Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Reader in Energy Systems



+44 (0)20 7594 9300a.hawkes




C502Roderic Hill BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Adam Hawkes is the Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute and a Reader in the Dept of Chemical Engineering.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the new open-access Elsevier journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition.

His research team focuses on methodologies and applications for quantitative assessment of energy systems.  Building from engineering fundamentals, he analyses the technical, economic, security, and environmental aspects of energy system transitions, and then applies these to provide evidence to both engineering and energy/climate policy debates.  He is an expert in analytical assessment of individual technologies and systems of technology and infrastructure.

His areas of research specialism are:

  • Quantitative assessment of sustainable energy transitions via energy systems modelling (optimisation, simulation, forecasting)
  • The role of natural gas, hydrogen, and low carbon gases in present and future energy systems.
  • Methane emissions in energy supply chains, from detection and measurement through to mitigation strategies.
  • Engineering-economic analysis of heat sector decarbonisation; modelling, technologies, infrastructures, interfaces, pathways
  • Investment in and operation of micro-grids and smart grids under uncertainty (stochastic programming and game theory)
  • Decentralised energy resources, demand side management, and smart energy networks
  • Microgeneration

His background includes energy and climate change consultancy, energy trading, government policy impact assessment, and ICT development. Adam is an author of more than 200 scientific contributions, including a number of high impact White Papers.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Balcombe P, Anderson K, Speirs J, et al., 2016, The natural gas supply chain: the importance of methane and carbon dioxide emissions, Acs Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, Vol:5, ISSN:2168-0485, Pages:3-20

Pfenninger S, Hawkes A, Keirstead J, 2014, Energy systems modeling for twenty-first century energy challenges, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol:33, ISSN:1364-0321, Pages:74-86

Staffell I, Brett D, Brandon N, et al., 2012, A review of domestic heat pumps, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:5, ISSN:1754-5692, Pages:9291-9306

Hawkes AD, Leach MA, 2009, Modelling High Level System Design and Unit Commitment for a Microgrid, Applied Energy, Vol:86, Pages:1253-1265

Hawkes AD, Staffell I, Brett DJL, et al., 2009, Fuel Cells for Micro-Combined Heat and Power Generation, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:2, Pages:729-744

More Publications