Renewable Energy Foundation

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REF's Technical Advisory Group

The activities of the Renewable Energy Foundation are informed by the guidance of a technical advisory group consisting of a wide variety of individuals in the energy sector who generously give their advice pro bono.

George Aggidis

George Aggidis is Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Lancaster University, and a former Director and Engineering Development Manag er for Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd, Kendal. George was educated in Greece, USA and UK (University of Bradford & Cranfield University). He has experience of engineering aspects of nuclear power stations and has made wide-ranging contributions to research, design, and development in the field of fluid machinery and renewable energy. He is a Board Member of the Fluid Machinery Group of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, and has recently acted as a renewable energy consultant to the Greek government. His aim at Lancaster University is to lead the development of a Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy & Fluid Machinery.

Prof. Dr. Helmut Alt

Professor Alt is an electrical engineer, and since 1975 has been employed as chief departmental manager of the industrial customers of the electrical power, gas and water supplier RWE AG group, RWE Rhein-Ruhr AG. He is a leading expert on the German experience of wind turbines.

Professor Hideaki Aoyama

Professor Hideaki Aoyama, is one of Japan's leading theoretical physicists, though his interests span many areas, and he has also published ground-breaking work in both language study and his current focus, econophysics, the new field that hopes to move economics closer to being an exact science.

After studying physics as an undergraduate at Kyoto University, Professor Aoyama took his Ph.D. at Caltech, subsequently continuing his research as a postdoctoral fellow at the theory group of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) before taking up a position as lecturer at Northeastern University and visiting scholar at Harvard. Since 1988 he has held various positions in Kyoto University and is currently Professor of Physics in the Graduate School of Science.

Amongst his many publications are Classical Mechanics (2005), Pareto Firms (2007), Econophysics (2008), all in Japanese, and a new study forthcoming in 2010 from the Cambridge University Press, Econophysics and Corporations: Statistical Life and Death in Complex Business Networks.

Professor Aoyama is already working on several projects with REF, and one of them, "A Statistical Examination of Onshore Wind Power Load Factor in the United Kingdom", has appeared in Oxford Energy Forum, the journal of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Paul-Frederik Bach

Paul-Frederik Bach has more than 40 years experience in power system planning. He worked with grid and generation planning at ELSAM, the coordinating office for west Danish power stations, until 1997. As planning director at Eltra, Transmission System Operator in West Denmark, he was in charge of West Denmark's affiliation to the Nordic spot market for electricity, Nord Pool, in 1999. Until retirement in 2005 his main responsibility was the integration of large amounts of wind power into the power grid in Denmark. He is still active as a consultant with interest in safe and efficient integration of wind power, particularly prevention of disturbances by advanced system control measures.

G. P. Van den Berg

G. P. van den Berg works at the Science Shop for Physics, University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, and is currently studying noise propagation around wind turbines at the Rhede Wind Park on the Dutch-German border. His recent article 'Effects of the wind profile at night on wind turbine sound', Journal of Sound and Vibration, 277 (2004), 955-970, has attracted considerable attention. At the 11th International Meeting on Low Frequency Noise and Vibration and its Control, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 30 August to 1 September 2004, he presented a paper asking 'Do wind turbines produce significant low frequency sound levels?' and arguing that there is low frequency noise from turbines, and that the significance of this is in the effect it has on audible noise.

Professor Richard Burrows

Richard Burrows is Professor of Environmental Hydraulics, holding the John William Hughes Chair of Civil Engineering in the Department of Engineering, at the University of Liverpool. With a career span stretching over 35 years, his present research thrust is focused upon sustainability issues and marine renewable ener gy. He is both a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Scientist, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Chartered Water and Environmental Manager. He leads the Maritime Environment and Water Systems (MEWS) Research Group at Liverpool which has recently completed a major strategic study 'Tapping the Tidal Power Potential of the Eastern Irish Sea'. This study, for the Joule Centre/NWDA, investigated the scope for tidal range (barrage/lagoon) and tidal current array developments for electricity generation, both locally in the North West of England and nationally. He is an active member of the Northwest Tidal Energy Group (NWTEG) and interacts with and advises scheme developers and consultants.

