Professor Nigel Brandon of Imperial College London has been appointed as the Energy Senior Research Fellow, taking up the post from 1 August 2006. He is dividing his time between conducting his research and providing advice and undertaking profile-raising activities for UK energy research, supported by the Research Councils’ Energy Programme.
The Energy Senior Research Fellow is an ambassador for UK Energy research. The role includes gathering intelligence on international research developments and raising the profile of the UK’s energy research on the national and international stage. Professor Brandon is also representing the Research Councils within the energy research community, Government and the media, and providing strategic advice to the Research Councils’ Energy team.
Professor Nigel Brandon said: "The academic community in the UK is well placed to help overcome the many challenges facing the energy sector, and I am delighted to be working with the EPSRC to help make this happen."
EPSRC Chief Executive, Professor John O’Reilly, welcomed Professor Brandon’s appointment and said: “Nigel brings his experience in industry and as an active researcher to the Research Councils’ Energy programme and will help in ensuring that we are alert to opportunities and challenges in this highly significant research area.”
Professor Brandon worked on a range of energy projects during his 14 years in industrial research and development at BP and Rolls Royce. He joined Imperial College London in 1998 and became Shell Professor of Sustainable Development in Energy in July 2004.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has appointed Professor Jim Skea as the Strategy Fellow for the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme. A founder member of the Committee on Climate Change, Professor Skea will spend the first 12-15 months of his five-year fellowship leading a team of scientists in developing a new roadmap of research, skills and training needs across the entire energy landscape.
The roadmap will provide the evidence base upon which the Energy Programme can plan its long-term research activities, helping the government meet its 2050 climate change target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels.
In developing the roadmap, the team will bring together the research community, government, the private sector and others to consult on topics such as marine renewables, transport energy and nuclear fission. The resulting document will integrate existing roadmaps, identifying any gaps in current research priorities.
The appointment forms part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme led by EPSRC. It has been created to address the recommendations of an International Review of Energy Research carried out in 2010.
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said: "EPSRC is delighted to award this Energy Programme Strategy Fellowship to someone of Professor Skea's calibre. He has an impressive track record in coordinating research activities across different disciplines, a proven ability to engage a broad array of stakeholders, and a thorough understanding of the energy research landscape."
Professor Skea said: "I am very much looking forward to taking on this role. It's a unique opportunity to bring evidence to bear on research strategy and enhance the coherence between energy research and energy policy."
The Department of Energy and Climate Change's (DECC) Chief Scientific Adviser, David MacKay said: "This new fellowship is going to be tremendously important in developing a roadmap of research, skills and training that the nation is going to need to help us meet our energy and climate-change goals. Jim Skea is an outstanding researcher and his appointment will further strengthen the links between DECC and the Research Councils."
Once the roadmap has been completed, Professor Skea will spend the remainder of his tenure working on a related research programme, and will update or further develop the roadmap as necessary.
His research will be on the effectiveness of systems of energy innovation. This ambitious programme will compare how effectively a range of countries, including the UK and the US, conduct their energy research and development activities. The intention is to draw lessons that will help determine how energy R&D programmes can better feed into energy policy.
Professor Skea, currently Research Director at the UK Energy Research Centre, takes up his post full time at the end of June and will be based in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. He is a Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III (climate change mitigation) and was Launch Director for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership.