Programme Focus

The Integrated Energy programme originates from the need to integrate mixed energy sources. The energy crisis and climate goals, as well as novel generation technologies, are driving a new energy supply mode, which uses advanced energy conversion and transmission technologies to convert energy vectors, including solar, wind, geothermal, natural gas, biomass and other resources into cold, heat, electricity and other energy demands of consumers.   

We are focusing on four areas affiliated to smart infrastructures for the energy sector, primarily on hydrogen, wind, solar and bio energy and their integration to traditional energy sources such as oil and gas driven streams. Our Integrated Energy programme enables interaction between the energy-consuming and the energy-supplying sectors. This helps to improve the comprehensive utilisation efficiency of energy and enhance the flexibility, safety, economy and self-adjustment capability of the energy supply system.

Overcoming Global Challenges

  • Energy storage and integration 
  • Utilisation of resources  
  • Materials challenges (usage, design and shortages)
  • Cost efficiencies 
  • Society impact of the drive to net zero 
Wind Turbines in a Wind Farm
Electric Vehicle Cable Plugged In
Close up of Solar Panels

Current Research Projects

Casing material selection and buckling solutions (with Hexagon; PTDF)

This study utilises the material performance indices and ANSYS Granta database to examine three different casing pipe buckling scenarios, including the buckling with corrosion potentials and buckling with impact and long-term service temperature conditions. Consequently, after numerical evaluations and ranking, three new material grades are identified to outperform P110 Grade with the best material candidate being BS 145. 

Self-healing composite materials and composites repair technology 

This project aims to improve impact toughness while adding self-healing capability to high-performance composites. The project will explore novel new materials utilising click chemistry and containing a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) capsule‐based self‐healing material linked together with a graphene-based filler to counterbalance the reduced tensile strength resulting from the embedded capsules. 

Design and development of a novel automated recovery system for the decommissioning of concrete mats from the seabed to de-risk diving operations

Design a novel remote recovery system for the decommissioning of concrete mats from the seabed with the use of baskets to recover to the back deck of an offshore support vessel. The system will eliminate the need for divers, improving Health & Safety outcomes and standardising operational costs. 

Elastomers packer elements durability (with RubberAtkin; Innovate UK)

To develop an in-house capability to characterise the extrusion of elastomers at the nano-scales structural level to drive scientifically led new product design and development. 

Assessment of policy gaps and opportunities of blue hydrogen towards the UK’s net zero carbon targets (with NZTC) 

Blue hydrogen is an energy carrier derived from natural gas that presents an opportunity for decarbonisation as well as a potential source of more environmental damage if not implemented correctly. This research is focused on the impact of blue hydrogen on the United Kingdom’s net zero policy goals by carrying out lifecycle assessment, value chain analysis and policy analysis. 

Hybrid hydrogen storage and distribution vessels (with Glacier Energy)

This project will focus on design and analysis of hydrogen storage in small vessels.  The study will involve calculations of the project volume quantities and weight optimisation using analytical methods and then supported with finite element analysis for the structural analysis. 

Techno-economic assessment of large subsea hydrogen storage vessels

The development of a techno economic model will allow for hydrogen storage methods to be assessed and expanded to a large scale. This research serves to identify and propose/resolve large scale hydrogen storage issues with the economic feasibility of subsea storage technologies, benefit the hydrogen economy by providing an analysis for the scalability of subsea storage and contribute towards the development of novel storage solutions for hydrogen gas in the transition to renewable energy sources. 

Developing a sustainable business model for RE projects

The project is assessing the potentials in utilising RE in reducing the rate of GHG emissions, while providing economic value down the line of the project lifespan. The research will be interrogating the current challenges - environmental, economic and social barriers to full implementation of RE projects in developing countries. The main aim of the study would be to design a management framework that could guarantee economic value creation and retention throughout the lifespan of various RE project(s). 

