Shell University Technology Centre (UTC) for Fuels and Lubricants

Shell logo

The Shell University Technology Centre for Fuels and Lubricants (F&L UTC) cements longstanding relationships between Shell scientists and Imperial researchers. The UTC sits within the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and interacts closely with the Tribology Group, Thermofluids Group, and the Dyson School of Design Engineering. The UTC offers Shell a structured and systematic way-of-working, which delivers technical insight and fundamental understanding, to inform the development of future performance fluids for multiple applications.

Shell has set the target to become a net-zero energy business by 2050 or sooner, broken down into short-, medium- and long-term goals to reduce the carbon intensity (or net carbon footprint) of their energy products. To achieve these targets, Shell will need technology solutions and innovations in multiple areas and believes that successful partnerships, such as this with Imperial, are key to success.

The centre is governed by a framework agreement between Imperial and Shell. The funding from Shell supports day-to-day operation of the Centre and a number of PhD and post-doctoral researchers who work on projects under the UTC umbrella. The framework agreement allows for a wide range of projects that can vary in duration from a few months to three years not only in the Mechanical Engineering department but in other faculties within the College. The UTC was established in September 2013, renewed in 2018, and most recently in 2021. 

In 2020, Shell produced a short video to highlight this successful partnership.In 2021, Imperial College London, Diamond Light Source, and Shell received £4.2M in research funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the INFUSE: Interface with the Future - Underpinning Science to Support the Energy transition project. A full press release announcing the INFUSE project can be found here.



Shell UTC Promotional Video

Core UTC Personnel:

  • Dr Sarah Mattews - F&L UTC Research Manager and and Team Lead Lubricants Technology, Shell
  • Dr Caroline Zinser – F&L UTC Focal Point and Lubricants Project Lead, Shell
  • Professor Daniele Dini - F&L UTC Co-Director and Head of the Tribology Group
  • Professor Hugh Spikes - F&L UTC Co-Director and Professor of Tribology

Shell Researchers:

  • Bob Mainwaring – Senior Principal Scientific Expert Lubricants Innovation, Shell
  • Dr Roger Cracknell - Senior Principal Scientific Expert Future Mobility, Shell
  • Dr Rob Doel – Senior Emobility Application Scientist, Shell
  • Dr Volker Null – Technology Manager Thermal Fluids, Shell

Imperial Academics:

  • Dr Billy Wu - Senior Lecturer in Dyson School of Design Engineering
  • Professor Bill Jones - Professor of Thermofluids
  • Professor Pavlos Aleiferis - Professor of Thermofluids

Imperial Research Staff:

Imperial PhD Students:

Former Members:

  • Dr Artemis Kontou
  • Dr Joanna Dawcyz
  • Dr Johan Guegan
  • Dr Jon Dench
  • Dr Mao Ueda
  • Dr Nigel Marx
  • Dr Pauline Cusseau
  • Dr Stephen Jeffreys

Location: Room 462, City and Guilds Building, Imperial College London