|Dr Jen Roberts and Prof Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Directorate|
They will join research colleagues Dr Ben Wetenhall (Newcastle University), Dr Kyra Sedransk-Campbell (University of Sheffield, EDI Champion), Professor Richard Marsh (Cardiff University), Dr Clair Gough (University of Manchester), Professor Paul Fennell (Imperial College London) and Dr David Reiner (University of Cambridge). Principal Investigator Professor Jon Gibbins (University of Sheffield) will continue as Director.
Networking by the UK CCS Research Centre, as an inclusive and open virtual national hub, has helped to start now-mainstream UK initiatives on industrial decarbonisation and CCS clusters and has continued to grow with innovative online activities such as its virtual conference, several web series, CCUS for Net Zero seminars plus upcoming regular web events, and focused support throughout the COVID epidemic.
The new grant will deliver seamless continuity and expansion of these services to a UK CCS community (currently with over 600 academic members (including Early Career Researchers) and over 1,000 wider network links) that has to expand and diversify rapidly to deliver the 2030 targets, and will also help to develop UK capacity to meet the equally-great challenges of the following decades.
The UKCCSRC Network+ will be essential to support a broadening of the UK research base to include a much wider range of scientific disciplines, matching the increasingly complex research challenges of deployment. The UKCCSRC Network+ will also play a key part in building new high-tech CCS industries, with scope for extensive learning-by-doing once the first UK CCS plants are in service and CO2 transport and storage infrastructure is in place for new projects to use.
Prof Stuart Haszeldine said:
UKCCSRC has been spectacularly successful in developing UK capability on CCS research, with open and transparent inclusion of the UK research community and many linkages globally. Into the future, we now intend to widen the UKCCSRC scope to support delivery of multiple CCS applications for the UK - including industry, hydrogen for heat transport and storage, clean electricity, biogas and many varieties of air capture. It will also be particularly important to broaden diversity and inclusion, and maintain links to, and representation of, all groupings around the UK.
Dr Jen Roberts said:
It's fantastic that the next phase of UKCCSRC has been funded and I am delighted to join the Network as Deputy Director and Early Career Researcher lead. Supporting inclusive career development and cross disciplinary working are both extremely important to me and will stimulate the excellence and innovation needed for Net Zero. The opportunities that UKCCSRC have given me have hugely shaped my career so far. I aim to use my own experience and expertise to assist the development of UKCCSRC and support new generations of CCS researchers. UKCCSRC activities will maintain and grow an inclusive research community, ensuring the UK has the science, skills and diversity of minds needed to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.
Read the full UKCCSRC press release, which includes an outline of the new Network's key tasks, here.