Meet the Team


Dr Wu Gao

Research Associate

T: 07579920572

Dr Wu Gao's key research interests are mainly focused on the geoenvironmental hazards of municipal solid waste landfills and sustainable technology

Michail Michelarakis

Research Associate

T: +44 (0)29 2068 8788

Michail Michelarakis' research interests include eco-friendly insulating gases, surface and partial discharge properties and characterisation, and electromagnetic computations.

Dr Daniel Pugh


T: +44 (0)29 2087 5712

Dr Daniel Pugh is a lecturer at Cardiff University specialising in fluid dynamics, undertaking research into the development and characterisation of alternative fuels for transport and power generation.

Steven Morris

Gas Turbine Research Centre Manager

Steve Morris is a Chartered Engineer with over 25 years experience as a Mechanical Engineer with broad project management and facility management experience.

Dr. Erin Roberts

Research Associate

Dr Roberts is a Research Associate in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University with a background in Human Geography

Professor Mike Jennings

Professor of Power Electronics and Devices

T: 01792 516894

Mike Jennings is head of “Energy and Power Engineering” at the College of Engineering, Swansea University. The manufacturing-focus of his research allowed him to establish a strong industrial network. This naturally progressed to a five-year Senior Science City Research Fellowship, where he provided business assistance to numerous industrial partners from the semiconductor, power electronics and energy industry sectors.

Professor Paul Meredith

Principle Investigator, Sêr Cymru National Research Chair and Professor of Materials Physics

Paul Meredith is a Professor of Materials Physics and Sêr Cymru National Research Chair at Swansea University. He leads the Sustainable Advanced Materials research activities and also the new £50M Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials (CISM).

Jack Thomas


T: 07712622534

Jack Thomas is a Technician at Cardiff University's Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC). He started as an apprentice following completing a pathways to apprenticeships Engineering course. He has since achieved a HNC in mechanical engineering, a Nebosh qualification in occupational Health and Safety and is a member of the Institute of mechanical engineers. His roles at the GTRC include experimental set-up and commissioning of the rigs and is a member of the testing team.

Dr Kensuke Yokoi

Senior Lecturer

T: +44 (0) 29 20 870844

Dr Yokoi joined the School of Engineering at Cardiff University after postdoctoral studies at RIKEN, UCLA, University of Cambridge and UCSB.

He received his Ph.D in Mathematics at Hokkaido University and works in a number of scientific computing areas, mainly computational fluid dynamics and machine learning.

Dr. Mohammed El Amine


Dr. Mohammed El Amine Slama is currently researcher at the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre of Cardiff University and working on FLEXIS Project related to Alternative Environmentally Gas for Electrical Networks Insulation team. He received his PhD degree from Ecole Centrale de Lyon -France in electrical engineering and high voltage. He was previously research engineer at General Electric and SuperGrid Institute Villeurbanne- France (2014-2017). He was Professor assistant at University of Lyon 1 (2010-2011) and Lecturer at University of Sciences and Technology of Oran (USTO) and member of High Voltage & Electrical Field Team of the Laboratory of Electrical Engineering of USTO, Algeria (2004-2008/2011-2013).

Dr David Clark

Senior Lecturer

T: 02920 875070

David Clark is Senior Lecturer in High Voltage and High Current Engineering at Cardiff University. He is a member of the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research centre at Cardiff School of Engineering, and is deputy-director of the Cardiff Lightning Laboratory. He has research experience in high-voltage insulation systems for aircraft, lightning direct-effects, computational electromagnetics and earthing design in electrical power systems, and has worked on several WG, UKRI and industry funded projects. He received his B.Eng. in 2007 and Ph.D. in 2012, both in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He is a member of the IEEE, IET and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professor Richard Marsh


T: 02920 876852

Prof Marsh is a thermal and process engineer, specialising in gas turbines, and renewable oxidation / gasification technologies for biomass energy and manufacturing. He focuses on large industrial energy research, in particular, the deployment of renewable fuels such as hydrogen, waste and biomass derived fuels and industrial feedstocks. He has led a number of large EU and RCUK funded research projects, examining the use of renewable fuels and novel technologies for carbon capture. He is the Cardiff University lead for the CDT in resilient decarbonised fuel energy systems, with a portfolio of more than £10M funding since 2007. He is currently a co-investigator on two EPSRC Network+ projects examining carbon capture and carbon sustainable aviation fuel.

Dr Harriet Smith

Research Associate

Dr Harriet Smith is a Research Associate in the School of Psychology, Cardiff University. She has an interdisciplinary background having worked in the geography department at Cardiff University (2018-2021) and prior to that was awarded a PhD in visual sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Dr Smith is experienced in participatory and ethnographic social science methods and has also utilised art practices as a means to engage participants in specific problems and learning outcomes. She has also worked on public engagement projects, impact accelerator research dissemination and public arts workshops.

