Supergen Leaders - Energy Networks

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

Energy networks are vitally important enablers for the UK energy sector and therefore UK industry and society. The energy trilemma presents many complex interconnected challenges which reach beyond the UK and have huge relevance internationally. These challenges vary considerably from region to region. Cultural differences also significantly affect what could be deemed as appropriate energy networks provision.
Current energy networks research does not fully embrace a whole systems approach and is therefore not developing a deep enough understanding of the interconnected and interdependent nature of energy network infrastructure. Although energy networks research is a rich and diverse area full of exciting research questions it is not attracting enough new researchers to work in this space.
Existing research into the future capabilities needed for our energy networks tend to focus on the physical hardware and, to a lesser extent, software and the digital/ICT elements which enable our energy networks to become "smart". However, my understanding of energy networks is broad and incorporates many elements such as; People, Communities and Organisations, Digital/ICT, Physical hardware, Software and Control Systems, Policy and Markets
My vision would be to help create a vibrant, well connected, diverse, open, communicative energy networks community that has a deeper understanding of whole systems approaches to energy networks. I would strive to make this community open to new entrants, be representative in terms of equality and diversity, have well developed succession plans to ensure longevity and involve both established and emerging areas of research excellence. I would seek to strike the right balance between being inclusive but also focussed on the relevant questions, whilst being complementary and integrative with respect to other investments nationally and internationally in the energy networks space. I see the role of leading the energy networks hub as one of connecting, convening, facilitating, steering and communicating in order to help all stakeholders reach their potential and exploit all their chosen opportunities. In that sense I would see myself as stepping back from competing for further funding in this area to avoid conflicts of interest.
I have taken the bold approach to clearly identify a team of research staff who are highly capable of supporting me during the 6-month engagement period. I wish the 6-month programme of work to be delivered in an inclusive and transparent way.
The engagement which I and the project team plan to undertake is done with the motives of:
- Deeper involvement by stakeholders
- Broadening the base of responsibility for outcomes
- Enabling community involvement, to create higher levels of trust
In this instance, the community is the range of academic, business, policy maker, international, third sector parties and the public, which I plan to engage with. I have therefore, in considering appropriate engagement methods, considered the intentions or motives of the participants and tried to ensure that these motives are addressed. Concurrently, I wish to utilise a method which co-creates the work programme for the Supergen Hub in a collective and inclusive manner.
I envisage my role to be one of enabler and leader of the Hub. I am ready to develop the skills of the management team at an early stage of the Hub so that there is career development and succession planning, to enable me to step back and take a more strategic role within the energy community. I expect the management team of consortium partners to include ECRs, and underrepresented groups including females and BME. I expect the management team to include leadership and management skills, and experience of EPSRC, EU and international research project management.
The management team shall be jointly responsible for the development and delivery of E&D targets, and development of appropriate E&D policy.

Planned Impact

I have been working in energy networks in Industry and academia for 20 years. I believe I have developed the necessary skills to carry out internationally leading research and to engender a culture of excellence. My research career has given me the necessary credibility and insights to do this in a large integrated School of Engineering. I am an internationally recognised researcher in the area of Energy Systems and Smart Grids. I have published well over 100 peer reviewed papers and won more than £25m as PI from research councils, Industry and the EC.
I am an ideal candidate for this role as I have an excellent depth of knowledge in research, technical, and whole energy systems coupled with exemplary leadership, strategic and communication skills. I believe we are at a crucial stage in energy networks: the energy community has grown and matured and is ready; the challenges are acute and urgent; Industry is receptive and enabled to engage; Governments are ready to listen and shape policy with Industry and academia. I am eager to take on this role as an agent of change during this exciting period of energy transition.
I would seek greater impact through driving further integration and alignment of funding mechanisms across the TRL levels (e.g. RCUK and Innovate UK). This will enable research questions to be co-created with society, industry and governments and taken from foundation to translation more frequently, rapidly and effectively.
I passionately believe in being open, transparent and collaborative and have seen this produce great results throughout my career, and therefore strongly advocate the Supergen leader as envisaged by EPSRC/RCUK. I strongly believe in inter-disciplinarity and have been working closely with academics in Anthropology, Human Geography, Economics, Statistics, Geology , Computing Sciences etc. in energy networks for many years now. A mutual respect and understanding for each other's disciplines is crucial but often missing and this oftenhinders the success of hubs of this kind. I have invested time to understand and respect these other disciplines, for example through the Customer-Led Network Revolution project. This gives me significant legitimacy and authenticity to run a hub of this nature in an effective and truly inclusive way. I understand that this is a challenging role and I will bring to the role a strong level of resilience and determination as well as being open, consultative and approachable.
My vision would be to help create a vibrant, well connected, diverse, open, communicative energy networks community that has a deeper understanding of whole systems approaches to energy networks. I would strive to make this community open to new entrants, be representative in terms of equality and diversity have well developed succession plans to ensure longevity and involve both established and emerging areas of research excellence. I would seek to strike the right balance between being inclusive but also focussed on the relevant questions and complementary and integrative with respect to other investments nationally and internationally in the energy networks space. I see the role of leading the energy networks hub as one of connecting, convening, facilitating, steering and communicating in order to help all stakeholders reach their potential and exploit all their chosen opportunities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have consulted extensively with key Academics, Industry and Government in order to write and submit a successful proposal to EPSRC which resulted in full funding for the project.
Exploitation Route This four year £5m project was awarded in 2018 bringing together the vibrant and diverse energy networks community to gain a deeper understanding of the interactions and inter-dependencies of energy networks. The Hub integrates a wide range of industrial and academic partners with other energy network stakeholders.
Sectors Energy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

