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Durham University

Department of Engineering

Future Energy Systems

This multidisciplinary enterprise harnesses the various skill sets of internationally recognised researchers from within the department and across the University, to address and formulate innovate solutions to current and future energy related challenges and opportunities from both a UK and global perspective.

State-of-the-art engineering science solutions are generated within a framework of the wider aspects of technological and socioeconomic interdisciplinary developments. Activity ranges from the functional surface and component level, through sub-systems, and onwards to the analysis of global energy networks. The underpinning established research expertise present to achieve this is broad ranging, encompassing fluid mechanics and aerodynamics (computational and experimental), power systems, thermodynamics, smart grids, etc.

A key enabler is a strong focus on industrial collaboration in tandem with economic, environmental and societal impact, proactively drawing upon and interacting with an extensive external network of academic and government organisations.

Research Challenge Director: Prof. Phil Gaskell
Deputy Research Challenge Director: Dr Christopher Donaghy-Spargo


Areas of Research Interest:

If you are interested in studying for a PhD with us then take a look at our staff profiles via the People tab to the left and get in contact if you have any queries. We have opportunities in the three areas of interest, listed below;


Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics

Research in this area covers a wide range of topics concerning fluid dynamics and turbomachinery. There are three main research categories:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Turbomachinery
  • Vehicle Aerodynamics

Smart Electrical Energy Conversion, Transmission & Distribution

Research in this area comes under the umbrella term of "Electrical Energy Engineering". The main research themes of particular interest in this area are as follows;

  • Renewable Energy Devices and their Reliability & Asset Management
  • Energy Networks - Smart Grids, Power System Optimisation and Integration
  • Electrical Machines and Systems for Transportation, Power Generation and Industrial Processes

Materials for Energy Applications

Research in this area covers a wide range of technical topics on both fundamental research and modern engineering applications. There are three main research categories of interest in this area of expertise:

  • Organic Photovoltaics, Ternary Blends and Charge Transport
  • Extreme Environment Semiconductor Devices
  • Application of Novel Materials in Electrical Engineering

Find People

Contact a member of the Future Energy Systems Research Challenge for;

  • Collaborative Research Opportunities & Facilities Enquiries
  • Doctoral Study or Post-Doctoral Positions
  • Consultancy and Industrial Engagement

Contact Us

T: +44 (0) 191 334 1700