Professor Agustin Valera-Medina


Agustin Valera-Medina is a Professor at Cardiff School of Engineering, U.K. He has participated as PI/Co-I in 29 industrial projects with multinationals including PEMEX, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Ricardo, Airbus, and BP, attracting approximately £12.4M in research. He has published 181 papers (h-index 26), 46 of these specifically concerning ammonia for power. He has supervised 28 PhD students, 9 on ammonia-combustion related topics. Dr. Valera-Medina led Cardiff’s contribution to the Innovate-UK “Decoupled Green Energy” Project (2015–2018) led by Siemens and in partnership with STFC and the University of Oxford, which aimed to demonstrate the use of green ammonia produced from wind energy. He is currently PI of the project SAFE-AGT (EP/T009314/1, £1.9M) to demonstrate the use of ammonia as an efficient gas turbine fuel. He leads the combustion work package of the H2020 project FLEXnCONFU (884157), a €12.7M project conceived to demonstrate ammonia power in large turbine engines. He is also PI and co-I of projects related to ammonia for transportation, propulsion, and heat/cooling (including OceanRefuel, MariNH3, Dock2Dock, Ammonia Optimization, Ambust, etc.). He has been part of various scientific boards, chairing sessions in international conferences and moderating large industrial panels on the topic of “Ammonia for Direct Use.” He supported the preparation of two Royal Society Policy Briefings on “Green Ammonia”. He is currently chair of the "Combustion and Emissions" working group of the Ammonia Energy Association, and co-Director of the Green Ammonia Working Group UK. He is the main author of the book 'Techno-economic challenges of ammonia as energy vector' (Elsevier).

Dr Aleksandra Koj

FLEXIS Project Manager

T: +44 (0) 29 2087 5753

As Project Manager, Aleksandra is responsible for the overall delivery of the management and administration of the project, which includes reporting to WEFO, our funding organisation.

Sanjana Bushra

Deputy Project Manager

T: +44 (0) 29 2087 4279

As Deputy Project Manager, Sanjana's role is to oversee the administrative and technical teams and support the overall delivery of the project.

Wiktoria Tunska

Project Administrative Officer

Wiktoria is responsible for all administrative tasks relating to the FLEXIS operation. She is also responsible for creating recommendation reports and the ongoing development of administrative processes and procedures.

Dr. Nabila Zebouchi

Researcher, Cardiff University,

Dr. Nabila Zebouchi is currently working on FLEXIS Project WP 16: Environmentally Friendly Electrical Power Plant and Insulation, at the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre.

She has a PhD. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. Her core competence and expertise are in the field of HVDC Electrical Power Transmission from both practical and theoretical aspects.

She has worked at ABB AB Corporate Research in Sweden for several years where she has participated extensively to the development of the ABB HVDC Light Cable System Technology for voltage levels up to ±320 kV. She has also worked at the French company Nexans manufacturer of high voltage cables and accessories and the Belgian Ceramic Research Centre. She participated as a full member from 2013 to 2019 to the CIGRE working group D1-56 dealing with Field Grading in Electrical Insulation Systems (CIGRE Technical Brochure reference 794).

Dr Grazia Todeschini

Swansea University, Senior Lecturer

I joined the College of Engineering at Swansea University after six years of work in the power industry with the aim to use my experience to solve the challenges related to the integration of power electronics devices in the transmission and distribution systems.

The research topics I am working on include:

Development of advanced control systems to provide robust and reliable operation of power-electronics devices, and study of the interaction of these devices with the power system
Development of ancillary functions which help to support grid operation, including reactive power injection, power oscillation damping and harmonic filtering.
Assessment of the impact of harmonic components on power measurements
The tools used to perform my research include computer simulations, laboratory testing and field testing. 

Stephen Batcup

Swansea University, Research Assistant

Stephen is an active researcher in the area of power electronics within the School of Engineering at Swansea University. He joined Swansea University in 1990 after working in electronics manufacturing industry for many years. He works on research projects as part of the ESDC research team, working mainly on projects in power electronics, energy efficiency and related power semiconductor issues. Specialised skills include: electronic circuit and power stage design; test system design; electronic system & device measurement & analysis; reliability of electronic systems & devices. Stephen gained an MPhil from Swansea University in 2005 and is currently undertaking a PhD with an expectation to graduate in 2018.

Dr Zhongfu Zhou

Swansea university, Lecturer

Dr Zhongfu Zhou is a Lecturer in Power Electronics in the College of Engineering at Swansea University. His research mainly focuses on the design and development of power electronics converters for renewable energy power conversion systems such as photovoltaic and wave energy power conversion systems, design and development of active front-end rectifier for motor control centre, active power filters for harmonic filtering of distribution system, photovoltaic simulators, real-time control schemes and various maximum power point tracking algorithms for photovoltaic systems.

Dr Soroush Faramehr

Swansea University, Research Assistant

Soroush is FLEXIS research assistant at the Electronic Systems Design Centre (ESDC) in Swansea. He completed his Master degree on Electronics Technology for Sustainable Energy and PhD on Electrical Engineering at Swansea University in 2011 and 2015, respectively. From 2015-2016, he was graduate teaching assistant at the college of engineering in Swansea. Since 2016, he has been a member of ESDC. He has a strong background on reliability and optimisation of GaN HEMTs for RF power applications. His interests lie in compound semiconductors devices, with particular focus on compact modelling and fabrication of lateral and vertical Gallium Nitride power FETs.

