Professor Richard A Williams OBE, FREng, FTSE is former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham and Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Williams is an engineer and innovator who has brought several new concepts, processes and methodologies into practice in the chemical, materials, energy and instrumentation sectors. His research interests are in energy storage technology and policy, radical innovation technologies, mineral resources engineering, nuclear waste management and particle science and engineering. He has worked on comparisons of intergovernmental policies relating to energy storage capability development, national observatories for storage and business modelling of storage systems in industrial processes.
His active interests lie in deployment of the ‘Cold Economy’ in the mining and minerals sector and in utilities related to food wastage. He is an editor of IChemE Transactions; Particuology and Minerals Engineering. Professor Williams was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours in 2009 for services to engineering.
Professor Martin Freer is head of Nuclear Physics, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute and the Birmingham Centre for Nuclear Education and Research at the University of Birmingham. Professor Freer’s main research area is the study of the structure of light nuclei, using nuclear reactions.This research is performed at international facilities worldwide. In addition, he is actively engaged in promoting research and educational programmes to support the UK’s investment in nuclear power generation. He received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize, Humboldt Foundation, Germany in 2004 and the Rutherford Medal (IoP) in 2010.
Professor Yulong Ding is Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage at the University of Birmingham, founding Chamberlain chair of Chemical Engineering and Highview-RAEng Chair of Cryogenic Energy Storage. He has research interests in energy materials and energy processes and currently focusing on developing novel technologies for electrical and thermal energy storage at different scales. He has 13 patents, 400 papers with 180 in peer reviewed journals (H-Index of ~ 42). He was listed as top 1% highly cited researchers with consistent impact over 2002-2012 in the engineering category by Thomson Reuters. He also invented the liquid air energy storage technology and led the initial stage of development of the technology. His work on liquid air energy storage made a major contribution to the 2011 ‘The Engineer’ Energy & Environmental and Grand Prix awards, and 2012 Rushlight Energy Environmental and Power Generation and Transmission awards.
Dr Jonathan Radcliffe is Senior Research Fellow, working across the Engineering and Physical Science College and Business School at the University of Birmingham. His research interests lie in technology, policy and market options for energy system flexibility, in particular the role of energy storage.Jonathan has extensive knowledge of policy-making, having worked in Government and Parliament for 13 years.
He has worked directly with policy makers, academics and business leaders at the highest level. He has written reports on future energy innovation priorities, the role of energy storage, and flexibility options for the UK’s energy system. He has experience of working within Europe, in China, and is leading a comparative analysis of UK and Korea energy systems funded by the FCO.
Toby Peters is a Visiting Professor in Power and Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham. He is a long-time advocate of UK-based innovation in energy systems and founder of Highview Power and the Dearman Engine Company. An award-winning strategist and advocate, along with leading the Company and its vision, Toby spearheads the business development and communications programmes for Dearman with a main focus on International Engagement and the development of the Cold Economy globally. Toby co-founded both Highview Power Storage (2004) and Dearman Engine Company (2011) and with them the concept of liquid air as an energy storage solution for both grid and transport delivering both cold and power. In 2013, he moved across full-time to Dearman. He has established liquid air within the mainstream energy debate and helped secure some £20 million of UK grant funding for liquid air development as well as more than £12 million of inward investment into the UK for technology development.
Dr Rustam Stolkin is a Senior Birmingham Fellow in Robotics at the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. He is an interdisciplinary engineer with a main focus on robotics, including areas such as vision and sensing, robotic grasping and manipulation, robotic vehicles, human-robot interaction, AI and machine learning.
He is actively involved in applied and imaging projects with industry and currently has funded collaborations with nuclear industry, defence industry, industrial robotics industry, and manufacturing industry. His interest in education and public communication of science has seen him teaching science in the UK and USA, engaging hands-on activities with robotics. He is also involved with the robotics masterclasses for young people at the Royal Institution.
Dr Stephanie Handley-Sidhu is a Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Her main research interests lie primarily in understanding the behaviour of radionuclide contaminants in the environment and the application of remediation technologies.
She has successfully engaged and communicated the relevance of University research to nuclear stakeholders; establishing collaborations and securing support and investment. Most recently, she has established close collaborations with Japanese institutions following the Fukushima Daiichi incident and has visited regularly to take part in invited seminars, research secondments (Japanese Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai) and sampling/monitoring expeditions in Fukushima, Namie and Iitate village.
Professor Peter Braithwaite is Director of Engineering Sustainability at the Birmingham Centre for Resilience Research and Education, University of Birmingham.
In recognition of his advanced technical and innovative work in sustainable development, he was conferred as Honorary Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham, UK in 2006. He regularly presents papers at national and international conferences and seminars. He has special interests in sustainable urban regeneration, in particular investigating the cross discipline impacts of sustainable regeneration from planning, design, infrastructure, biodiversity and social impacts as well as the built form. He has particular interest in developing frameworks, key performance indicators and monitoring and assurance tools for a variety of applications including cities, such as Masdar in the UAE and for strategic sustainability programmes for corporate business as part of organisational change to a more sustainable model.
Professor Richard Tuckett has just retired as Professor of Chemical Physics at the University of Birmingham, he now holds an Emeritus position. His research area is high resolution gas-phase spectroscopy and reaction dynamics, especially of molecular cations created by tunable vacuum-UV radiation from a synchrotron. Recent studies have centred on long-lived greenhouse gases, this has led to a subsidiary interest in atmospheric chemistry, climate change and energy consumption, and he has talked extensively on this subject throughout the UK.
Dr Maria Jesus Herrerias is an expert in Chinese studies based on economic growth, international trade, regional development, energy and environmental issues in the case of developed and developing countries with emphasis on China. Her main works have been published in China and World Economy, Economics of Transition, Empirical Economics, and Economic Modelling. She has presented her works in conferences such as the Royal Economics Society, the Chinese Economic Association (UK), the European Trade Study Group, among others, and has received invitations to participate in conferences including the Asian Economic Panel in Tokyo in 2011.
University of Birmingham Students
James Walker is a PhD student researching core-shell nanoparticles for application in polymer electrolyte fuel cells at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Fuel Cells and their Fuels at the University of Birmingham. In addition to lab-scale nanochemistry, James is broadly interested in renewable energy and industrial resource efficiency.