IDRIC Team

IDRIC’s team works closely with stakeholders and supports the wider IDRIC community in delivering the Centre’s goals.

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Champion and Director

As well as Champion and Director of IDRIC, Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer (FRSE, FIChemE, FRSC, FRSA, FEI) is Deputy Principal (Global Sustainability) and Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University. RCCS is a world leading multidisciplinary centre delivering innovation for the wider deployment of low-carbon energy systems required for meeting net zero targets. She has held appointments at the University of Kentucky (1997-1998), Pennsylvania State University (1998-2004) and University of Nottingham (2005-2012).
Her internationally recognised track record covers energy systems, CCUS, integration of hydrogen technologies and low carbon fuels. She has over 550 publications, has been editor of 4 books and 15% of her publications are in top 10% most cited worldwide. Mercedes holds leading positions in professional societies and editorial boards and has received numerous international prizes and awards.

Dr Clare Howard

Dr Clare Howard

Centre Manager

As IDRIC’s Centre Manager, Clare supports the Centre Director in leading and managing the development of IDRIC into a world-leading research and innovation centre. Tasked with ensuring the successful delivery and future sustainability of the Centre she oversees the workplan and management of the Central Team as well as liaising with members of the management and governance bodies, partners and stakeholders.
As an experienced programme and project manager on large-scale collaborative, multi-stakeholder publicly funded projects, Clare has worked extensively on interdisciplinary research projects involving stakeholder and policy engagement with diverse sets of stakeholders from around the world. She has an MSci Geoscience degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and a PhD in long-term carbon cycle modelling from University of Edinburgh.

Danny Cowe

Danny Cowe

Business Development Executive

Danny works in the Business & Impact Team and leads on IDRIC’s stakeholder engagement with the industrial clusters and industry.
A varied background, Danny has previously run an innovation centre and also worked in economic development, the water industry, broadcast media, cycling industry and tourism. He has a degree in History from the University of Glasgow

Dr John Ferrier

Dr John Ferrier

Policy Research Officer

John is part of IDRIC‘s Policy Team, working to inform active UK and Devolved Government policy development through communication of IDRIC’s leading research expertise, the experience of industry partners and independent policy analysis. An advocate for evidence-based climate policy, John has prior experience of policy engagement and knowledge exchange from previous roles in the water sector and at the Scottish Parliament, the latter of which focused on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. John has a PhD in geomicrobiology from the University of Dundee, with expertise in microbial biotechnology and critical metal sustainability.

Stella Gouzon

Stella Gouzon

Centre Administrator

Stella supports IDRIC’s administrative function for the team and the wider network – liaising with partners concerning administrative and financial issues as well as reporting.
She works closely with the EDI Champion helping to realise the interventions of the EDI Strategy.
As an experienced international administrator in the Academic and Government sectors, she has a great deal of experience in finance, event management, social media, etc. Fluent in French, Italian and Spanish - she has a Degree in Applied Foreign Languages (translation, economy, communication, law and languages) from Bordeaux University in France.

Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham

Centre Administrative Assistant

Jennifer works as IDRIC’s Administrative Assistant, helping the team with daily administration requirements and support. After a long career as a sales and acquisitions executive for Film & Television in Toronto, Canada, Jennifer relocated to Scotland with her family 5 years ago. She now uses her administration skills from her previous life to support IDRIC with such things as helping to organize events and liaising with researchers. Fluent in French, she has travelled and worked for Sony Music Australia, Corus Entertainment as well as Alliance Films.

Helen Kibby

Helen Kibby

Marketing and Communications Manager

Helen works on IDRIC‘s marketing and communications strategy and on themes such as identity and messaging, IDRIC’s online presence, social media and PR. A significant part of Helen’s role is liaising with IDRIC’s 142 partners (including all partner research organisations) to promote the great research that is taking place within IDRIC-funded projects. As an experienced marketing and communications professional, Helen has a worked in a wide range of sectors - including higher education, business, technology, the third sector and finance. She has a Degree in International Studies from Birmingham University and a CIM Diploma in Marketing.