Dr Bethan Thomas

Research Assistant

Bethan is a FLEXIS Research Assistant at the Electronic Systems Design Centre (ESDC) in Swansea. She graduated from her medical engineering degree at the College of Engineering in 2010 and went on to complete her PhD in diagnostic technology as part of the Centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University. Her current research is focused on electrical measurements and analysis of Gallium Nitride HEMTs, evaluating their performance and reliability for RF and power device application. She is also involved in high-temperature device packaging and the optimisation of fabrication and gate development of GaN lateral and vertical power FETs

Professor Andrew Barron

Swansea University, Principal Investigator

Professor Andrew R. Barron is the Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment, where his research involves the application of nanotechnology to fundamental problems in energy research. He is also the founder and director of the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI)

Dr Enrico Andreoli

Swansea University, Senior Lecturer

Dr Enrico Andreoli is a Senior Lecturer at the Energy Safety Research Institute of Swansea University. His research focuses on the understanding, development, and application of materials and processes for sustainable energy production and transmission. In particular, the main focus is carbon dioxide capture and utilisation.

Dr. Carmen M. Fernandez-Posada

Swansea University, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Carmen is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Energy Safe Research Institute of Swansea University since January 2017. Her current research involves nanomaterials and coatings for industrial applications in order to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions, as well as, new materials for Carbon Capture and Storage. Her Background is in synthesis and characterization of many different types of materials. She received a PhD degree in Advanced Materials and Nanotechnologies from Autonomous University of Madrid (Madrid, Spain), a MSc in Synthesis and Catalysis from Rovira I Virgili University, (Tarragona, Spain) and a 5 years-degree in Chemistry from Complutense University of Madrid (Madrid, Spain). Her PhD project was on synthesis and characterization of multiferroic materials at ICMM-CSIC (Madrid, Spain). Previously, she had worked on catalysis at Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (Tarragona, Spain) and on liquid crystals at Complutense University of Madrid (Madrid, Spain).

Dr. Charles W Dunnill

Swansea University, Senior Lecturer

As the world moves more to renewable energy resources there is a growing challenge to balancing YOUR energy requirements and the availability of renewable sources. Charlie advocates and researches the use of Hydrogen as the perfect universal energy carrier to store, transport and utilise these renewable energy supplies. Charlie is now a senior lecturer at the new Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University with an MSc in Chemistry from Nottingham and a PhD in nanomaterials from Glasgow University. His previous posts at UCL Chemistry include a prestigious Ramsay Fellowship and a post-doc in photocatalytic self-cleaning materials and photocatalysts working with Prof. Ivan Parkin. In his spare time, Charlie plays canoe polo, a game likened to 5-a-side Rugby but in boats.
Charlie is an associate editor for RSC Advances and recognised for teaching as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Louise Hamdy

Swansea University, Research Assistant

Louise is a FLEXIS research assistant at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) in Swansea. She completed her Masters degree at the University of Glasgow, which included an industrial research placement with Sasol Technology UK, and she obtained her PhD in supramolecular chemistry from the University of Bath. Her interests lie in the area of functional materials, with particular focus on adsorbent properties. She is currently working on the development of cross linked polymers for carbon capture and is investigating the effect of cross-linking, hydrophobicity and temperature of adsorption on their CO2 uptake behaviour. Louise also has interests in science outreach, communication and conservation and over her career she has participated in several science fairs and projects.

Professor Alan Guwy

University of South Wales, Principal Investigator

Professor Alan Guwy is the Director of the Energy and Environment Research Institute (EERI) at the University of South Wales and the Head of the Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC). His research is focused on renewable generation of hydrogen, the optimization of anaerobic fermentation to produce bioenergy in the form of hydrogen and methane gas, bioelectricity using microbial fuel cells and bio-electrocatalytic systems water and wastewater treatment and analysis of recalcitrant pollutants.

Professor Nick Jenkins

Cardiff University, Principal Investigator

Nick Jenkins is the Leader of the Energy Theme in the School of Engineering at Cardiff University. Before moving to academia, his career included 14 years industrial experience, of which 5 years were in developing countries. While at University he has developed teaching and research activities in both electrical power engineering and renewable energy. He is a Fellow of the IET, IEEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Learned Society of Wales. From 2009-2011 he was the Shimizu Visiting Professor to the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University.

Prof Jianzhong Wu

Cardiff University, Co-Principal Investigator

Jianzhong Wu joined Cardiff University in June 2008 (Lecturer 2008; Senior Lecturer 2013; Reader 2014; Professor 2015). From 2006 to 2008, he was a Research Fellow in the University of Manchester. He received his PhD in 2004 from Tianjin University, China and then worked there from 2004 to 2006. His final position in Tianjin University was Associate Professor. Prof. Wu researches on Smart Grid and energy infrastructure (modelling, analysis and design of integrated smart energy supply networks,i.e. integrated electricity/gas/heating/cooling/hydrogen networks). He has contributed to a number of EU and UK funded projects as a Principal Investigator or a Co-Investigator. He is a co-author of book “Smart Grid: Technology and Applications” (2012, Wiley).Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Dr Yue Zhou

Cardiff University, Research Associate

Yue Zhou joined School of Engineering, Cardiff University as a research associate from 2017. He received his bachelor, master and doctor degree in 2011, 2013 and 2016 from Tianjin University, China, all in electrical engineering. His research interests include demand response, smart home energy management, peer-to-peer energy trading, optimization and blockchain technology.

