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Advisory Board

Durham Energy Institute works closely with members of the Advisory Board to ensure that we continue to understand and lead thinking within the UK and Global Energy Industry. Members of the Advisory Board have been chosen from across the technology spectrum and societal spectrum and can offer industry links, advice, language skills and support into new markets, collaborations and countries. Members are also able to provide advice and feedback on project feasibility and project funding mechanisms. They are all happy to provide guest lectures to any department within the University, as well as Student internships.

Please contact if you would like to learn more about how the Advisory Board could support the development of your own ideas.

Dr Charlotte Adams, Commercial Manager - Mine Energy, The Coal Authority
Charlotte is Commercial Manager at The Coal Authority working on commercialising geothermal energy from abandoned mines and other mining-related innovation projects. Charlotte originally trained as a hydrogeologist and worked at Durham University before being appointed to her current role. She has also previously worked in the renewable energy sector.

Emeritus Professor Sandra Bell, Department of Anthropology, Durham University
Sandra Bell is an Emeritus Professor environmental anthropologist who worked on energy-related issues and biodiversity conservation. She has previously published on religion and conducted research on the development of Buddhism in Britain for her PhD. Sandra is interested in interdisciplinary research and with Prof Veronica Strang has devised a workshop and associated publication to facilitate research across disciplines (The Institute of Advanced Study).

Maggie Bosanquet, Sustainability, Carbon and Climate Change Team Leader at Durham County Council
Maggie is the Low Carbon Economic Development Manager for Durham County Council, responsible for renewable energy and energy efficiency across the Council’s land and buildings and for the County-wide Climate Emergency Response. She has led the Council’s Sustainability Team since 1995, supporting local, national and international partnership initiatives.

Paul Bowens, Business Development Director, Cenergist (retired)
An energy industry professional with director-level experience in; sales, operations, procurement, business development and energy services. Paul has worked with regional energy and national energy services companies in the UK Canada and India. He holds an MBA and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management.

Mike Burrett, Senior Vice President ION Geophysical Corporation (retired 2009) & Advisory Board Vice-Chair
Mike worked in the global seismic industry in technical and management positions with Geophysical Service International marine and Italian land operations. In 1980 Mike joined Sensor Nederland B.V. as Managing Director and later as Senior Vice President of ION Geophysical. Mike retired in 2009 and has been active at Durham for 15 years.

Laurence Carpanini, Director of Smarter Energy Solutions, Europe, IBM UK Limited
Laurence leads the strategic development of Smarter Energy Solutions for IBM in Europe. With over 25 years’ experience in the energy sector, he provides leadership and subject matter expertise in solutions to enable the future energy system transformation through data-driven innovation and the application of new technologies.

Henry Carr, President, Student Energy Society
Henry is an Ex Officio member of the Advisory Board as the President of Student Energy Durham. He leads an executive team of 5 students, organising talks and debates at Durham University. The society keeps in regular contact with Student Energy, the non-profit organisation that organises the International Student Energy Summit's, as its first UK based Chapter.

Andrew Clark, Programme Lead for the Energy Sector, NELEP
Andrew is Energy Programme Lead with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working to drive growth through regional energy strengths. Andrew has extensive programme leadership experience, having created and delivered energy and low carbon programmes nationally and internationally in various sectors. He is a chartered environmentalist, a member of the Energy Institute, and a published journal author.

Dr Jenny Cooper MBE, Independent Energy Industry Consultant
Dr Jenny Cooper specialises in Energy Innovation management. She was until 2014 responsible for gas and electricity Transmission innovation within National Grid, now consulting on energy innovation including working with funding bodies. She serves or chairs a number of academic and UKRI Boards. She is passionate about STEM and diversity.

Patrick Erwin, Policy and Markets Director, Northern Powergrid
Patrick is Northern Powergrid’s Policy and Markets Director. He studied Geology and Physics at Durham before a Doctorate in Geophysics at Oxford. He then joined the Civil Service doing a range of energy and infrastructure policy and delivery roles. He was commercial director of INEOS upstream before joining NPg.

Helen Goodman, Independent Energy Advisor & Parliamentary Liaison
Helen Goodman was MP for Bishop Auckland 2005-2014. Prior to that, she was on the Treasury Select Committee 2015-17; Public Accounts Committee 2005-07 and on the Committee for the groundbreaking Climate Change Act of 2008. She initiated Parliamentary debates to mandate ministers prior to the Paris summit and on Geothermal Energy.

