Yousef M Alshammari (PhD Chemical Engineering 2013) is a postdoctoral researcher in energy systems analysis, who recently won the World Energy Congress prize for top research papers. His research addresses the global transition scenarios into a low carbon economy using a range of innovative technologies including carbon capture, solar fuels, fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. He currently works at OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) on designing future scenarios for utilisation of marine fuels under stringent international regulations. 

Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?

"I did a PhD in Chemical Engineering, looking at hydrogen production via underground gasification of hydrocarbons. It involved both advanced experimental work associated with thermodynamic modelling aiming to generate new data for commercial design and implementation of underground gasification of hydrocarbons."

What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?

I joined Imperial as a PhD research student. I learned important skills in chemical engineering research including high-pressure experimentation, sample analysis, safety measures and writing research papers. I learned important skills in presentation, ideas generation and group work dynamics. The chance to be coached by great mentors from the Graduate School during courses in the countryside was really supportive during my PhD work. Towards the end of my studies, I developed important leadership skills for my career.

What extra-curricular activities were you involved in at Imperial?

“I was President of the International Association of Hydrogen Energy (IAHE) Student Chapter at Imperial, focusing on H2 energy activities that included organising student-led research symposiums and seminars.”

Who did you find inspiring at Imperial and why?

“My supervisor, Professor Klaus Hellgardt, really inspired me during my research in hydrogen technologies and I believe he stands behind my success in my PhD. Professor Geoff Maitland was another source of support for me. Professor Nigel Brandon, who is currently the Dean of Engineering, supported me a lot to shape my career in the energy business during and after my PhD.”

What is your favourite place at Imperial and why?

“The Queen’s Lawn because it’s very beautiful and it hosts very special events.”

Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now...

"I am currently the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of UCERGY Analysts LTD in London. I also sit as an expert with a number of organisations including World Energy Council, United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe and the IPCC. UCERGY stands for Universal, Clean and Economic Energy which is the basis for our research at UCERGY. We specialise in energy market analysis, price forecasting, and supply and demand balance while analysing geopolitical factors affecting the energy/oil markets. We also publish analytical articles of young energy leaders, at UCERGY Insight, on various global energy issues."

What have been your career highlights and lowlights?

"During my career so far, I have had a number of great achievements including the publication of various research papers, winning international prizes and attending global meetings. For instance, I was the winner the UK Alumni Award for Professional Achievements in Saudi Arabia in 2017. Following that, I was selected for the G20 Young Global Changers programme which enables young leaders to contribute to policy dialogue and advice at the G20 in Germany in 2017 while being connected to the best minds in policy dialogues including Nobel Prize winners. I am still a member of that group, which recently hosted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to give a speech and engage with the Young Leaders from across the globe. I have great memories of meeting with various global figures including former President of Iceland, Olafur Grimsson, former French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, known as the mastermind of the Paris Agreement, and Bertrand Piccard of Solar Impulse, whose insight has helped shape my future goals in contributing to sustainable energy business."

What are your plans for the future?

“I would like to establish myself and our company as an energy market analysis authority, while pursuing influential research in energy economics. I want to continue gaining the necessary skills from the business sector, while maintaining and developing scientific knowledge for the academic sector. I would like to be on top of technology intelligence while advising business leaders, and traders on the potential impact of technology on their businesses.”

What makes you proud to be an Imperial alumnus?

"Various aspects including retaining a certificate from a world prestigious university."