Alexandre Canet

Cardiff University, Research Associate

Alexandre Canet joined Cardiff University as a research associate to work on the FLEXIS project in 2017. He has a background in computer science and energy planning with more than four years working experience in France, Denmark and UK. His focus is on data science, integrated energy system, district heating and energy planning. Contact:

Jon Maddy

University of South Wales, Senior Lecturer

Jon Maddy is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of the University of South Wales’ Hydrogen R&D Centre at Baglan, where he leads the University’s R&D activities on electrolytic hydrogen production, hydrogen energy storage, thermochemical hydrogen production, hydrogen for transport and fuel cell applications. Prior to joining the University, Jon had significant experience in the industrial gases industry, with a particular emphasis on all aspects of industrial hydrogen. This experience supports the mission of the USW Hydrogen R&D Centre to focus on mid- to later TRL R&D into hydrogen and fuel cells, with a strong emphasis on collaboration with industry and government as well as academic partners.

Dr Rodrigo Fernandez

University of South Wales, Research Assistant

Rodrigo Fernandez Feito is a research assistant in the SERC since April 2017. Rodrigo completed his B.Sc and M.Sc in mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Oviedo (Spain) and short after he worked as research assistant in the same university. Rodrigo started his PhD in the University of South Wales in 2014 and at the moment he is pending his viva. His research interests lie in the area of developing new instrumentation for online process monitoring and more specifically for monitoring and control of anaerobic digestion processes. During his PhD, Rodrigo developed a new analytical system to determine volatile fatty acids and he is currently working in its improvement for robust and reliable VFA online monitoring.

Dr Amandeep Kaur

University of South Wales, Research Fellow

After finishing my “Bachelors in Science” and “Masters in Microbiology” from India I worked for 2 years as a Research Assistant at Institute of Microbial technology (CSIR-IMTECH, India) and gained experience in morpho-molecular identification and phylogeny of filamentous fungi; was also involved in sequencing of “mating-type genes” in Colletotrichum, the causal agent of anthracnose in chilli. In 2010, I moved to the United Kingdom to pursue doctoral studies at University of South Wales (USW) on Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) under EPSRC funded SUPERGEN Biofuel cell consortium Project. During doctoral studies the main focus of my research was use MFCs and their application for the measurement of volatile fatty acids (VFA) as the online measurement of VFAs is important in determining the state of many bioprocesses. After finishing doctorate degree I started working as Research Fellow at USW in 2015. The overall main focus of my research at USW is the treatment of waste water or other wastes by using bioelectrochemical systems (BES) which further under FLEXIS project specifically involves renewable hydrogen production using microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) and also integrating BES with other bioenergy systems for enhanced hydrogen production. I am also involved in collaborative NERC Resource Recovery from Waste programme’s MeteoRR using scale up BES tubular systems and LifesCO2R a collaborative project that mainly involves bioelectrochemical synthesis of fuels from CO2 reduction and its scale up.

Dr Fan Zhang

University of South Wales, Lecturer

Fan Zhang received PhD and MSc in Control Systems from the University of Sheffield in 2009 and 2004, respectively. His major research interests focus on modelling, control and optimisation of the renewable power generation and utilisation system, especially using hydrogen as an energy carrier for storage. His research includes dynamic system modelling and control at both individual component level as well as at system level, to ensure optimal integration of electrolytic / storage / fuel cell system with renewable electricity supply, as well as hydrogen system integration and application, such as stand-alone or grid connected renewable hydrogen system, renewable powered smart grid, fuel cell system application, and alternative fuel vehicles.

Dr Iain Michie

University of South Wales, Research Fellow

Iain Michie completed an EPSRC SUPERGEN (BioFC) funded PhD at the University of South Wales investigating Microbial Fuel Cell anodic biofilms/reactor systems and was then subsequently employed as a Research Associate during the second phase of the BioFC SUPERGEN. He is currently a research fellow working on bioelectrochemical systems as part of EPSRC LIFE2CORE and NERC METEORR projects. His research interests lie in the production of energy products such as hydrogen, methane or electricity, and in understanding the dynamic development of electrochemically active microbial microorganisms and how these may be engineered as biocatalytic processes.

Dr Stephen Carr

University of South Wales, Research Fellow

Stephen Carr is currently a research fellow at the University of South Wales, UK. He received his Mphys degree in Physics from the University of Oxford in 2004, and his PhD in energy systems modelling from the University of Glamorgan in 2010. He has worked on the UK Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium (UKSHEC) Supergen project funded by the EPSRC, investigating the optimal use of hydrogen energy storage on electricity networks. His has recently worked on the CymruH2Wales project investigating renewable hydrogen systems, and the Innovate UK funded Island Hydrogen project investigating optimal operation of hydrogen refuelling systems for vehicles. His current research interests include electricity systems modelling, energy storage and hydrogen energy systems.