Prof Heather McGregor

Prof Heather McGregor

EDI Champion

Professor Heather J. McGregor is the Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. Previously the Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University, as well as a Professor of Management Practice, Professor McGregor is a qualified accountant and had an earlier career in investment banking, and then spent 17 years as an entrepreneur prior to her move into higher education. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2010 Professor McGregor was a co-founder of the 30% Club, which seeks to increase female representation on public company boards, and she also founded the Taylor Bennett Foundation which offers opportunities for minority ethnic graduates. She was awarded a CBE in 2015 for her services to business, especially diversity in the workplace.

Dr Charlotte McLean

Dr Charlotte McLean

Skills Research Officer

Charlotte works to provide development opportunities for IDRIC‘s researchers through the delivery of secondments and the ECRA. Charlotte’s role also has an externally-facing aspect, working with IDRIC’s stakeholders to better understand and communicate the interventions and policy frameworks needed to ensure the UK has the skills and workforce capacity to decarbonise the industrial clusters. Charlotte’s background is in geoscience. She completed her PhD in Applied Geology in 2017 (University of Glasgow) and subsequently worked on technical geological research with an industry focus. It was during this time that Charlotte became passionate about ensuring the retention of skilled scientists through the energy transition.

Dr Isobel Marr

Dr Isobel Marr

Knowledge Exchange Manager

Isobel’s role is to ensure the research findings from the IDRIC programme are effectively shared across the industrial clusters and wider stakeholders, allowing our research to have maximum impact in the decarbonation of industry.
Isobel worked in a similar role at the University of Edinburgh, accelerating the impact of research for international development through knowledge exchange. Previous to that, she worked for the Royal Society of Chemistry fostering partnerships between industry and academia and supporting technology commercialisation. Isobel holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Anna Pultar

Dr Anna Pultar

Policy Research Officer

As part of IDRIC‘s Policy Team, Anna supports the development of effective policy and regulatory frameworks for decarbonisation and net zero through facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange between academia, industry and government. With a strong background in public policy research and analysis, Anna strives to understand the opportunities and trade-offs involved in climate policy and regulation to support informed decision-making. Anna holds a degree in comparative politics from the University of Vienna and a PhD in social policy from the University of Edinburgh.

Gill Watson

Gill Watson

Executive Assistant to IDRIC Director

As Executive Assistant to the Director of IDRIC, Gill attends to the day-to-day functions that are part of the Director’s role, so that the Director can focus on leadership and strategy not only for IDRIC, but also for the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) and as Deputy Principal for Global Sustainability at Heriot-Wat University. Working previously in the NHS as a Service Manager, Project Co-ordinator and a number of other roles, in the Scottish Funding Council and in the retail sector as a Buyer and Marketing Manager, Gill has experienced various workplace environments, traditions and cultures.

Research Co-Directors:

Promoting and managing the research and innovation activities within and across our Research Programme, as well as synergising outputs and promoting new areas of research interest.  

Prof Anna Korre

Prof Anna Korre

Imperial College London

Anna Korre is Professor of Environmental Engineering and Co-Director Energy Futures Lab at Imperial, the College’s energy institute. Anna also heads the Minerals Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Group, developing engineering solutions to the supply of clean energy, the sustainable production of natural resources, and mitigating environmental impacts and risks. Her research focus is in the areas of modelling risk and uncertainty and the environmental and life cycle assessment of engineering systems. She has led and participated in numerous industry, UKRI, BEIS, The Crown Estate and EU funded projects developing engineering tools to assess the impacts of the minerals and energy industries in terms of operational performance, environmental footprint and cost.

Prof Marcelle McManus

Prof Marcelle McManus

University of Bath

Prof Marcelle McManus is a professor in Energy and Environmental Engineering with expertise in Life Cycle Assessment of bio-based systems and has particular interest in using LCA to help minimise the impact of emerging and existing systems. She is a Research Director in the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC). She has won awards for her work e.g. she was awarded the IMechE George Stephenson Medal (2008) for her work on LCA of wind power, won “Most Inspirational Woman” in the West Woman Awards, 2019, and won the Academic Award in the 2020 FDM Everywoman in STEM Awards.

Prof Benjamin K. Sovacool

Prof Benjamin K. Sovacool

University of Sussex

Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University in the United States, as well as Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom. He is also University Distinguished Professor of Business & Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy justice, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, the ethics and morality of energy decisions, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change.

