wind turbine in a green field

Researching the sustainable extraction and production of low-carbon energy, and exploring energy storage and decarbonisation

We develop new and advanced methods to sustainably extract and produce low-carbon energy, and for energy storage and decarbonisation. Our research seeks to improve the sustainability and mitigate the environmental impacts of energy production.

Our pure and applied research, computational analysis, modelling and fieldwork focuses on sustainability and innovation to address global energy challenges, covering topics such as:

  • characterisation and modelling of subsurface reservoirs;
  • carbon capture and storage;
  • wind energy;
  • mobile energy storage in batteries and fuel cells;
  • large-scale subsurface energy storage;
  • geothermal energy;
  • nuclear energy; and
  • lifecycle analysis of low-carbon energy.

We also investigate how to sustainably source, extract and use Earth's resources to support our growing global population and the hugely increased demand for metals associated with the green energy transition, while minimising direct and indirect environmental impacts. Topics studied include:

  • Ore formation processes;
  • Advanced mineral exploration techniques including isotope analysis and remote sensing;
  • Rock mechanics and fracturing for improved block caving prediction;
  • Environmental modelling and life cycle assessment; and
  • Minerals processing equipment and circuit design, modelling and optimisation.

If you are interested in one of the projects listed below, we encourage you to contact the primary project supervisor or the alternative contact person for further information.

Current projects

Monitoring seismicity at volcanoes with geothermal prospects in Ethiopia [Info Sheet - Bastow Geothermal Prospects]

Supervisors: Dr Ian Bastow, Dr Derek Keir (School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton)

Geological and geophysical investigation of the environmental evolution of the southern North Sea for offshore wind applications [Info Sheet - Bell G&G for Offshore Wind Applications]

Supervisors: Dr Rebecca Bell; Prof. Gary Hampson, Department of Earth Science and Engineering; Dr. Mark Vardy, SAND Geophysics; Mr. Gareth Carter, BGS; Mr. Abdulqadir Cader, GeoTeric

Pore-scale Modelling and Analysis of Reactive Transport in Carbon Storage and Oil Recovery [Info Sheet - Bijeljic Reactive Transport]

Supervisor: Dr Branko Bijeljic

Minimal surfaces in porous materials: wettability design for optimal flow performance [Info Sheet - Blunt Infuse]

Supervisors: Professor Martin Blunt, Dr Branko Bijeljic, Professor Jerry Heng (Department of Chemical Engineering)

Pore-Scale Imaging, Analysis, and Data-Driven Pore-Scale Modelling [Info Sheet - Blunt Pore-Scale Imaging]

Supervisor: Professor Martin Blunt

Topology, wettability and fluid flow in porous materials [Info Sheet - Blunt Topology]‌

Supervisor: Professor Martin Blunt

Coupling Life Cycle Assessment and modelling tools to inform sustainable mineral resource management [Info Sheet - Brito-Parada LCA]

Supervisors: Dr Pablo Brito-Parada, Dr Stephanie Muller (BRGM, France), Jacques Villeneuve (BRGM, France)

Modelling and predicting flotation froth stability [Info Sheet - Brito-Parada Froth Stability]

Supervisors: Dr Pablo Brito-Parada, Professor Stephen Neethling

Anisotropic Geoelectrical Imaging - can Artificial Intelligence (AI) replace conventional resistivity inversion approaches? [Info Sheet - Fang Anisotropic Geoelectrical Imaging]

Supervisors: Dr Fangxin Fang, Professor Christopher Pain, Dr Paul Wilkinson (British Geological Survey), Dr Oliver Kuras (British Geological Survey), Dr Jorg Herwanger (MP Geomechanics)

Simulation of geo-thermal wells with reduced order modelling and data assimilation [Info Sheet - Heaney ROM DA NORMS]

Supervisors: Dr Claire Heaney,  Professor Christopher Pain, Professor Matthew Jackson

Developing the world’s largest geobattery: ultra-hightemperature underground thermal energy storage for large-scale electricity storage in the UK [Info Sheet - Jackson Geobattery]

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Jackson, Professor Gary Hampson, Dr Marko Aunedi, (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

Efficient numerical modelling of subsurface hydrogen storage for low carbon energy [Info Sheet - Jackson Subsurface Hydrogen Storage]

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Jackson, Professor Gary Hampson

Electrokinetic enhanced in-situ resource utilisation (EK-ISRU) for green copper production [Info Sheet - Jackson EK-ISRU]

