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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

DEI Research Symposium

2015 Research Symposium

We held our inaugural Research Symposium on 30 September 2015. This event was the first research symposium organised by the Institute and was aimed at engaging with external stakeholders in showcasing research and researchers at Durham. Funded by the DEI Impact Acceleration Account and designed to demonstrate our multi and interdisciplinary approach to energy research.

The symposium featured 2 panel discussions on the Science of energy in the morning, followed by a networking lunch and 2 further sessions on the societal aspects of energy. The sessions were chaired by DEI Directors each featured an external speaker invited from our Advisory Board. Further details on the subjects covered can be found here:

The session led to lively discussions which blurred disciplinary boundaries and truly represented the interdisciplinary ‘Science and Society’ approach to energy of DEI. Discussion brought attention to some of the challenges and opportunities facing the energy system, including whether fossil fuels will continue to be required as part of the UK energy mix, how the world’s energy system will look in 20 years’ time, problems associated with ageing energy infrastructure, and how important it is to have consistency and clarity from Government if we are to encourage the investment in our energy infrastructure that is urgently needed to meet renewables targets.

The Journal newspaper published a double page article on the symposium ‘Future of energy in focus as the world’s academics gather

Highlighting its role in attracting world-leading academics and speakers to the North East region with over half of the attendees external to Durham University.

A poster competition was held featuring the impressive research being undertaken by our students. This was won by Francis Ridgeon a PhD student in Physics and member of DEI’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy whose research aims to contribute towards developing a new generation of superconducting magnets for nuclear fusion. A model was also on display of a project being developed by some of our Energy CDT Students to design a Land Art Generator on Durham’s disused Belmont viaduct incorporating solar technology.

Download the winning poster by Francis Ridgeon.

Following the overwhelmingly positive response to this event DEI plan to run the symposium on an annual basis.