Nixon, Sophie


Professor Sophie Nixon is a BBSRC David Phillips and Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Research Fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester, where she leads the Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Group. Based in the flagship Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Sophie’s group is dedicated to understanding how environmental microbiomes can be harnessed to solve global environmental problems, especially with respect to waste CO2 emissions. Building on Sophie’s track record of microbiology in the engineered subsurface, a major focus is understanding the potential impacts that microorganisms in the deep biosphere will have on our ability to successfully lock away CO2 in geological formations, including the risks of negative processes as well as the potential to enhance CO2 sequestration.

Dawid Hanak is Professor of Decarbonisation of Industrial Clusters at the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, Teesside University. He has over 11 years of experience in process design, techno-economic, and life-cycle assessment of sustainable engineering processes. He led the successful delivery of research and commercial projects in industrial decarbonisation that has attracted over £4m of external funding. These projects developed carbonate looping technology for low-carbon power generation systems and industrial processes. He currently leads feasibility assessments for retrofitting carbon capture and utilisation (amine scrubbing, carbonate looping) to a waste-to-energy plant and a mycoprotein manufacturing plant, funded by IDRIC and UKCCSRC. He is also the UK representative member of the management committee and the leader of a working group on training, dissemination, and engagement for TRANSMIT Action on Techno-Economic Analysis of Carbon Mitigation Technologies. He also provided expert advice to businesses, think-tanks, and public bodies, including the IEAGHG and the GESEDA.

Emma is a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool.  She is a structural geologist exploring our ability to successfully characterise the sealing potential of displaced lithologies for applications to fluid flow in the subsurface, from CO2 storage, geothermal to hydrogeology. Specifically, Emma researches into how carbonates, including marls, deform and what that may mean to the resulting petrophysical (i.e. permeability) properties.  She also addresses uncertainties when interpreting and understanding subsurface geology using seismic data.

Dr Lee Hosking is a Lecturer in Geo-energy Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Brunel University London. His research focuses on computational modelling of deep subsurface environments with attention to coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical (THM) phenomena, accurate and efficient fracture network representation, and damage evolution. For over 10 years, the main practical application of his research has been geological CO₂ storage with respect to storage capacity, injectivity, and migration/confinement, but he has also worked on geothermal energy systems and radioactive waste disposal. Lee’s current research projects, funded by The Royal Society and EPSRC (Horizon Europe underwrite), are investigating the prediction and management of fluid injection-induced seismicity, as well as the development of novel cementitious materials. These projects are being delivered alongside national and international partners from academia and industry. Before joining Brunel in 2020, Lee was a postdoctoral researcher at the Geoenvironmental Research Centre, Cardiff University, where he led the CO₂ sequestration work package of the FLEXIS energy systems research project. He received his PhD from Cardiff University in 2014 for research on coupled THM behaviour during CO₂ injection in coal, having graduated with an MEng Civil Engineering, also from Cardiff University.

Dr Marius Dewar is a marine modelling scientist based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory for the last 4 years, with a further 10 years of previous experience on CCS related topics. His research interests focus on the developments of ocean modelling systems for risk analysis, along with developing marine monitoring and verification tools and strategies, with experience in both carbon and hypersaline brine release mechanisms. Projects involve environmental risk assessments for analysis of the oceanic impact from gas scales (mm) to a fully reconstructed ocean, developing cost effective monitoring strategies to provide assurance based on the findings.

Dr. Aliakbar Hassanpouryouzband is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences, where his work focuses on Net Zero Technologies. With a PhD from Heriot-Watt University, his expertise lies in low-carbon energy production and CO2 capture and storage, underpinned by research at MIT’s Molecular Engineering Laboratory. Post-PhD, he furthered his research with over three years postdoctoral stint at Edinburgh University, contributing significantly to the field. Dr. Hassanpouryouzband’s approach combines technical insight with practical applications, aiming to make a meaningful impact in the global battle against climate change. His work is not only academic but also seeks to translate complex ideas into actionable solutions in sustainable energy.

Jiacheng Sun is a researcher at the UK Biochar Research Centre, The University of Edinburgh, working on the Algae Bioenergy-Biochar System (ABBS). His research interests lie in the entire lifecycle of ABBS, including (1) Microalgae/cyanobacteria/seaweed cultivation in wastewater, (2) Thermo-chemical conversion for biofuel and biochar production, (3) Process modelling, techno-economic analysis, life cycle assessment, and transport network optimisation for ABBS, and (4) Biochar-based material as supercapacitor electrodes. He also has rich experience in architectural design, material durability analysis, and nonlinear engineering mechanics (material and geometry) analysis, i.e., finite element method (FEM).

Dr Laura Herraiz is a research associate at the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University. Her current focus involves the SCOPE project, where she is dedicated to developing thermodynamic models for precise predictions of amine emissions and conducting techno-economic analyses of emissions mitigation strategies. Additionally, she contributes to the USorb-DAC project, working on optimized integrated processes for direct air capture (DAC). Her research interest lies in developing and integrating operational strategies and design synergies to minimize investment and operational costs associated with carbon capture processes.

Dr Herraiz holds a MEng in Chemical Engineering from Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), a MEng in Energy Generation from the University of Liverpool (UK), and a PhD in Power Plant Engineering and Carbon Capture and Storage from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, she accumulated three years of experience at Foster Wheeler.

Dr Yihuai Zhang is a Lecturer in the James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on the development of experimental methods, models, and theories for the multiscale coupled chemical-physical-mechanical interactions in the host rock during fluid injection into the underground with application in carbon geosequestration, geothermal and geo-energy resource recovery. To date, he has published more than 35 journal articles with more than 2400 citations. He is the associate editor of the Journal of Energy Engineering.

Dr Nabavi is a Senior Lecturer of Energy Systems, based at Centre for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy. He is Director of Advanced Chemical Engineering MSc Course, and leads the Thematic Doctoral Network for Energy and Sustainability and Cranfield Thermochemical Processes (TCP) Research Cluster. He is an expert in multiphase transport and interfacial engineering, in which he combines experimental and computational approaches to develop innovative solutions to advance low-carbon energy systems. A major focus of his research group is on carbon capture utilisation & storage (CCUS), Including formulation, synthesis, characterisation, bench-to-pilot scale testing, and process intensification of carbon capture materials and processes for industrial carbon dioxide removal, biogas upgrading, hydrogen purification, direct air capture, as well as production and conversion of sustainable fuels. He has successfully led the delivery of commercial and research projects in clean and sustainable energy systems, including sorbent developments for separation and purification, novel concept prototyping, technology assessment, and computational modelling.