitions; barriers towards net zero carbon; community energy and community engagement for sustainability.



Pete Licence

Professor of Chemistry

The implementation of Green Chemistry and Sustainability are key concepts that run throughout Pete's research and teaching interests. The development of environmentally benign materials and products via efficient, clean chemistry is a long-term goal. Pete coordinates the Energy Institute's Training, CPD and Just Transition theme.



Liliana De Lillo

Associate Professor, Power Electronics, Machines and Control

Liliana is an Associate Professor and Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow for the Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group.

Her research focuses on integrated drives and how, by physically integrating power electronics and electrical machines, we can use common structures and systems to greatly reduce, materials and energy consumption. What we learn from this can then be translated into other applications.

Liliana also runs outreach activities to inspire children as young as primary school age to become interested in engineering.



Ming Li

Assistant Professor, Advanced Materials

Ming studies a wide range of energy and electronic materials, ranging from ionic and electronic conductors for applications in solid oxide fuel cells, batteries, and gas separation membranes, to dielectric materials for high-temperature, high-power electronic components.

Ming's particular expertise is probing electrical conduction mechanisms and defect chemistry of materials.



Sanliang Ling

Assistant Professor, Advanced Materials

Sanliang research focuses on computational materials design, atomistic modelling, machine learning, materials for energy storage and generation and porous materials.



Jon McKechnie

Associate Professor, Sustainable Energy Systems

Jon evaluates emerging technologies to better understand the transition towards a low carbon economy. Research takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating life cycle assessment and techno-economics to quantify the environmental and financial implications of new technologies. Ongoing research focuses on process technologies for biomass and CO2 utilisation, circular management of wastes, greenhouse gas removals, and transport systems.



Stephen Meek

Director of the Institute for Policy and Engagement

Stephen joined the University as the inaugural Director of the Institute for Policy and Engagement in September 2018, following a career in the UK Civil Service. Stephen is also Vice-President of the Universities Policy Engagement Network, which brings together policy facing functions from over 70 UK Universities.



Simone Morra

Research Fellow, Engineering

Simone’s research focuses on industrial biotechnology for the sustainable production of chemicals. His core expertise is on metallo-enzymes that produce hydrogen gas, covering their discovery, characterisation, engineering and exploitation in vitro and in vivo for green hydrogen technologies.



Carol Morris

Associate Professor of Rural Environmental Geography

Carol is an environmental social scientist. Much of her research explores the politics and governance of agri-food system sustainability.

She is also interested in the politics of knowledge particularly as this concerns the role of social science in multi/interdisciplinary research programmes.



Arijit Mukherjee

Professor of Industrial Economics

Arijit is conducting theoretical research in the areas of Industrial organisation and international trade and investment. Some of which shows the implications of international trade, investment and outsourcing on environmental pollution and welfare. These findings are useful for managers, policy makers and consumers.



Graham Newton

Assistant Professor of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

Graham's research focuses on the synthesis of complex organic and inorganic molecular systems for applications in small molecule conversion, energy storage, photo-catalysis and the development of functional materials. Graham coordinates the Energy Institute's Fundamental Science and Engineering theme.



Maria Paim

Assistant Professor in Environmental Law

Maria's work focuses on climate change strategies, in particular the role of law and policy to foster sustainable transition in the Global South, including environmental integrity in the energy sector and market-based mechanisms for forest governance.



Marianthi Pappa

Assistant Professor in Law

Dr Marianthi Pappa is conducting research on various energy law aspects, including: energy security, regulation of natural resources, human rights in extractive industries, exploration of hydrocarbons in areas of uncertain jurisdiction, and investment protection. Her latest project examines the impact of Covid-19 and energy transition on the petroleum industry.



Amalia Patane

Professor of Physics

Amalia is interested in the quantum behaviour of electrons in semiconductor nanostructures and their application in photonics and electronics. Her research highlights include the imaging and manipulation of the wavefunction of electrons confined in low dimensional systems, the development of biocompatible nanocomposites based on colloidal nanocrystals and the investigation of novel non-linear electron dynamics.



Linda Peters

Associate Professor in Marketing

Linda explores purposeful 'market shaping' efforts by firms and recognises that markets are interconnected, networked ecosystems in which change and innovation happen. Collaborative recombination of resources and institutionalisation of practices can shape markets to create new value. Linda's research explores these relationships to determine routes for successful change.



Chris Sims

Head of Global Policy Impact

Chris started his career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving in Seoul and The Hague. He then worked in and around the voluntary sector, with a focus on education and skills policy.

Chris holds an MA in International Social Policy from the University of Nottingham and coordinates the Energy Institute’s Public Policy and Engagement theme.



Colin Snape

Director of CCS and Cleaner Fossil Energy Centre for Doctoral Training

Colin's research encompasses novel adsorbents for CO2 capture in combustion and gasification. He also explores efficient power from fossil energy and carbon capture technologies.

Colin's research on hydropyrolysis has gained global recognition in the field of geochemistry.



Michelle Stirk

Associate Professor in Accounting

Michelle Stirk focuses on how energy, sustainability, and business organisations intersect. She is working with the Energy Institute to form new collaborations in the areas of energy, business, and management control, and explores how these areas relate to society.

Michelle is a chartered management accountant and previously held several senior accountant posts in both the public and private sectors. Her research is interdisciplinary and draws upon a wealth of practical and academic experience gained over 20 years.