Dr. Jaime Massanet-Nicolau

University of South Wales, Research Associate

My background is in industrial microbiology and biotechnology. Before Joining the University of South Wales I worked for Astra Zeneca and Thames water as a plant pathologist and microbial researcher respectively. I joined the University of South Wales as a PhD student in 2003, my thesis dealt with the biological production of hydrogen from sewage biosolids. I have since worked on a number of European projects related to bioenergy and biomaterials production.

My research interests involve adapting microbial processes to produce fuel and other useful compounds from waste materials and biomass. I develop anaerobic digestion methodologies than can cope with ‘real world’, structurally complex biomass types including, food waste, crop residues and wastewater biosolids. I also collaborate with my colleagues in the Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC) on novel ways to integrate anaerobic digestion with emerging bio-energy technologies such as microbial fuel cells, microbial electrolysis cells and electrochemical separation.

Recently I have begun to apply some of the concepts used in the anaerobic digestion of biomass, to the biological production of sustainable materials from other substrates such as waste gases, renewably produced hydrogen and carbon dioxide. I currently supervise two PhD students working in this field.

Rhys Jones

University of South Wales, Research Assistant

Rhys studied B.Sc. Physical Geography and Geology at the University of Glamorgan and graduated in 2009. He later developed a keen interest in renewable energy and went on to study M.Sc. Renewable Energy and Resource Management at the University of Glamorgan in the academic year 2011/2012. He graduated with distinction and then worked for a year in the renewable energy sector, before joining SERC at the University of South Wales to begin work on his Ph.D. project entitled, Enhanced biological hydrogen production using extraction systems in 2013. He hopes to defend his thesis in summer 2017 and is currently employed as a research assistant at the University of South Wales. Away from academia, Rhys is a keen rock climber and musician.

Professor Richard Dinsdale

University of South Wales, Chair of Sustainable Environmental Systems in the Sustainable Environment Research Centre

Professor Richard Dinsdale`s first degree was in Applied Biology (Biotechnology) with his PhD in the field of anaerobic digestion. His research activities are directed at optimizing microbial cultures for the production of energy either as hydrogen, methane or directly as electrons from low grade biomass resources including wastes or other products such as volatile fatty acids and bioplastics. He has received funding either as principal investigator or co-investigator of over £6 million from the EPSRC, BBSRC, and NERC, the European Framework programs, European regional development funding or industry. I have been funded in 5 EPSRC SUPERGEN projects and was the scientist in charge of a FP6 Marie Curie project. He has supervised over 15 PhD students to completion. On the ISI database, he has over 80 international journal papers and an H Factor of 29.

Professor Hywel Thomas

Cardiff University, Principal Investigator

Professor Hywel R Thomas is FLEXIS Lead Principal Investigator and Principal Investigator of the Smart Thermal Energy Systems work package. He is a Professor of Civil Engineering, the founder Director of the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC) at Cardiff University and a UNESCO Professor in the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment.

Dr Peter Brabham

Senior Lecturer in Applied Geology & Geophysics

T: 029 2087 4334

Based in Cardiff University's School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Dr Peter Brabham is currently on part-time secondment to the FLEXIS project to provide his geological and geophysical expertise in support of FLEXIS project areas.

Dr Muhammad Irfan

Cardiff University, Research Associate

Dr Muhammad Irfan is leading the Geoinformatics and Environmental Monitoring work package of the FLEXIS project. His core areas of research are Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS), Web-GIS, GeoApps, Geodatabase and spatial analysis. He has recently developed an integrated, multicriteria, spatial decision support system, incorporating environmental, social and public health perspectives, for use in geoenergy and geoenvironmental applications. This system utilises a number of artificial intelligence and multi criteria decision analysis techniques to enhance the effectiveness of the spatial decision making process.
His current research involves Public Participatory Web GIS platforms to incorporate local spatial knowledge into the decision making process and for conflict resolution in spatial planning. He is also working at active remote sensing techniques, e.g. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for different geoenergy and geoenvironmental applications. Irfan is also working on the local energy demand & supply mapping to support initiatives towards sustainable off grid local communities.

James Whittaker

Cardiff University, Research Assistant

I am a Research Assistant and PhD student working on the FLEXIS project, specialising in passive seismic monitoring of unconventional gas resources. My PhD project involves calculation of fracture parameters from passive seismic datasets. These parameters are invaluable to well engineers during the process of extracting unconventional gas and ensure that the process is efficient and carried out in an environmentally safe manner. I have worked in the geophysics industry for over 6 years for companies that specialise in the geotechnical and energy sectors. This included CGG, a major service provider for the oil and gas sector, where I was processing and developing new products from legacy seismic data. Previously I was a field geophysicist working on geotechnical projects across the country including Sizewell nuclear power station and the Crossrail project working for Soil Mechanics. My academic background is in exploration geophysics which gave me an excellent grounding in seismic data analysis which I can apply to problems both in the geotechnical and energy sectors.

