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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Influential energy role for BGS chief scientist

Prof. Mike Stephenson

Professor Mike Stephenson appointed to the EPSRC Energy Strategic Advisory Committee

PROFESSOR Mike Stephenson, executive chief scientist of the British Geological Survey (BGS), has been appointed to the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Energy Strategic Advisory Committee.

Led by EPSRC, the Energy Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) is an independent body of advisors responsible for providing advice to help guide the UK’s energy agenda in support of government targets.

The committee meets at least twice a year, providing expertise to participating research councils who work together to bring strategy to UK energy training and research. It is influential across the whole of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Appointments to the SAC are by a robust assessment process, with selected representatives including industrialists, academics and individuals from across government organizations. Those selected for the committee do not represent their individual organizations and advise impartially based on their expertise.

Prof. Stephenson is the chief scientist for decarbonization and resource management at the BGS and has internationally recognized expertise in the geoscience of energy. He holds honorary professorships at Nottingham and Leicester universities in the UK and is a visiting professor at the University of Nanjing, China.

He has published three books and more than 100 peer-reviewed papers. His most recent book, ‘Energy and Climate Change: An Introduction to Geological Controls, Interventions and Mitigations’, examines the Earth system science context of the formation and use of fossil fuel resources, and the implications for climate change.

Prof. Stephenson regularly represents UK geoscience interests in energy, as well as providing advice to the UK Government. In October 2013 he was advisor to Sir Mark Walport, then the UK Government’s chief scientific advisor, on shale gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS) during a fact-finding mission to Texas and Alberta.

Commenting on his appointment, Prof. Stephenson said: ‘I’m delighted to be appointed by EPSRC. The Energy Strategic Advisory Committee has the potential to help guide tens of millions of government energy investment, and I’m excited by the opportunity to ensure there is a focus on building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges for a low-carbon future.’

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