Matthew Gordon, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies (PGES) Administrator
Matthew has been involved in controlling energy for many years, mainly on efficiency and flexibility in the UK, Europe and further afield, in buildings, industrial process and domestic energy use. Since 2015 as the administrator of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies, he has managed PGES through some turbulent political times.

Professor Simon Hogg, Head of Engineering Department, Durham University
Simon Hogg holds the Ørsted Chair in Renewable Energy at Durham University. He has been Head of the Engineering Department since 2017 and was DEI’s Executive Director 2014-2017. Simon’s career includes extended periods in industry and academia. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Chris Jones, Technical Leader, Gutteridge, Haskins & Davey (GHD)
Chris Jones is Technical Leader of the engineering consultancy and professional services business GHD. He has over 40 years of engineering and management experience in the electricity supply sector. Areas of focus include onshore and offshore transmission, HVDC systems and interconnectors, renewable generation, asset management and the introduction of new technologies.

Professor Alan Lowdon, Managing Director, Rivus Technology & Advisory Board Chair & Professor in Practice
Alan has over 30 years' experience of the international energy and utility sectors- corporates, start-ups and RTOs. He currently advises the National Offshore Wind Institute in Massachusetts, the UK Government’s innovation agency and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab. Alan was recently appointed Professor in Practice at Durham University which dovetails with his Durham Energy Institute Advisory Board Chair position.

Brian Matthews, Independent Energy Consultant
Brian has worked in the energy sector since 1997 and specialises in nuclear power, operational leadership, energy policy and strategy, and supports STEM in education at all levels. He has worked internationally with the world association of nuclear operators (WANO) and worked with Durham University since 2017.

Dr Cathy McClay, Director of Strategy, Policy & Regulation, Sembcorp Energy UK
Cathy is Director of Strategy, Policy and Regulation at Sembcorp, which has the largest portfolio of distributed, flexible assets in the GB market. She has 20 years’ experience in the electricity industry. Her primary focus is on the development of markets and technologies to deliver the transition to Net-zero.

Paul McKeever, Head of Strategic Research, ORE Catapult
Paul joined ORE Catapult (formerly Narec) in August 2006 and holds the post of Head of Strategic Research. Paul is the Project Coordinator for the OPTIMUS FP7 project (prognostic condition monitoring). He is currently a Board member of the European Association of Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC) and represents ORE Catapult on the SuperGen Wind Industrial Advisory Board.

Helen Stockton, Research Manager, National Energy Action
Helen is Research Manager at national fuel poverty charity NEA with over 15 years of applied social research experience spanning the quantitative and qualitative paradigms. Research interests include social policy, energy and social justice. She is enthusiastic about exploring the ways knowledge can be brokered between academia, policy and practice.

Professor Hongjian Sun, Associate Professor, Department of Engineering & DEI Fellows Representative to Advisory Board
Dr Hongjian Sun, Reader in Smart Grid at Durham University, is an Editor-in-Chief for IET Smart Grid journal, and an Editor/Guest Editor for several journals. He has authored over 120 papers in refereed journals and conferences, and secured grants from various funding bodies (including H2020, EPSRC, Innovate UK, BEIS etc).

Benj Sykes, Operations Director and Deputy Country Manager, Ørsted Energy Renewables UK
Benj is UK Head of Market Development, Consenting and External Affairs at Ørsted, the world leader in offshore wind. He co-Chairs the Offshore Wind Industry Council, setting the UK’s offshore wind strategy. Benj has worked in the Energy sector for over 30 years, across the renewable energy and upstream oil and gas sectors. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society and the Energy Institute.

Dr Barbara Vest OBE, Independent Special Advisor
Barbara, an independent Special Advisor, worked in the energy sector until August 2020. In December 2019 Barbara was awarded an OBE for services to the Energy Industry in the Queen's New Years Honours. In July 2020 Barbara was appointed a Life Member of the Executive Council of the House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies.

Rob Williams, General Manager, Procurement - British Telecom PLC
Rob is Senior Manager in Procurement for BT, accountable for global categories of Utilities, Power & Cooling infrastructure and Property & Facilities. Building on 20 years experience in the energy sector, Rob links these categories in a whole system approach. Rob also lectures in Energy Procurement for the Energy Institute.

Professor Andrew Wright, Independent Energy Consultant & Professor in Practice
Andrew Wright is an independent energy consultant and a Professor in Practice at Durham University. He has over 30 years of experience in energy, including in industry, the City and as a regulator. Most recently he held board-level positions at Ofgem, the gas and electricity regulator for Great Britain.