Professor Manu Haddad

Cardiff University, Principal Investigator

T: +44 (0)29 2087 5904

Manu Haddad leads the Cardiff University team researching environmentally-friendly electrical power plants and insulation.

Dr Stephen Robson

Cardiff University, Lecturer

Dr Stephen Robson is Co-Investigator for the Environmentally-Friendly Electrical Power Plant and Insulation area. His research interests are in the areas of condition monitoring, next generation narrowband power line communication and fault location on high voltage electrical networks.

Dr Maurizio Albano

Cardiff University, Lecturer

Dr Maurizio Albano received his 5-year degree (M.Eng.) in 1999 and then the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Padova, Italy in 2003. In 2005 he was awarded post-doctoral grant by University of Padova, Italy. In 2006 he joined the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre and he is now Lecturer at Cardiff University. His present fields of research are insulation co-ordination, electromagnetic transients and magnetic and electric fields calculations, air insulated compact substations and overhead line insulator design. He has published over 40 papers. He is a Member of IET and IEEE.

Dr. Phillip Widger

Cardiff University, Research Associate

Dr. Phillip Widger received the Ph.D. and B.Eng. degrees in electrical and electronic engineering from Cardiff University, UK in 2014 and 2010 respectively. Between 2010 and 2014, he worked towards his Ph.D. degree in the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre at Cardiff University, Institute of Energy, and School of Engineering. His research is focused on alternatives gases to SF6, specialising in gas mixtures of CF3I, for use in distribution and transmission networks. SF6 is a global warming gas with a global warming potential approximately 23,900 times that of CO2 and a very long atmospheric lifetime. Research is focused on environmentally friendly alternatives that can safely insulate high voltage electrical power equipment for a more sustainable future electricity network.

Meirion Hills

Cardiff University, Research Assistant

Meirion Hills works as a FLEXIS Research Assistant at Cardiff University working on the Environmentally-Friendly Electrical Power Plant and Insulation Work Package under the supervision of Prof. A. Haddad. Meirion is fluent in Welsh and has an Integrated Master’s Degree in Physics (MPhys) from Cardiff University, obtained in July 2016. His MPhys project involved studying nanostructured materials as potential photocatalysts for water. Meirion started working for Cardiff University in January 2017 and helps to maintain the laboratory and assists in any experiments conducted.

Christian Laycock

University of South Wales, Lecturer

There is increasing interest in converting waste streams into electrical power, heat or useful fuels and chemicals such as hydrogen, methane and ammonia. Solid Oxide Cells (SOCs) are high temperature (500-1000°C) energy conversion devices which offer a high efficiency and flexible way to achieve these types of conversions. They are ideally suited to stationary applications and are capable of utilising a wide range of fuels and feedstocks including hydrogen, natural gas, waste gases and waste heat. The aims of my research are to investigate the chemistry of fuel and feedstock processing in SOC devices running in fuel cell and electrolysis mode in order to increase their performance, durability and economic viability. In particular, my research focusses on the effects of fuel variability and fuel contaminants on the behaviour and outputs of SOCs running on gases derived from biomass and waste streams.

Dr Alistair Reid

Cardiff University, Lecturer

Dr Alistair Reid has over 10 years of research experience in the field of electrical insulation diagnostic testing and has published over 50 papers. In 2007, he was awarded a PhD for research on partial discharge. From 2007-2011 he worked within the Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Strathclyde as co-investigator on two major EPSRC research projects on advanced radiometric techniques for partial discharge detection. In 2011 he gained a Research Fellowship at Glasgow Caledonian University and in 2013 was awarded a Visiting Research position at California Institute of Technology's Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. He was then appointed as a Lecturer within the School of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University where he worked as principal investigator at GCU on the project Online HVDC Cable Monitor, funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. He is presently a Lecturer at Cardiff University, conducting research within the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre. Alistair is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Dr Min Chen

Cardiff University, PhD Candidate

PhD student, supervised by Prof H R Thomas and Dr L Hosking. His research interest involves coupled thermal, hydraulic, chemical and mechanical (THCM) behaviour of porous media in response to carbon dioxide sequestration in coal and soil. Developing a theoretical and computational modelling for high pressure gases transport in porous media is leading part of his doctoral research at the GRC.
Education 2016- : PhD Geoenvironmental Engineering, Cardiff, UK.
2014-2016: MS Mining Science, China University of Mining and Technology, China.
2010-2014: BS Mining Science, Taiyuan University of Technology, China.

Professor Nick Pidgeon

Cardiff University, Principal Investigator

Professor Nick Pidgeon is Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group within the School of Psychology at Cardiff University and Professor of Environmental Risk. His research looks at public attitudes, risk perception and public engagement with environmental risks and energy technologies and infrastructures. He is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association in 2011 and an MBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to climate change awareness and energy security policy.

