- Head of EPG
- Associate Professor, Dept Engineering Science, Oxford University
- Official Student in Engineering Science, Christ Church, Oxford
- Director of ICERT
- Non-executive Director West Oxford Community Renewables
- Founder and Non-exec Director of Navetas
- Founder and Non-exec Director of Yasa Motors
- Founder and Non-exec Drirector of Kepler Energy
I am an Associate Professor in Engineering Science and a Tutor at Christchurch College. In 1993 I moved to The University of Oxford to start up the Electrical Power Group. Climate change, resource depletion and social inequity are the big challenges facing our civilisation. The group’s focus has now changed to developing, and commercialising, sustainable energy technologies. I have active research programmes in the four sectors of developing world, domestic energy use, transport and renewable generation.
Developing new technologies to meet the need of providing sustainable electricity to the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity provides a triple benefit – the end users benefit from the provision of the service, lack of large incumbents means rapid deployment and these technologies are relevant to developing world. The approach taken is to deeply understand the end users current and future needs and capabilities and then to develop an energy system that grows with the end-user. Specific projects include the dual use of DC and AC in the home, the use of batteries as energy distribution and the use of effective thermal energy stores.
The domestic sector is one of the largest energy sectors in the UK. A key research area is the development of smart feedback metering that provides useful information to enable behaviour change. This work lead the the spin-out Intelligent Sustainable Energy, of which I am both a founder and non-executive director. This has merged to form Navetas Energy Management.
In the transport sector, research is ongoing in developing power trains for electric and hydrogen vehicles. A successful project was that of the Morgan LifeCar – the first ever Hydrogen sports car. This project lead to the development of high-efficiency low-weight motors using new materials- The yokeless and segmented armature motor. This has resulted in the Oxford spin-out company Oxford Yasa Motors, of which I am also a founder and non-executive director. I am also the director of the Institute for Carbon and Energy Reduction in Transport, based at the Oxford Martin School.
In renewable generation, novel lightweight low speed direct coupled generators are being developed along with a transverse axis tidal turbine. I have over 85 publications and 10 patent and patent applications.
I believe that developing the technology is only the start. There needs to be a public awareness of the seriousness of the problems. Therefore I have been instrumental, together with a small team of people, in conceiving and developing Tipping Point, an annual event to bring some of the top artists and climate scientists together. Through the creative use of the open space format, this forum has proved to be extremely successful that has found international acceptance. This led to my being an advisor to world-renowned Ian McEwan for his book Solar.
I have also been involved presenting the research to a wide range of audiences, from schools to the World Economic Forum in China in 2010.
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