Investigation on the structural performance of Additive Manufactured (AM) polyamide 6 and fibre/graphene oxide reinforcement in dry, high temperature and wet conditions

A consistent challenge in AM is poor interlaminar bond. There are limited materials that have been studied for AM application, especially in different conditions. This research investigates the behaviour of additive manufactured polyamide 6 with nanofiller and fibre reinforcement in dry, high temperature and wet conditions. 

An assessment of the role of renewable energy development in Togo

The aim of this research is to undertake a critical investigation of the factors that could facilitate renewable energy growth as a mechanism to improve energy security in Togo and its impact on the environment and the socio-economic development. 

An applied power system asset management framework for managing railway electrical systems (with Jacobs) 

Engineering a holistic asset integrity management governance framework for electrical power systems assets and companies. 

Characterisation of thermoplastic composite pipes for H2 transport and storage (with Subsea 7, Shapoorji Pallonji, SRPe)

Thermoplastic composite pipes (TCP) in comparison to other pipes have proven beneficial features due to its flexibility which includes being non-corrosive. However, during TCP manufacturing, certain defects may be induced in it because of certain parameters, and this can affect the pipe performance of the pipe in the long. The objective of this research is to provide an in-depth investigation into defect formation, the effect of these defects and characterisation of these defects during manufacturing. 

Investigation of machineability of brittle or hard materials at the nanoscale via molecular dynamics simulation (MDS)

The research is investigating ultra-precision machining of brittle or hard materials (Si/SiC) via MDS on the effects of input parameters such as tool geometry, workpiece grain size, etc., on the machinability of these materials. Optimisation of the machining process input variables, such as cutting speed with respect to machining process output variables such as material removal rate will be carried out. 

Achieving net zero by 2050 poster project with Gray’s School of Art

This project aims to transform the way people understand renewable energy and the challenges they face, using creative artwork to provide educational posters for better understandings.  

Hydrogen leakages sensors

Hydrogen is expected as a next-generation clean energy to replace a fossil energy. Several porous and nonporous structured ZnO nanotubes will be synthesized to research the effects of wall structures in hydrogen gas sensing. To synthesize porous and nonporous ZnO nanotubes, the sputtering power is adjusted, and the process time is controlled to fix the wall thickness of all samples. 

A study on 'Sustained Casing Pressure in Mature Wells Integrity in the UKCS'

Sustained Casing Pressure is the most challenging well integrity problem in the oil and gas industry. This is caused by the gas migration in the annulus, resulting in a pressure increase at the wellhead. This research will use machine learning algorithms to understand the phenomenon of SCP and make a predictive model for brownfield data. 

Materials Selection for a Hybrid Barrier System for Permanent Plug and Abandonment of HPHT Oil and Gas Wells Research

This research applies multi-criteria decision making for the screening, selection and experimental qualification of best performing materials for use as a hybrid permanent barrier system in plug and abandonment of HPHT oil and gas wells to achieve well integrity restoration and long-term isolation of reservoir fluids from the wellbore. 

Programme Aims

  • To develop, plan and support system level integration of multipurpose offshore energy platforms (MUPs)  
  • To develop advanced materials for integrated energy systems using new materials and design methodologies using circular economy techniques 
  • To develop and reuse concepts and demonstrators from the oil and gas sector towards net zero objectives, for example in the multipurpose platforms concepts 
  • To conduct advanced modelling, optimisation and digital twining simulation for new or improved infrastructure, engineering design and operations in energy vectors 
  • To conduct planning, develop operation methods and techno-economic-environmental studies evaluating the production, storage, integration and utilisation of the energy mix solutions 
  • Identification and quantification of societal impact employing new or improved policy, practices and safety models  

Programme Impact

  • Technical – Develop new products, processes and services, as well as cutting-edge techniques and practices to address societal and industry-led challenges
  • Environmental – Climate change mitigation, marine life and oceans conservation, reduce environmental hazards (e.g. carbon emission, ocean pollution, etc.). Development and support of a cleaner and sustainable integrated energy culture.  
  • Economic – Accelerate the development of new clean energy systems that address the energy crisis and meet net zero goals 
  • Health and well-being – Develop automated systems to support the blue economy workforce safety by de-risking hazardous operations