Academic Cluster Leads:

Providing strategic input and connectivity with the industrial clusters and acting as a bridge between the research community and activities within the clusters.

Dr Maxine Akhurst

Dr Maxine Akhurst

British Geological Survey

Scotland Cluster

Maxine Akhurst is a geologist with experience in offshore and onshore geological research and modelling, specialising in carbon dioxide storage since 2008. She is an experienced leader of carbon dioxide storage research within UK- and EU-funded projects. Maxine leads science development for CO2Stored, the UK national carbon dioxide storage database. Her interests include carbon dioxide storage site screening, selection, appraisal, performance and risk assessment and leader of storage site characterisation to meet regulatory requirements. She is a Directorate member of Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage, has led three Scottish Government and industry consortium CCS projects, and contributed her expertise to numerous CCS research projects.

Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong

Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong

University of Southampton

Solent Cluster

Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong is an Associate Professor within Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton and the Chair of the Clean Carbon University Strategic Research Group which is a network of over 150+ academic and industrial partners driving researcher and innovation towards a decarbonised future. She sits on the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Multi-cluster Committee and is an adviser and member of the Industrial Key Stakeholder forum supporting BEIS with the scoping of the industrial decarbonisation agenda. Her research is heavily multidisciplinary bridging the fields of chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and mathematics as she develops computational tools for accelerating scale-up of reactive technologies. She has extensive knowledge of reactive multiphase modelling, particularly for carbon capture and utilization technologies.

Prof Joe Howe

Prof Joe Howe

University of Chester

North West Cluster

Prof Howe is the Director of the Thornton Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester. He has extensive experience in working interchangeably with industry on major environmental projects and initiatives across the UK. Currently Joe is driven by the opportunities afforded to UK industry in delivering of the £600bn of infrastructure projects by 2030. Joe is pro-actively engaged with the UK’s emerging clean growth agenda including his roles with the UK Decarbonised of Gas Alliance and the chairing of the NW Hydrogen Alliance. He is particularly passionate about STEM skills and sits on the Board of the Department of Education: Engineering Construction Industries Training Board.

Jon Maddy

Jon Maddy

University of South Wales

South Wales Cluster

Jon Maddy is the Director of the University of South Wales’ Hydrogen Centre at Baglan, where he leads the University’s R&D activities on hydrogen production, purification, storage, and application across several sectors. He has four decades of experience in hydrogen in industry and academia, supporting the mission of the USW Hydrogen Centre to focus on industrial facing hydrogen and fuel cell research, with a strong emphasis on industrial and academic collaboration. Jon is the academic lead for the South Wales Industrial Cluster, collaborating with over 40 industrial partners, and is also a member of the UK Government Hydrogen Advisory Council. .

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe

University of Birmingham

Black Country Cluster

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe is a Reader in Energy Systems and Innovation at the University of Birmingham; and leads the ‘Resilient Cities’ theme of the university‘s Institute for Global Innovation. His research focuses on policy and techno-economic analysis of energy systems in the context of a wider socio-technical transition. He is investigator on several major research projects, covering the integration of energy storage and heat pumps in local energy systems, and on infrastructure for industrial decarbonisation. Jonathan is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for UKRI’s Energy Programme, and was Advisor to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on Clean Growth Technologies

Prof Tony Roskilly

Prof Tony Roskilly

Durham University

Teesside Cluster

Prof Tony Roskilly is Chair of Energy Systems at Durham University and a Director of Durham Energy Institute, leading on Industry and Internationalisation. He is the UK lead for the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Joint Programmes for Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes (EEIP) and Energy Systems Integration (ESI). Tony has over 30 years of experience in the design, control, and operational optimisation of energy systems. He leads a net zero research group at Durham University with on-going research in solar, geothermal and industrial power, cooling and heating systems; transitioning to hydrogen, alternative hydrogen carriers and liquid fuel use; power and thermal energy storage systems; energy system modelling and industrial planning tools; CCUS; and syngas and hydrogen production. He was appointed by Tees Valley Combined Authority as the Academic Lead for the Teesside Industrial Cluster, and is a member of the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) Decarbonization Innovation Special Interest Group and the Northern Powerhouse (NP11) Hydrogen Forum.