Professor Karen Henwood

Cardiff University, Principal Investigator

Karen Henwood is a Professor in Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences and Understanding Risk Group. She is a Flexis PI working with Professor Nick Pidgeon (WP17). Her research investigates how it is possible for people to meet the challenges posed to themselves and society by the dynamics of environmental risk and socio-cultural change, including ones connected to wider transitions in energy systems. She has extensive methodological expertise in interpretive research approaches within empirical social science, including innovative forms of stakeholder and public engagement. Her publications report findings from academic research conducted in the field of risk and identity studies. In 2013 she co-authored a foresight policy review with Pidgeon (2013) on Risk and Identity Futures as part of the wider UK Government Office of Science and Technology’s Future of Identities Project. She conducted multiple community case studies within the ESRC’s SCARR (Social Contexts and Responses to Risk) network (2003-2008), and led an in depth longitudinal investigation as co-investigator on the ESRC’s major qualitative longitudinal initiative (Timescapes) (2017-2012). She was PI for an AHRC network Homing in: Sensing, Sense-Making and Sustainable Place-Making (2013-4), collaborating with arts scholars and practitioners and local communities on issues of risk and environmental controversy. She led the Energy Biographies project (2011-2016) within the RCUK’s Energy and Communities joint venture ( This work is now being taken forward as part of Flexis. She is currently also co-lead investigator (with Pidgeon) on the social science work packages within the NERC funded Coastweb project.

Dr Fiona Shirani

Cardiff University, Research Associate

I am a Research Associate in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. I have been working on qualitative longitudinal projects since 2007 with an interest in methodological innovation, in particular, developing techniques to help people talk about the future. Making connections with the future is something people are often expected to do in relation to energy and environmental issues, yet these connections may be difficult to create, maintain or discuss. My research interests include family relationships, life course transitions and the impact these have on people’s planned futures and present lives. From 2011-2015 I worked on the Energy Biographies research project, which explored people’s everyday energy use in the context of their past experiences and anticipated futures. A key aspect of this work was exploring how people’s relationships to others (e.g. as family members, colleagues or friends) influenced energy use. These issues will be taken forward in work on the FLEXIS project, where I will be leading the development of our S2 work stream – System Change and Everyday Life.

Dr Chris Groves

Cardiff University, Research fellow

I am a research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff. With a background in philosophy and sociology, my research interests focus on how people and institutions negotiate and deal with an intrinsically uncertain future – one that is increasingly imagined against the backdrop of global environmental change and accelerating technological innovation. Along with the ethical and political implications of a range of future-oriented discourses and practices (e.g. risk management, precautionary regulation, and building resilience), my work has examined how our ideas about what it means for individuals and whole societies to take responsibility for their futures change alongside technological transformation. From nanotechnology and personalised genetic testing, to the decarbonisation agenda examined by Energy Biographies and now Flexis, the moral aspects of everyday life and of public policy are shifting alongside efforts to plan and remodel the social and natural worlds. These efforts are shaped by images of more efficiently managed, better governed, ‘smarter’ futures in which people increasingly take more responsibility for a whole range of different aspects of their lives. Building links between qualitative social science and normative ethics can help understand both how technologies and values change alongside each other, and what is really at stake in these imagined futures.
My recent monograph Care, Uncertainty and Intergenerational Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and the earlier Future Matters: Action, Knowledge, Ethics (Brill, 2007), co-authored with Professor Barbara Adam (Social Science, Cardiff University), examines these themes in depth, along with a variety of other recent publications.

Dr Gareth Owen

University of South Wales, Senior Lecturer

Gareth Owen received a Ph.D. degree from Imperial College London in 2003. He subsequently worked in the research group of Professor John A. Gladysz, first as a postdoctoral researcher and later as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow. Dr. Owen returned to the UK following the award of a Centenary Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship which was hosted at University of Bristol. He was later awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship again at Bristol. In 2012, he was awarded an Organometallics Fellowship prize from the American Chemical Society. Dr. Owen joined the University of South Wales as a Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry in 2013. He has published 45 research articles and reviews during his research career to date. His research is currently also funded by the Leverhulme Trust and KESSII agencies. His main research interests lie in the areas of organometallics and homogeneous catalysis with a particular focus on hydrogen activation. This involves the chemistry of boron based ligands which act as reversible hydrogen atom stores and the investigation of hydrogen shuttle-type transformations for the development of novel transformations.

Emma Blow

University of South Wales, Research Project Co-ordinator

Emma is a Research Project Co-ordinator at the University of South Wales. She has worked in the University since 2010 supporting the delivery of externally funded research activities. Emma has a BA in Business Studies and has recently completed PRINCE2. Before joining the University of South Wales Emma worked as a Management Accountant for a large call centre in Dublin and also spent some of her career as a European Project Officer at the Welsh Development Agency. Emma enjoys running and has run the London and Dublin marathon.

Dr Jamie Lewis

Engagement and Cross Cutting Themes Coordinator

T: +44 (0) 29 2087 5005

Jamie is responsible for implementing FLEXIS' Cross Cutting Themes of Sustainable Development, Equal opportunities, Talking Poverty and Social exclusion. He also coordinates overall monitoring and evaluation activities.

