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Manchester Environmental Research Institute

close up image of a grey and brown rock formation

Subsurface energy

The UK has a legally binding target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 which, coupled with increased global demand for energy, will require fundamental changes to our energy system.

This transition will require us to draw on the scientific, engineering, technical environmental, political, economic and societal expertise of the University. Subsurface energy has to be part of the solution to ensure security and affordability of supply as well as environmental sustainability.

Our current key areas of research include:

  • hundreds of pipes forming an outdoor energy plant structure
  • Steam rising from a volcanic rock formation
  • Corkscrew drill drilling into the ground attached to a digger in the background

Much of this work is conducted in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science by the Basins, Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Processes Group in collaboration with research projects in geothermal energy, carbon sequestration and subsurface fluid flow in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering and Department of Materials.

Our research

The University of Manchester has a long legacy of research in the energy sector and our subsurface research is an institution-wide effort integrating geological knowledge with engineering solutions.

Our current portfolio includes research into:

We also have the capability to link to other research institutes at The University of Manchester, and external initiatives, to ensure we can integrate our subsurface knowledge with facilities design and near-surface environmental management:

Our researchers

Grant Allen
Professor

Research specialisms: Climate and climate change, climate modelling, decision making, earth system modelling, energy emissions, environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment, environmental modelling, greenhouse gas emission


Masoud Babaei
Lecturer in Petroleum Engineering

Research specialisms: Aquifers, CO2 transport systems, carbon capture and storage, carbon sequestration, computational fluid dynamics, earth engineering, earth system modelling, energy storage, enhanced oil recovery, environmental modelling, geochemistry, geomechanics, geothermal energy, hydrocarbon reservoirs, multiphase flow, oil/gas reservoir management, subsurface injection


Robert Bellamy
Presidential Fellow in Environment

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, climate modelling, environmental impact assessment, greenhouse gas emission


Mike Bowman

Research specialisms: Aquifers, carbon capture and storage, carbon dioxide injection, carbon sequestration, climate and climate change, decision making, development policy, earth resources, earth surface processes, energy storage, enhanced oil recovery, environmental geology, geohazards, hydrocarbon reservoirs, oil/gas reservoir management, sediment/sedimentary processes, sedimentary basins, subsurface injection, tectonic processes, waste management


Mike Chandler
Research Associate

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, earth engineering, earth resources, energy storage, geomechanics, geophysics, geostorage, geothermal energy, hydrocarbon reservoirs, oil/gas reservoir management, soil and rock: mechanics, subsurface injection


Stephen Covey-Crump
Senior Lecturer

Research specialisms: Engineering geology, geomechanics, geothermal processes, soil and rock: mechanics


Stephen Flint

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, earth resources, earth surface processes, earth system modelling, geodynamics, hydrocarbon reservoirs, oil/gas reservoir management, ore deposits and mineralisation, sediment/sedimentary processes, sedimentary basins


Clair Gough
Senior Research Fellow

Research specialisms: Biomass, carbon capture and storage, carbon capture from free air, climate and climate change, greenhouse gas emission, stakeholder engagement and public/ social responses to the use of the subsurface


Mojgan Hadi Mosleh
Lecturer

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, carbon sequestration, climate and climate change, energy emissions, engineering geology, environmental assessment, environmental geology, environmental impact assessment, extreme pressures, extreme temperatures, geochemistry, geodynamics, geohazards, geomechanics, geostorage, geothermal energy, geothermal processes, greenhouse gas emission, multiphase flow, soil and rock: mechanics, subsurface injection, waste management, wellbore integrity and leakage mitigation/remediation


Greg Holland
Senior Lecturer (Terr Noble Gas Geochem)

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, carbon sequestration, geochemistry, hydrocarbon reservoirs, multiphase flow


Cathy Hollis
Reader in Petrophysics and Production Geoscience

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, earth resources, geochemistry, geothermal processes, hydrocarbon reservoirs, sediment/sedimentary processes, sedimentary basins