Professor Alan Cowley, FRS

Alan Cowley was educated at the University of Manchester, and currently holds Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988. Professor Cowley's research interests include main group chemistry, organometallic chemistry, catalysis, electronic materials, inorganic polymers, and environmental chemistry.

Dr Paul Dupree

Paul Dupree is Reader in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. He studies plant growth and plant biomass with the aim of improving the quantity and quality for conversion to second generation (lignocellulosic) biofuels. He is developing technologies to improve the processes of depolymerisation of the biomass. This will increase the quantity and decrease the cost of the sugars that are fermented to ethanol. He has advised the EU EPOBIO project on plant cell wall saccharification.

Professor Ian Fells CBE FREng

Professor Fells was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he gained a PhD in reaction kinetics. He has been Professor of Energy Conversion at the University of Newcastle since 1975, and has published some 250 papers on topics as varied as the chemical physics of combustion, fuel cells, rocket combustion, energy economics, environmental protection, energy conversion systems, and energy policy. He has been Energy Adviser to the EC and European Parliament, and has a number of governments on energy policy.

Professor Niall Ferguson

Professor Ferguson has published works on nineteenth and twentieth century European political and financial history, notably the prize-winning history of the Rothschilds bank, The World's Banker, and the best-selling history of the First World War, The Pity of War. His most recent book is 'The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World', published by Penguin in February 2001. Although he continues to take a special interest in German history (especially the period 1870-1945), he has also published essays on counterfactual history. He has just completed a television history of the British Empire broadcast on Channel Four in January 2003. Professor Ferguson is currently Visiting Professor in Modern European History at Oxford and a fellow of Jesus College.

Professor John Ffowcs-Williams

For thirty years Shon Ffowcs-Williams was the Rank Professor of Engineering at Cambridge University and was Master of Emmanuel College for the six years leading up to retirement last year. His post-graduate career began at the National Physical Laboratory where he worked on sound generated by turbulence; from there he travelled to the United States to become involved in the question of how does flow and sound interact with moving surfaces? In 1964 he became Reader in mathematics at Imperial College, London and in 1969 was appointed the Rolls Royce Professor there. Professor Ffowcs-Williams has been recognised by the award of the Rayleigh Medal of the Institute of Acoustics, Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Silver Medal, Société Française d'Acoustique, the AIAA Aeroacoustics award, the CEAS Aeroacoustics award, the Per Bruel Gold Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and the Frank Whittle Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering in the United State s.

Professor Seamus Garvey 

Professor Seamus Garvey holds the Neville Rieger Chair of Dynamics at the University of Nottingham and is currently the Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Transmission Systems at the University. He began his engineering career with six years of work for GEC ALSTOM Large Electrical Machines Ltd., in Rugby where he was mainly concerned with rotordynamics and stator vibration in large ship-propulsion motors. He has specific research interests in integrated systems which deliver dispatchable renewable energy. He has co-authored one book on rotordynamics (Cambridge University Press) and well over 100 papers in the open literature, and his expertise in modelling dynamic systems of all sorts is widely recognised.

Colin Gibson

Colin Gibson, C.Eng., FIEE, CCMI, has more than 40 years' experience in the electricity supply industry, including 5 years as Power Network Director of National Grid Group (1993-1997). This post carried responsibilities covering the electricity transmission system of England & Wales for Commercial Development, System Design, Asset Management, and System Operation. Mr Gibson was General Manager of the generation business of National Grid through the period of privatisation up to his joining the main Board. Prior to this he held various posts in planning, design, and operations in the electricity supply industry in Scotland.

