Imperial College London

Research Fellow wins award at Earl of Wessex Future Energy Conference 2021

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Dr Samuel Humphry-Baker and his team pictured with Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.

Dr Samuel Humphry-Baker and his team pictured with Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.

Dr Samuel Humphry-Baker and his team have been awarded second prize in the Young Persons Energy Pitch Competition.

The Earl of Wessex Future Energy Conference 2021 was held on Monday 15 November, at the Royal College of Physicians, London.

The event included a welcome by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and talks by high-profile figures, including Baroness Brown. In addition, the day involved pitches from a number of UK researchers for the Young Persons Energy Pitch Competition.

The Young Persons Energy Pitch Competition invites UK researchers to pitch a proposal on a different theme each year. For 2021, the concept of the competition was to propose a Future Energy ‘Net-Zero’ product, process or policy to influential people in the Energy sector.

A pioneering research pitch 

Dr Samuel Humphry-Baker, an Imperial College Research Fellow in the Department of Materials, collaborated with Dr Steven McNamara (Tokamak Energy) and Dr Tom Davis (Oxford Sigma) to form the research proposal. 

The team's proposal was titled: “Compact fusion power stations: the critical role of advanced shielding”. They pitched the idea of compact fusion reactors as a technology that can potentially provide low carbon energy and work towards reaching the UK target of Net-Zero by 2050. 

Dr Samuel Humphry Baker during the pitch
Dr Humphry-Baker during the pitch.

The team showcased their work in developing novel high-performance radiation shielding materials, which are required to extend the lifetime of fusion reactors, ensuring their economic viability.

During the pitch, Dr McNamara introduced his work in leading the physics programme at Tokamak Energy. Meanwhile, Dr Humphry-Baker explained his research in designing, fabricating, and characterising the shielding materials at Imperial College London. This research was funded by Tokamak Energy. Finally, Dr Davis described his work in developing patents and regulations to support the implementation of these materials in an industrial context.

Awards celebration

The team were awarded second prize for their research proposal. They received £1500 prize money and a certificate presented by the Earl of Wessex. 

You can find out more about Dr Humphry-Baker’s research group at sam-hb.uk.

Reporter

Kayleigh Brewer

Kayleigh Brewer
Department of Materials

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Materials, Engineering-Materials
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