 
Description As part of this 6 month project to develop a vision for Energy Networks research in the UK we engaged with Industry and Government regarding a programme of research which would take a whole systems approach, and collaborate more closely with Industry Government and Internationally. As a result of this we leveraged £6m of commitments from Industry for energy networks research.
First Year Of Impact 2017
 
Description Attendance at Siemens University Event, 2/11/2017, University of Lincoln 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attended Siemens University Event - "Our Digital Future" on future plans of Siemens. Included presentations by Neil Corner, Managing Director, Siemens Industrial Gas Turbines; Toby Peyton Jones, HR Director, Siemens; Juergen Maier, Siemens CEO and Adam Cartwright, Head of Open Innovation, Siemens. Topics covered included plans for future collaboration with Siemens University partners, Mindsphere innovation network and an opportunity to provide feedback on the impact of digitalisation and the future of work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Attended the HubNet Symposium: Future of Energy Networks, Bath - 19-20/9/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker at HubNet Symposium: Future of Energy Networks 2017, HubNet's annual conference hosted by Bath University on 19/9/2017. Talk entitled: Plans for next networks hub, which was followed by questions & discussions. Symposium organised by Supergen Energy Networks Hub (in addition to Newcastle University involving Imperial, Strathclyde, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Manchester Universities). Purpose of conference for leading experts to share research undertaken and future research plans; energy network planners & operators to share information on future plans and also networking opportunities. Topics covered included: smart grids, infrastructure, market mechanisms required. Conference included a keynotes from John McElroy, Advisory Board Member of UKERC and Nigel Turvey, Design & Development Manager, Western Power Distribution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.hubnet.org.uk/filebyid/1060/FoEN_Agenda.pdf
 
Description Call with ENZEN 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact to disucss how Enzen can support Supergen Energy Network Hub
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Indiana University visit 09/11/2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Indiana University visit to Urban Sciences Building
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited attendance at Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund & Energy Systems Workshop, Glasgow, 9/10/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited attendance at Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund & Energy Systems Workshop, 9/10/2017 hosted by University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Topics of discussions included the Smart Energy Systems Accelerator (SESA) and areas of targeted collaboration across institutions of attendees. Meeting aimed to develop key areas of targeted collaboration. Discussed Smart Energy Systems Accelerator (SESA), an initiative supported by Scottish Power, SSE, Vodafone, UK Power Networks, CISCO, Community Energy Scotland, University of Strathclyde, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Fife Council,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited speaker & attended Low carbon networks innovation (LCNI) conference - 6 & 7/12/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited speaker at Low Carbon Networks Innovation Conference in Telford - 6 & 7/12/2017. Delivered talk in panel session entitled "Creating whole energy thinking", with representatives from WPD, Northern Powergrid, Ofgem, WMU, Northern Gas Networks. Also delivered talk entitled "Energy System Integration Research: Challenges and opportunities" in the "Views from Academia", alongside representatives from Cambridge, Strathyclyde and Imperial. In addition, represented CESI at its exhibition stand. David Greenwood (RA, Newcastle University); Zoya Pourmirza (RA, Newcastle University), Peter Davidson (RA, Newcastle University), Andrew Jenkins (PhD student, Newcastle University), Luke Burl (PhD Student, Newcastle University), Helen Temple (Research Administrator, Newcastle University) and Alison Norton (CESI Research Support Officer) also atended. Conference is organised annually by Energy Networks Association
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.lcniconference.org/archive/2017/conference-highlights.html
 
Description Invited speaker at Fuel Poverty Research Network conference (FPRN#4) - 7/11/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Delivered talk on CESI's research at Fuel Poverty Research Networks annual conference - 7/11/2017. Presentation was entitled "CESI: A whole systems approach", on taking a whole systems approach to the energy trilemma. The conference focussed on research and action around themes of society, technology & fuel poverty. Led to discussion with Eaga about future research collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.fuelpovertyresearch.net/fprn4/
 
