We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

North East Centre for Energy Materials

Durham Researchers:

Dr Chris Groves, Engineering - Management Committee

Dr Douglas Halliday

Dr Paul Hodgkinson

Dr Alton Horsfall

Dr Michael Hunt

Dr Budhika Mendis

Dr Natasha Shirshova


The North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM) is a partnership between Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria universities set-up in November 2017 with funding from the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. It seeks to unite the broad range of expertise present at the three sites to tackle a grand challenge of energy materials and will make it possible to cooperate widely with local, national and international industry.

The main focus of NECEM will be to address one of the most fundamentally critical elements of all energy systems, namely theinterfaces between the materials within it and their interaction with the environment in which they operate.

The new EPSRC funded Centre brings together engineers, chemists, biologists and physicists to develop high performance materials to improve efficiency in energy generation, storage and transmission whilst further enhancing the region’s expertise in tackling the energy challenge.

The assets for NECEM include thebreadth of expertise within marine energy (tidal and wave energy), solar (photovoltaic and solar fuels by photoelectrochemistry), fuel cells (hydrogen and alcohol based, also enzymatic and microbial), energy storage (Li-Ion, redox flow batteries), biomass (gasification, fermentation and direct conversion to heat or even electricity) and local smart grid structure (with concurrent production and consumption of renewable energy).

The Durham Energy Institute, Durham University, will contribute particularly in the areas of solar energy, simulation, and the advanced analytical tools needed to observe how materials behave at a molecular level.

“The new research centre is an exciting opportunity to examine how, at the micro level, materials and interfaces can be designed to address the bigger energy challenges facing our world”

Find out more about NECEM activities and events at

ReNU Centre for Doctoral Training

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) will create a pipeline of highly skilled doctoral graduates that will drive forward innovation in small scale renewable and sustainable distributed energy. It is a collaboration between three major UK universities which are uniquely co-located in the Northeast of England.