We spoke to Pooya Hoseinpoori, who has recently joined our energy systems modeling team.
Welcome to the Sustainable Gas Institute, Pooya. Could you tell me a little about your background?
I am from Ahvaz, a city in the south of Iran. I received my BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Khajeh Nasir Toosi University (KNTU) University in Tehran and did my MSc in Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico di Torino in Italy.
During my masters, I attended a one-year exchange program in Germany, where I did my thesis and an internship in the Centre for Technical Thermodynamic (LTT) at RWTH Aachen University. I graduated in 2017 and then came to London and started my PhD in energy systems modelling and policy making in the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP) at Imperial College.
What was your PhD about?
My PhD is about decarbonising heating. I studied the transition in the heat and power sectors to meet national/regional climate change mitigation targets, focusing on whole system assessment of different pathways for decarbonisation at National scale.
I developed a mathematical optimisation framework for comparative assessment of different transition pathways and technology options (hydrogen, electrification, solar thermal etc. ) for decarbonising heating. The aim of the model is to assess various policies and approaches for decarbonising heat for both the transformation and operation phases of power and gas grids until 2050 to support policymaking.
What type of research experience do you have?
I have had the chance to be part of a diverse academic community, working with different groups on different projects. Before my PhD, I was mostly working on thermal system designs and optimisation, the engineering aspect at a component and process level. During my PhD, I focused on energy system modelling and infrastructure planning for policy development.
Tell us about your new role in the Sustainable Gas Institute (SGI)?
I will be working on two projects, and both are focused on energy system modelling and infrastructure planning. The first is the NEUPA project, which is focused on decarbonising heating. In NEUPA, we are exploring the capacity of local energy distribution networks (gas, electricity and heat) to deliver energy for low carbon heating and cooling, and it is aimed to provide the UK's first map of network capacity and headroom.
I am also working on the Climate Compatible Growth project (CCG), a big research program funded by the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. The program aims to help developing countries take a low carbon development path and support the delivery of sustainable development goals (SDGs). We are collaborating with different universities, national/international organisations and research centres. Our work focuses on the system design, and developing tools to help governments and investors identify appropriate low carbon development pathways and unlocking profitable investment in green infrastructure.
What originally motivated you to work in this area of research?
My hometown, Ahvaz, is one of the main centres for the oil, gas and petrochemical business in Iran. So everything is about energy and a lot of my friends and family members worked in the oil and gas industry. As a teenager, I was really fascinated listening to them talking about their work, and I think that is what motivated me to study the field of energy in university. It is an area that touches all peoples’ lives, with so much change and complexity and opportunities to innovate. I think working in such a field is like being part of something big.
What are your dreams for the future?
I would like to work in consultancy, mainly in designing energy policies and infrastructure planning. The energy transition is at the core of our efforts to mitigate against climate change. I think energy modelling has increased in importance as the need for climate change mitigation is gaining momentum in all governments' economic planning. So a lot is happening in the field, and I'd like to be part of it and have an impact.
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