Sir Martin Holdgate

Sir Martin is currently President of the Zoological Society of London and a former Director General of IUCN - the World Conservation Union. Sir Martin first lectured at Manchester and Durham before moving to Cambridge in 1960. In 1966, he joined the Nature Conservancy as Deputy Director (Research), and, in 1970, he moved into Whitehall to head a unit co-ordinating Government action against pollution. He remained a Civil Servant until 1988, rising to become Chief Scientist and Deputy Secretary (Environment Protection) in the Department of the Environment.

Dr Mohammed Imbabi

Dr Imbabi is senior lecturer in engineering at the University of Aberdeen. He is also a founding director of the Environmental Building Partnership, a new (cleantech) company that is commercialising his pioneering research on the development of dynamic breathing building systems and the Energyflo(tm) cell. As well as being a member of the steering groups of several national and international professional organisations and learned societies that include the EPSRC Peer Review College and the Emirates Green Building Council, Dr Imbabi has authored more than 80 scientific papers. In May 2005, he organised and chaired the World Renewable Energy Congress in Scotland.

Professor Michael Jefferson

Michael Jefferson is Visiting Professor, London Metropolitan University; and Professor of International Busines & Sustainability, London Metropolitan Business School. Formerly, he was Chief Economist, Royal Dutch Shell Group; Head of European Planning, and of Supply Strategy, for Shell International Petroleum, and a local Director of Oil Supply and Trading. He has also been Deputy Secretary General of the World Energy Council, and Chairman of the Policies Committee of the World Renewable Energy Network/Congresses. He has written and spoken widely on energy policy, sustainable development and renewable energy. His most recent publications are 'Win-Win Strategies for Tackling Oil and Natural Gas Constraints while Expanding Renewable Energy Use', Nato Science for Peace and Security Series - C (Springer, 2008), and 'Accelerating the transition to sustainable energy systems', Energy Policy, 36 (2008), 4,116-4,125. Professor Jefferson was also presented with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Certificate for his contributions to their award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Professor Michael Kelly

Michael Kelly is the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in the University of Cambridge since 2002, and a Professorial Fellow at Trinity Hall.  Since 2006 he has been a non-executive director of the Laird plc.

He studied Mathematics and Physics to MSc (1971) level at Victoria University of Wellington, and completed a PhD (1974) in solid state physics at the University of Cambridge where he continued post-doctoral work until 1981 when he joined the GEC Hirst Research Centre.  While there he and his team developed, from concept to product, two new families of microwave devices that went into production with E2V Technologies in Lincoln, one remaining in production today.  From 1992-2002 he was Professor of Physics and Electronics at the University of Surrey, including a term as Head of the School of Electronics and Physical Sciences.  His research since 1990 has concentrated on the technology issues germane to the practical large-volume, low-cost manufacture of the most advanced electronic devices.  During 2003-5, he was the Executive Director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute, an £80M project which brought together academics from Cambridge and MIT to work on research, education and industrial outreach for the benefit of the UK economy.  He has also served as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government during 2006-9 where he focused on energy demand reduction in the built environment.

Professor Kelly is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of New Zealand.  He is also a member of Academia Europaea, The Academy of Europe.   He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in the USA.  He has won prizes for his work from GEC, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.


Professor Michael Laughton



Michael Laughton is Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of London. He has served as Specialist Advisor to parliamentary committees on alternative energy and energy efficiency and published on energy policy and electrical power systems. He is a member of the energy policy advisory committees of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.

Dr Richard Lindsay

Dr Lindsay is Head of Conservation and Principal Lecturer at the University of East London. His areas of scientific experience and expertise are in Peatland ecology and conservation at international, national and local scale, international and national conservation legislation, habitat survey and monitoring; vegetation classification and analysis (with particular reference to synusial phytosociology), remote sensing, landscape ecology, and geographic information systems. He is currently engaged in consultancy for Wetlands International and the Danish Environment Agency on the Central European Peatland Project Report; and for Plantlife on a baseline monitoring of Munsary Peatlands in Caithness.