Supervisors: Professor Matthew Jackson, Dr Pablo Brito-Parada, Professor Stephen Neethling

Monitoring Global groundwater change using seismic methods [Info Sheet - Kim Groundwater Seismology]

Supervisors: Dr Doyeon Kim, Professor Matthew Jackson

Global CO2 storage capacity: Modeling limitations of geography and injectivity [Info Sheet - Krevor CO2 Storage Capacity]

Supervisor: Dr Sam Krevor and others TBA

Reservoir characterisation and modelling of CO2 storage underground [Info Sheet - Krevor CO2 Storage Modelling]‌‌

Supervisor: Dr Sam Krevor and others TBA

Assessing the sustainability of lithium brine extraction in high Andean salars [Info Sheet - Hughes BGS Lithium Brine Extraction]

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Hughes (British Geological Survey), Professor Anna Korre, Dr Evi Petavratzi (British Geological Survey)

Modelling the physics of granular rock compaction for characterisation of flow in reservoirs [Info Sheet - Latham Compaction Modelling]

‌Supervisors: ‌Dr John-Paul Latham, Dr Jiansheng Xiang, Professor Martin Blunt


Using the Magnetic Signature of former Hydrocarbon rich Environments to test for the Suitability of Carbon Sequestration a Numerical Approach [Info Sheet - Muxworthy Carbon Sequestration Numerical Approach]

Supervisors: Prof. Adrian Muxworthy (Imperial) and Prof. Wyn Williams (Edinburgh)

Simulation of charge-slurry interactions in tumbling and stirred mills [Info Sheet - Neethling Simulation of Mills]

Supervisor: Professor Stephen Neethling

The impact of mineral texture on the relationship between particle size, surface exposure and mineral liberation: A key to coarse particle flotation [Info Sheet - Neethling Coarse Particle Flotation]

Supervisor: Professor Stephen Neethling

AI modelling of underground water for heating buildings [Info Sheet - Pain Underground Water Heating]

Supervisors: Professor Christopher Pain, Dr Claire Heaney

PhD Studentship: Numerical Modelling of Cycling Subsurface Fluid Storage [Info Sheet - Paluszny Numerical Modelling]

Supervisors: Dr Adriana Paluszny and Dr Ronny Pini

Understanding and minimising the potential environmental impacts of tidal range (lagoon) based renewable energy generation via advanced numerical modelling [Info Sheet - Piggott Tidal Lagoons]

Supervisor: Professor Matthew Piggott

Tracking Illegal Gold Mining Safely with Earth Observations and Machine Learning [Info Sheet - Plancherel Illegal Gold Mining]

Supervisors: Dr Yves Plancherel, Dr Pablo Brito-Parada, Dr Philippa Mason

Integrating Geochemistry and Geophysics to Make Critical Metal Treasure Maps [Info Sheet - Richards Treasure Maps]

Supervisors: Dr Fred Richards, Dr Gareth Roberts, Professor Saskia Goes, Dr Mark Hoggard (Australian National University), Dr Karol Czarnota (Geoscience Australia)

Hard Rock to Heavy Metal: Data and tools for geochemical baselines and chemical fluxes through landscapes [Info Sheet - Roberts Hard Rock to Heavy Metal]

Supervisors: Dr Gareth Roberts, Dr Yves Plancherel, Dr Alex Whittaker, Charles Gowing (British Geological Survey), Dr Alex Lipp (University of Oxford, Earth Sciences)

Capture Carbon Dioxide on Shales [Info Sheet - Sephton Shales]

Supervisors: Professor Mark A. Sephton, Professor Craig Smalley, Professor Al Fraser

Nuclear Waste – How to deal with it safely [Info Sheet - Weiss Nuclear Waste]

Supervisor: Professor Dominik Weiss

Detrital mineral records of magmatism and fertility in porphyry copper districts [Info Sheet - Wilkinson Detrital accessories porphyry]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson, Dr Pieter Vermeesch (University College London)

 Developing a chemical audit approach for characterisation of mine site material [Info Sheet - Wilkinson Chemical Audit]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson

Development of UV-fluorescence spectroscopy as a tool for mineral exploration [Info Sheet - Wilkinson UV Fluorescence]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson

Residence and mobility of metals in the alteration zones of porphyry ore systems [Info Sheet - Wilkinson Porphyry Metal Mobility]

Supervisor: Professor Jamie Wilkinson