Description Invited speaker at National Energy Action (NEA) Annual Conference - 13/9/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Delivered talk & joined session panel at National Energy Action (NEA) Annual Conference, Nottingham - 13/9/2017. Spoke in session on Transforming our energy systems, chaired by Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive, NEA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.nea.org.uk/conferences-and-seminars/annual-conference-2017/
 
Description LCNI Conference, Telford - invited speaker 17/10/2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact LCNI 2018 Conference & Exhibition - delivered talk in View from Academia session; networking at CESI / Supergen EN stand
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Meeting with Ofgem - RIIO Price controls - 10/7/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with Jon Parker, Ofgem to discuss RIIO Price Controls with Keith Owen, Northern Gas Networks and Jim Cardwell, Northern Powergrid. Discussed gas and electricity interactions, including potential price control barriers to coordination.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Meeting with Ofgem - The role of the system architect - 10/7/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with Andrew Wright, Ofgem to discuss "The role of the system architect in the whole energy system". Discussed initial findings of CESI research on the benefits of a System Architect approach which embraces whole systems thinking, and the opportunities for value to the sector. Sara Walker (CESI, Newcastle University), Gordon Mackerron (CESI, Sussex University) and Laura Brown (CESI Centre Manager) also attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Meeting with Ofgem - The role of the system architect - 10/7/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with Andrew Wright, Ofgem to discuss "The role of the system architect in the whole energy system". Discussed initial findings of CESI research on the benefits of a System Architect approach which embraces whole systems thinking, and the opportunities for value to the sector. Sara Walker (CESI, Newcastle University), Gordon Mackerron (CESI, Sussex University) and Laura Brown (CESI Centre Manager) also attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Ricardo EE energy Networks discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact to discuss the next phase of the Supergen Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Ricardo EE energy Networks discussion¬† 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact to discuss the next phase of the Supergen Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Siemens - Networking event, 9/11/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Informal networking event with Siemens, to build on ongoing relationship with Siemens and to discuss and plan areas for further collaboration. Hosted by Colin Henry, Siemens
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Speaker at HubNet Symposium: Future of Energy Networks, Bath - 19-20/9/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker at HubNet Symposium: Future of Energy Networks 2017, HubNet's annual conference hosted by Bath University on 19/9/2017. Talk entitled: Plans for next networks hub, which was followed by questions & discussions. Symposium organised by Supergen Energy Networks Hub (in addition to Newcastle University involving Imperial, Strathclyde, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Manchester Universities). Purpose of conference for leading experts to share research undertaken and future research plans; energy network planners & operators to share information on future plans and also networking opportunities. Topics covered included: smart grids, infrastructure, market mechanisms required. Conference included a keynotes from John McElroy, Advisory Board Member of UKERC and Nigel Turvey, Design & Development Manager, Western Power Distribution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.hubnet.org.uk/filebyid/1060/FoEN_Agenda.pdf
 
Description Speaker at Ofgem event in Edinburgh - 14/11/2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Keynote speaker at Ofgem Smart Futures Event in Edinburgh, 14/11/2017. Delivered talk entitled "The transition to a smarter, low-carbon energy system", followed by Q&A session. Event chaired by Andrew Wright, Senior Partner, Ofgem; keynote address by Dermot Nolan, Chief Executive, Ofgem. Event included discussion sessions on Ofgem's future plans to facilitate the energy transition and also a panel discussion "How can we make the transition to a smarter low carbon energy system work for society?".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Call with Sara, Toby and Dave 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact feedback from the consultation events held in Cardiff and Leeds
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Call with Sara, Toby and Dave 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact feedback from the consultation events held in Cardiff and Leeds
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Energy Networks Leaders (HLG) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact to discuss the next phase of the Supergen Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen High Level Group Meeting London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact to discuss the next phase of the Supergen Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen High Level Group Meeting London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact to discuss the next phase of the Supergen Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Leaders Meeting - London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Supergen Leaders Meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Leaders collaboration call 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact to discuss the next phase of the Supergen Project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Planning interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Teleconference call with Co-Investigators to prepare for Bid Interview with EPSRC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Release - James Franklin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Discuss Supergen Press Release
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Scottish Universites Insight 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Consultation event to outline the Hubs Plan and seek views on big resarch questions in the 'energy networks space'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Workshop Cardiff 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Consultation event to outline the Hubs Plan and seek views on big resarch questions in the 'energy networks space'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Workshop Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Consultation event to outline the Hubs Plan and seek views on big resarch questions in the 'energy networks space'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Writing Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Workshop to discuss and prepare final bid for EPSRC Supergen Energy Networks Hub.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen Writing Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop to discuss and prepare final bid for EPSRC Supergen Energy Networks Hub.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Supergen meeting - NPG Board Room, London 17/9/2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Supergen meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Supergen teleconference with Asgeir Tomasgard 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact to discuss NTNU involvement with Supergen Energy Networks Hub
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017