Dr Carole Nakhle

Born in Lebanon, Dr. Carole Nakhle is an energy analyst based in London and specialising in geopolitics of oil and gas, energy policy and security, and international petroleum fiscal regimes. She is a Research Fellow in Energy at Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), at the University of Surrey, UK. She is also Special Parliamentary Adviser on Energy Issues and Middle Eastern Affairs to The Rt. Hon Lord Howell of Guildford, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, House of Lords, UK.

Dr. Nakhle is also a Senior Consultant to Middle East Consultants International Ltd, leading major studies on a series of integrated political risk/energy related reports. She is also a tax editor in Oil, Gas and Energy Law Intelligence (OGEL). She teaches economics, energy economics, business and management studies. She is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster.

She has published papers and articles on petroleum fiscal regimes, energy security, sharing the oil wealth, and the role of women in the oil industry. Her work has appeared in various magazines and newspapers including the International Energy Law and Taxation Review and the International Herald Tribune as well as Arabic newspapers. She is trilingual, in spoken and written Arabic, French and English.

She has recently completed a book - 'Out of the Energy Labyrinth' - that she co-authored with Lord Howell. The book is a compelling and illuminating study which shows how the search for safe global energy supplies can work in harness, instead of in conflict, with the fight against climate change. Energy security now means climate security later - that is the book's novel and challenging message. The book will be published in May 2007. Dr. Nakhle is currently working on her second book entitled 'Petroleum Taxation'.

Professor Chris Perry

Chris Perry is a water resources economist, who originally trained as an engineer. He worked for the World Bank for over twenty years, primarily on large-scale irrigation projects in the middle east and, primarily, Asia; thereafter, he was head of research and Deputy Director General of the International Water Management Institute.

His particular interests are the economic analysis of water systems, productivity of water in irrigation, and the application of remote sensing to analysis of water use. Â He has published some twenty papers in various journals. Since 2000, he has worked as an independent consultant, serving on international panels of experts for the World Bank in the Aral Sea basin, and the Mekong, as a visiting professor at Cranfield University, as a member of the editorial board of Irrigation and Drainage, as well as various assignments for DFID, FAO, the Dutch and German governments, and the African Devopment Bank.

Dr Peter Randerson

Dr Peter Randerson, Lecturer, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University. Dr Randerson's research interests focus on the ecological impacts of land use - effects of changing farming practice on upland vegetation and soil systems and the management of upland grasslands. High production willow coppice is under investigation as energy forestry, an alternative crop for farmers in the uplands of Wales. Together with Dr Fred Slater, Director of the University's Field Centre in Powys, mid-Wales, Peter has formed UWENFOR (University of Wales Energy Forestry) to promote wood-fuel production in marginal farmland areas. Constructed wetlands, planted with willow and acting as biofilters, are also seen as a cost-effective method of disposal of farm slurry and other effluent, avoiding the risk of pollution of watercourses. The spread of bracken in upland Wales and the involvement of aerial-deposited nitrogen is also being investigated.

Dr Randerson is also interested in the ecological impacts of habitat manipulation in estuaries - effects of engineering works (e.g. reclamation and barrage construction) on intertidal salt marsh habitat.

Guy de Selliers

Guy de Selliers started his career in 1977 at the World Bank. He then spent eight years on Wall Street with Lehman Brothers, as Senior Vice President, International Investment Banking. In 1990 he become one of the very first members of the transition team responsible for creating the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which was inaugurated in April 1991. He was Vice Chairman of the Credit Committee and a member of the EBRD's Executive Committee. After leaving EBRD in1997 he was Chief Executive of MC-BBL Eastern Holdings, an investment banking group with activities throughout Eastern and Central Europe. Upon the sale of MC-BBL he joined Robert Fleming and Co. Limited as Board member and Chairman, Eastern Europe.

He has acted as advisor to the European Commission on a number of issues. In 2002, he was appointed to lead a team of high level experts mandated by the Commission and the Russian Government to advise on measures to be taken to encourage the implementation of energy projects of strategic interest in the context of the EU/Russia Energy Dialogue.