Mads Huuse
Professor

Research specialisms: Aquifers, carbon capture and storage, carbon sequestration, computational methods and tools, earth surface processes, earth system modelling, engineering geology, environmental geology, geodynamics, geohazards, geomechanics, geostorage, geothermal energy, hydrocarbon reservoirs, oil/gas reservoir management, sediment/sedimentary processes, sedimentary basins, soil and rock: mechanics, subsurface injection, tectonic processes, gas hydrates, glaciation, stratigraphy, rock physics, fluid migration


Christopher Jackson
Professor of Sustainable Geoscience

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, carbon sequestration, earth resources, earth surface processes, geodynamics, geohazards, geophysics, geostorage, geothermal energy, hydrocarbon reservoirs, oil/gas reservoir management, sediment/sedimentary processes, sedimentary basins, tectonic processes


Andrey Jivkov
Professor of Solid Mechanics

Research specialisms: Geomechanics, geophysics, soil and rock: mechanics


Amanda Lea-Langton
Lecturer in BioEnergy Engineering

Research specialisms: Bioenergy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage, energy emissions


Jingyi Li

Research specialisms: Carbon capture and storage, climate and climate change, development policy, environmental impact assessment, geothermal energy, geothermal processes, greenhouse gas emission, waste management


Qingming Li
Professor of Applied Mechanics

Research specialisms: Extreme pressures, extreme temperatures, geomechanics


Francis Livens

Research specialisms: Biogeochemical cycles, earth surface processes, environmental geology, environmental governance, geochemistry, waste management


Jonathan Lloyd
Professor

Research specialisms: Biogeochemical cycles, biogeomicrobiology, carbon capture and storage, carbon cycling, energy storage, energy from waste, extreme pressures


Domenico Lombardi
Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

Research specialisms: Geohazards, geomechanics


Lin Ma
NERC Research Fellow

Research specialisms: Carbon sequestration, earth resources, enhanced oil recovery, geostorage, geothermal energy, geothermal processes, hydrocarbon reservoirs, multiphase flow


Sarah Mander
Reader

Research specialisms: Change, greenhouse gas emission, stakeholder engagement and public/ social responses to the use of the subsurface


Julian Mecklenburgh
Senior Lecturer

Research specialisms: Aquifers, carbon capture and storage, carbon dioxide injection, carbon sequestration, computer tomography, earth engineering, earth resources, energy storage, engineering geology, environmental geology, geodynamics, geomechanics, geothermal energy, geothermal processes, soil and rock: mechanics, tectonic processes, tectonic modelling


Kath Morris

Research specialisms: Biogeochemical Cycles, Waste Management


Vahid Niasar
Senior lecturer and MS program director

Research specialisms: Aquifers, carbon sequestration, computational fluid dynamics, earth system modelling, enhanced oil recovery, environmental geology, environmental impact assessment, geochemistry, geothermal energy, multiphase flow, oil/gas reservoir management


Sophie Nixon
Research Fellow

Research specialisms: Biogeochemical cycles, biogeomicrobiology, carbon capture and storage, carbon cycling, energy storage, energy from waste, extreme pressures


Majid Sedighi
Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

Research specialisms: Carbon sequestration, computational fluid dynamics, computational methods and tools, engineering geology, environmental geology, geochemistry, geomechanics, geothermal energy, geothermal processes, multiphase flow, soil and rock: mechanics, waste management


Ahmad Syed Mohd
Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering

Research specialisms: Carbon sequestration, climate and climate change, climate modelling, energy storage, energy from waste, engineering geology, geohazards, geomechanics, geothermal energy, soil and rock: mechanics


Jonathan Taylor
Research Associate

Research specialisms: Carbon sequestration, earth engineering, earth surface processes, energy storage, engineering geology, sediment/sedimentary processes

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