Dr Shakil Masum

Research Fellow

Shakil graduated from Cardiff University in 2008 with a First Class (Hons) in BEng Civil Engineering. During his degree studies he successfully covered all the basic aspects of Civil Engineering. He has achieved Page Prize for the best average marks, Lloyds Register of Shipping Prize for the performance in Structural Engineering, Alan and Cyril Body Educational Trust Prize for the best overall performance. He has been awarded the Institute of Civil Engineering ICE Wales Student Prize 2008 for the outstanding performance in undergraduate degree course. His special interest in the field of Geo-Environmental Engineering has encouraged him to pursue a PhD degree at which he has been enrolled in 2009. The PhD program has been funded by the School of Engineering and Civil Engineering Consultancy Arup. He is an active member of Institute of Civil Engineering. Research interests include computational modelling of gas generation and migration through highly compacted bentonite for use in underground disposal facilities for high level nuclear waste and to obtain required information for the risk assessment of such a repository.

Carolyn Mirza-Davies

FLEXIS Finance Officer

T: +44 (0) 29 2087 9110

Carolyn has responsibility for providing financial management on FLEXIS from within the Research and Innovation Services Division at Cardiff University.

Sam Jenkins

FLEXIS Finance Officer

T: +44 (0) 29 2087 9248

Along with Carolyn, Sam is a Finance Officer for FLEXIS, based within the Cardiff University's Research and Innovation Services department.

Dr Ni AN

Cardiff University, Research Staff

My research activities initially focused on the area of soil-atmosphere interaction and developed a numerical approach to estimate the coupled thermal-hydro soil behaviour under the effect of various atmosphere conditions for short-term or long-term periods. Now I am involved in FLEXIS smart energy project and focus on the subproject Underground Coal Gasification, aiming to study the environmental influence of UCG process on surrounding strata region and provide feasible suggestions of environment protection in UCG commercialization.

Dr Sivachidambaram Sadasivam

Cardiff University, Research Assistant

Sivachidambaram Sadaivam’s work focuses on geoenvironmental aspects of Coalbed methane (CBM) and Underground coal gasification (UCG). He studied PhD in Environmental Engineering, ME in Environmental Engineering and BE in Chemical Engineering. His PhD was focused on protecting nuclear wastes using clay materials. After completing the PhD, he joined the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC), Cardiff University in April 2013 as a member of the SEREN project to study the environmental aspects of the unconventional energy extraction methods and continuing the work as part of the FLEXIS project under Unconventional Gas work package. He is experienced in field-scale exploration studies and passionate to conduct laboratory scale experiments to understand CBM and UCG operations.

Dr. Liana M. Cipcigan

Cardiff University, Reader

Dr. Liana M. Cipcigan is Reader at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply. She has previously worked at Durham University as a Research Associate, at Alberta University, Canada as a Research Fellow and at Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania as a Senior Lecturer. Her research experience covers power system analysis and control, Smart Grids and Distributed Energy Resources integration in distribution networks. She is leading the research of Electric Vehicles integration and control in distribution networks. She has collaborated widely with industry, more recently during her placement as Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellow at National Grid, working in the Energy Insights department. She contributed at 2015 Future Energy Scenarios (Chapter 7 Electricity Storage). These scenarios form the basis of National Grid network planning and is the industry standard for the future energy landscape. She is the PI of the Innovate UK / EPSRC project of technology transfer “Ebbs and Flows Energy Systems”. In this collaborative project with School of Computer Science and Informatics she developed a cloud-based Virtual Power Plant for controlling static batteries and V2G storage from electric vehicles for demand side response. She is a member of BSI technical committee ESL/120 Electrical Energy Storage and a nominated expert on IEC/TC120/WG1 Electrical Energy Storage Terminology She was a member of the CEN-CLC eMobility working group on Smart Charging; IEEE P2030.1 working group on “Draft Guide for Electric-Sourced Transportation Infrastructure” and a member of Low Carbon Vehicles Steering Group at the Welsh Government.

Dr Carlos E. Ugalde-Loo

Cardiff University, Senior Lecturer

Dr Carlos E. Ugalde-Loo was born in Mexico City in 1980. He received the B.Sc. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from ITESM, Mexico, in 2002; the M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from IPN, Mexico, in 2005; and the Ph.D. degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K., in 2009. Dr Ugalde joined the School of Engineering of Cardiff University in 2010 and is currently Senior Lecturer in Electrical Power Systems. He is part of the Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS) and has worked on a number of CEU, EPSRC and industry funded projects. His academic experience includes research in power system stability and control, grid integration and control of renewables, modelling of dynamic systems, multivariable and classical control and HVDC transmission. He is Cardiff's Principal Investigator for the CEU FP7 project BEST PATHS – a large consortium with 40 partners from 11 European countries. He has published more than 25 journal papers and 30 international conference papers. 

Professor Philip J Bowen

Cardiff University, Principal Investigator

Professor Phil Bowen is Director of Cardiff University's Gas Turbine Research Centre. He worked in the private Energy Sector for 5 years before joining Cardiff University in 1994. He has published over 200 papers and been an investigator on over £30M of research contracts. He is currently a member of the RCUK Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) on Energy and the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme in 'Clean and Efficient Combustion'. He was DIrector of Cardiff School of Engineering 2012-2015 and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, IMechE and Institute of Physics.