He is Chairman of HB Advisers, a corporate finance advisory firm focused on the mining and metals industry created in partnership with Hatch Consulting, the leading engineering and management consulting firm in this sector. He is on the Board of Solvay S.A. (a leading European chemical and pharmaceutical group), Wimm Bill Dann (a New York Stock Exchange listed Russian company) and Norilsk Nickel (the largest mining company in the CIS). He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of Fortis. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Partners in Hope, a UK based Charity supporting child welfare projects in Russia

Hugh Sharman

Hugh Sharman is an energy consultant. He was educated at Imperial College, London , where he read Civil Engineering. His early professional experience was gained in offshore construction, including five years in the Persian Gulf during the 1960s when he first concerned over the finite nature of fossil energy resources. He has also lived and worked in UK, France, the Caribbean and South America. He is owner and director of an independent energy consultancy, Incoteco (Denmark) ApS, specialised in the energy and environment sectors. Â He has lived in Denmark since 1986.

Most of Incoteco's work is done for and with large energy companies, seeking innovative environmental solutions to practical problems. An example is its leading role in the formulation and development of the CO2 for EOR in the North Sea (CENS) project during 2001. If realised, this project will lead to the eventual sequestration of up to one billion tons CO2 from power stations and factories around the North Sea rim and the recovery of over 5 billion barrels of incremental oil, that would otherwise remain forever in the ground.

During 2004, Incoteco (Denmark) ApS completed a wind-energy related study for the Danish Energy Agency that was also supported by a number of important Scandinavian energy companies. Its purpose was to find more effective uses for the large wind power surplus that is generated in West Denmark.

Mr Robert Skelton, CEng, FIChemE, MIMechE, FINucE

Bob Skelton is a member of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, and is currently working on improved processes for the production of bio-diesel.

Professor Drew Stevenson

Drew Stevenson is Professor of Urban Regeneration at the University of East London. He has wide experience in planning and governance.

Henry Thoresby

Henry Thoresby graduated from LSE in 1961 with a degree in Economics. He went on to serve in Papua New Guinea with the Australian Board of Missions where he was involved with various agricultural and education projects. On returning to England he qualified as a barrister and worked on The Third London Airport Enquiry, The Milton Keynes Master Plan and The Dartmoor Reservoir Scheme. Having joined the legal branch of the Department of the Environment he specialised in Environmental Protection and as DOE representative on The International Bar Association, The International Association of Nuclear Lawyers and various radiological working groups highlighted the importance of improving morale and discipline in the nuclear industry. Since leaving the Civil Service he has been a director of several companies including Cox & Kings Special Interest Holidays where he was reponsible for Botany and Wildlife. He continues to give legal advice [pro bono] to citizens groups and has been chairman/vice chairmen of LSE Environmental Initiatives Network since 1995. He is currently Chairman of the Noise Association Trust and Treasurer of Farms for Families.

David White, FIChemE

David White is an energy consultant, and has held a range of senior management posts with Esso Petroleum Co. and the Exxon Group over a 30 year period. He spent the first 10 years in plant operations management at their UK refinery. He was one of few chemical engineers to switch from refining to marketing where he was responsible for a wide range of market developments in the UK. He held appointments with Esso Europe in London, Exxon Corporation in New York and Exxon Coal International. He took early retirement from Exxon Coal International in 1987 and created an energy consultancy practice. He has focused on technologies that offer solutions to emission problems from a range of fossil fuels and wastes by the application of energy conversion technologies. He monitors developments in EU and US environmental legislation along with data prepared by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change on ways to ameliorate global warming.

He has directed courses on 'Advanced Power Generation Technologies' and 'Understanding the Refinery-Petrochemical Interface' for the College of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Oxford. Until recently, he chaired the Insitute of Chemical Engineers Gasification Conference Steering Committee, sits on the IChemE Energy Technology Subject Group Committee and represents IChemE on a number of Inter-Institutional Committees and the Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies. He also drafts many of the Institution's responses to government consultation papers on energy related issues.