Mark Sumner

Professor of Electrical Energy Systems

Mark's research interests include the control of electrical energy systems and in particular systems which include power electronics. Recent research has explored the development and use of new energy management strategies for renewables and smart distribution systems. Mark coordinates the Energy Institute's Electrification and Electrical Systems theme.


Darren Walsh

Darren Walsh

Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry

Darren is an electrochemist who develops materials for next-generation energy storage and conversion devices, including batteries, electrolysers, fuel cells, and supercapacitors.  He is also interested in the development of electrochemical methodology and has designed new tools for studying the rates of fast electron-transfer reactions and performing electrochemical measurements in unusual media. 



Fangying Wang

Assistant Professor in Structural Engineering

Dr Fangying Wang is an Assistant Professor in Structural Engineering. Her research interests lie in the area of decarbonising construction industries by recycling materials and structural elements, repurposing deficient steel and concrete structural components, technology innovations for reusability, and advancing the development of low-carbon construction materials.



Lin Wang

Assistant Professor

Dr Wang has been working on wind turbine technologies for over 10 years. His current research focuses on novel wind turbine technologies and the design optimisation of offshore wind turbine structures. He has participated in several research projects related to offshore renewable energy, funded by the EPSRC, Carbon Trust, and the European Union.



Robert Wapshott

Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Robert's research centres on small business and entrepreneurship. In particular, management practices in small firms and related areas of government policy that influence these firms’ operating environments.

Robert has also studied knowledge-intensive firms, such as those in business services and advanced manufacturing.



Richard Wheatley

Associate Professor and Reader in Theoretical Chemistry

Richard's energy related research includes calculating forces between molecules using quantum chemistry and perturbation theory. Equilibrium and non-equilibrium computer simulations and free energy calculations. Statistical thermodynamics and the virial series.



Fang Xu

Assistant Professor, Advanced Materials

Fang's research concentrates on the production and characterisation of advanced nanomaterials and fabrication of related nanocomposites, with a focus on polymer composites, thermal management, power electronic packaging, tribology and metal composites.



Nahid Yazdani

Assistant Professor

Nahid has a multidisciplinary background, a PhD in Business strategy, an MBA, a degree in Material Science and Engineering, and a few years of experience in the energy sector before joining the business school.

Using a systems thinking approach to model complex and wicked problems, Nahid collaborates in projects that bridge social sciences and engineering to drive meaningful change in energy policy and practice regionally and in the UK.



Operations and development


Michele Pattison

Head of Operations

Michele is the Head of Operations for the Energy Institute and has worked for several years in environmental and energy related roles at the University of Nottingham.



Gordon Arnott

Research Development Manager

Gordon has enjoyed a career supporting research in academia and industry. He began his career at the University of Nottingham in 2001 as an Experimental Officer and now supports the strategic development of research within the Energy Institute.


Ella Crowther 2023 Colour

Ella Crowther

Senior Research Administrator

Ella is Senior Research Administrator for the University of Nottingham Energy Institute. Working closely with the Head of Operations, Ella supports research, creates content for the website and for social media, organises the weekly webinars, and leads on Energy Institute events such as conferences and workshops.



Steve Closs

Business Development Manager

Steve has a wealth of experience gained in various roles linked to sustainability and the pursuit of net zero. He joins the University of Nottingham Energy Institute to undertake a pioneering airport decarbonisation study, as part of regional activity surrounding East Midlands Airport.



Vicki Ball

Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy Manager

As Research Strategy Manager, Vicki leads the development and delivery of strategies and roadmaps from University down to individual level. Liaising with funders and external stakeholders to drive activities to maximise funding and technology translation opportunities across the discipline of Engineering. With a background in clinical trials and technology based commercial intelligence, Vicki has a specific focus on the generation and delivery of Knowledge Exchange and Impact.



Sarah Malone

Business Partnerships Manager - Zero Carbon

Sarah is the Zero Carbon Business Partnerships Manager, providing expertise and support to facilitate the development and delivery of collaborative activity with the Research, Industry and Innovation communities.

Sarah also sits on the leadership team for the University’s Zero Carbon cluster, developing mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with business, government and other organisations.



Vicky Hards

Research Development Manager, Engineering

Vicky's work facilitates individual faculty members and teams of researchers in attracting research funding. Vicky creates relationships, and develops and implements strategies that increase institutional competitiveness.


Sarah Macmillan

Sarah Macmillan

Senior Research Development Manager, Social Sciences

Sarah is Senior Research Development Manager in the Faculty of Social Sciences. She has worked extensively supporting researchers in science and engineering disciplines, including energy, and now supports Nottingham University Business School. 



Tim Saunders

Senior Research and Business Development Manager

Tim has a strategic role to support research and knowledge exchange within Architecture and the Built Environment. He builds key stakeholder networks, develops grant applications, and provides bespoke support and advice across the research portfolio.


Tanja Siggs 410x410

Tanja Siggs

Programme Manager, Institute for Aerospace Technology

Tanja is the Programme Manager for the IAT. Working closely with directors, Tanja develops, manages, and leads the programme of activities and provides strategic leadership and management of the highly skilled core team.Tanja’s background is in UK and EU public policy and government relations and she has represented the interests of local authorities, universities and membership bodies at the UK and EU levels, including seven years based in Brussels.


Nick King

Nick King

Marketing Manager for the Energy Research Accelerator

With many years' experience in Marketing and Public Relations positions in both the private and public sectors, including the University of Nottingham and East Midlands Development Agency, Nick’s role is to promote ERA's work to a diverse range of stakeholders. Nick supports ERA marketing activities across the eight partner universities and the British Geological Survey.