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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Research Impact

Meteor Impact

Durham Energy Institute’s unique science and society approach to energy research focuses on ensuring that the societal aspects of our energy research are fully considered in all of our projects. This approach has allowed DEI research to achieve impact that more technically focussed projects have not managed and we want to ensure that this influence is continued. Demonstrating impact from research and working with industry partners will become an increasingly important focus for our activities in the coming years. 

The strength of Durham’s Energy expertise was endorsed by the final report of Sir Andrew Witty’s Review into ‘Universities and Growth: Encouraging a British Invention Revolution’ with Durham identified as amongst the UK’s most actively involved research centres in the key Industrial Strategy Sectors of Offshore Wind, Energy Storage and Oil and Gas.

To achieve the maximum impact from our research DEI engages collaboratively with partners and stakeholders from government, energy industry and local communities to address key energy challenges.


There are also a number of university funding schemes aimed at enhancing the impact of research projects. To find out more about these funding opportunities go to

We are very proud of the impact that our projects achieve, and list below just some of the many projects that are producing that step change in behaviour needed to create a more energy efficient world.

A selection of examples of DEI research impact:

  1. Our earth scientists are investigating sites to store 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 produced in the Northeast which will help to safeguard 26,000 process industry jobs. 
  2. Our physicists have developed a new paradigm for fabricating high field superconductors that can be used in fusion energy applications.
  3. Our engineers advise National Grid on cost-benefit analysis methods for transmission planning, and on wind generation's contribution to securing peak demand.
  4. Scientists in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences are using nanotechnology to convert waste heat from the surface of car exhaust pipes into electrical energy, and expect to make savings of up to 10% in fuel economy.
  5. Our engineers have developed methodologies for integration of intermittent wind power into efficient and reliable operation of the power system.
  6. Our earth scientists established that the LUSI mud volcano disaster that has displaced 13,000 families in Indonesia was caused by a well blowout, rather than an earthquake.
  7. Our engineers work on preventing wide-area power blackouts.
  8. Developing algae biofuel technologies through novel chemical conversion techniques (Earth Sciences / Chemistry) and optimising organism characteristics (Biology).
  9. Durham geoscientists have calculated that at least 3 billion barrels of extra oil could be won from the North Sea by injecting CO2; an essentially carbon neutral process that could generate around £200 billion of extra revenue for the UK and extend the life of the North Sea for 15-20 years.
  10. Work by our scientists indicates that the ground beneath our feet could supply enough heat to completely decarbonise the UK's domestic and industrial heating needs for the next 100 years.

The Institute would like to welcome any industry partners who are interested in discussing or investing in Durham’s research. We aim to ensure that opportunities for collaboration, knowledge exchange, licensing, technology development and process improvement can be fully explored.

If you would like to discuss any ideas or problems that you need resolving please email