H2FC Workshop: Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Challenges and Opportunities – An Industrial Perspective – 25-26 February


The H2FC Supergen Hub held an online Innovation Workshop on Thursday 25 February & Friday 26 February 2021 to bring research and industry communities together.

It explored hydrogen and fuel cell technology challenges from an industry perspective and how academic and industry can best collaborate to achieve their goals. There were talks from a number of industry leaders and key academics as well as opportunity for discussion and networking. Each session consisted of a talk from an academic and talks from key industry speakers, followed by interactive discussion with attendees.

Watch speaker videos

Session 1 slides – H2FC workshop Feb 2021

Session 2 slides – H2FC workshop Feb 2021

Session 3 slides – H2FC workshop Feb 2021

Session 4 slides – H2FC workshop Feb 2021


Thursday 25 February

11:00-11:30 Introduction

Nigel Brandon (Imperial College London)

Nigel Brandon’s research is focused on electrochemical devices for low carbon energy applications, with a particular focus on fuel cells, electrolysers, and batteries. He is Director of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cells SUPERGEN Hub (www.h2fcsupergen.com), and Chair of Imperials Sustainable Gas Institute (www.imperial.ac.uk/sustainable-gas-institute).  He is a founder of Ceres Power, an AIM listed fuel cell company spun out from Imperial College in 2000, a founder and Director of RFC Power a flow battery company spun out from Imperial College in 2018, and a Partner in Galvanic Energy, which offers specialist Consultancy services in the electrochemical technology space.

Jane Patterson (Ricardo)

Jane is part of the Ricardo Strategic Consulting team, based in Sussex.  She helps clients accelerate and de-risk their technology and production development through the timely delivery of Technology Strategy studies.  Her technology landscape knowledge spans for thermal engines to low carbon alternative powertrains, such as hydrogen and fuel cells.  Recent activities have included a deep dive into how the European Green Deal is shifting the market drivers for sustainable mobility.  Jane is passionate about the need to move towards holistic, life cycle thinking in the development of future technology solutions. Since joining Ricardo in 1999, she has participated in numerous consortia and multi-partner projects.  Jane represents Ricardo on the Industry Advisory Board for the UK H2FC SUPERGEN.

11:30-13:15 – Session 1 – Hydrogen policies, Systems and Applications


Nilay Shah (Imperial College London)

Nilay Shah is the Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and formerly the Director of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering (CPSE) at Imperial, and a Chemical Engineer by training. He has co-authored over 200 technical papers on process systems modelling and engineering, design and optimisation of low carbon energy and systems, process technologies, life cycle analysis and process safety and risk assessment.  Nilay Shah has received several awards and he is particularly interested in the transfer of technology from academia to industry.

Andrew Barker (Taylor Construction Plant Limited)

(Biog to follow)

Andy Lewis (Cadent Gas)

Andy Lewis is a programme manager in the Future Networks Team at Cadent Gas Ltd, the UK’s largest gas distribution network. Across four regional networks, Cadent transport gas to around 10 million consumers. Andy is responsible for the initiation, delivery and subsequent deployment of projects to explore how gas can contribute to a low carbon future.

James Walker (EMEC)

Dr James Walker is the Hydrogen Development Manager at EMEC, where he identifies, develops and contracts opportunities for EMEC to grow its hydrogen-related R&D and commercial consultancy business streams. James liaises with government and key stakeholders to address market mechanisms and business models to facilitate development of the sector. James joined EMEC in 2020, previously having worked as an analyst in the Carbon Trust energy systems team, where he carried out research on a wide range of energy decarbonisation issues, including on the role for hydrogen in delivering ‘net zero’ energy systems

Interactive topic discussion in small break out room groups.

13:45-15:30 – Session 2 – Green Hydrogen and Ammonia Production


John Irvine (St Andrew’s University)

John Irvine FRSE, FRSC has made a unique and world-leading contribution to the science of energy materials, especially fuel cell and energy conversion technologies. This research has ranged from detailed fundamental to strategic and applied science and has had major impact across academia, industry and government. Irvine’s science is highly interdisciplinary extending from Chemistry and Materials through physics, bioenergy, geoscience, engineering, economics and policy.
The quality and impact of Irvine’s research has been recognised by a number of national and international awards, including the Lord Kelvin Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018, the Schönbeim gold medal from the European Fuel Cell Forum in 2016, the RSC Sustainable Energy Award in 2015, with earlier RSC recognition via Materials Chemistry, Bacon and Beilby awards/medals.

Sam French (Johnson Matthey)

Sam currently works in Business Development at Johnson Matthey, leading the development of the strategy and programme for Low Carbon Hydrogen.

Previous roles at Johnson Matthey include Technology Manager for the steam reforming catalyst and technology R&D team. After moving from R&D into Business Development, he was tasked with developing a portfolio of new opportunities for processes from new feedstocks, such as biomass, waste and renewable energy. Sam represents JM on the Hydrogen Council Management Board, as well as a number of other organisations focused on solutions to decarbonisation.

Jane Patterson (Ricardo)

(as above)

Samuel Perez Ramirez (Scottish Power Renewables)

Samuel has been leveraging his 20 year experience in the generation sector and is now figuring out how the energy future will be, looking for a better society in a decarbonised world. He is involved in the electrification of heat and the hydrogen economy potential.

These days he is directly related to the design of Iberdrola’s 20MW H2 project in Puertollano, the future +800MW pipeline and the IberLyzer project.

Interactive topic discussion in small break out room groups.

Friday 26 February

11:00-11:15 Introduction

11:15-13:00 Session 3 – Storage and Distribution of Hydrogen and its Carriers


Tim Mays (University of Bath)

Tim is Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Bath having been an academic at the University since 1994. He was PI of the EPSRC Supergen UK Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium (2003-12) and is Co-director of the H2FC Research Hub (2012-21). Tim’s research focuses on hydrogen storage, especially in nanoporous media such as carbon nanotubes and metal-organic frameworks. Recent results have shown exceptionally high densities of H2 in certain nanopores. This is being explored to assess practical applications. Tim is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer, and at Bath is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment and Co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Chemical Technologies.

Stuart Hawksworth (Health and Safety Executive)

Dr Stuart Hawksworth has worked in the area of Safety for 28 years, fulfilling a number of technical and oversight roles at the Health and Safety Executive’s Laboratory in Buxton in the UK. These include creating and managing the Centre for Energy and Major Hazards, made up of 70 expert scientist and engineers working in the area of risk management, fire, explosion and process safety.

He has oversight of a programme of Hydrogen Safety Projects covering power, heat and transport funded by the European Commission, UK Government and Industry. He is also the President of International Association for Hydrogen Safety and a task leader in FCHJU’s European Hydrogen Safety Panel.

Mark Crowther (Kiwa Gastec)

Mark Crowther is technical lead of the Government’s Hy4heat project which is working with appliance manufacturers to launch new domestic and commercial hydrogen appliances and is supporting SGN in their FEED study in Scotland. This plans to use an existing 7MW wind turbine to produce hydrogen which would be used in over 300 houses and thus effectively decarbonise them completely.

Gareth Hinds (National Physical Laboratory)

Gareth is NPL Fellow and Science Area Leader in the Electrochemistry Group at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, United Kingdom. His primary expertise is in the development of novel in situ diagnostic techniques and standard test methods for assessment of corrosion and material degradation in energy applications. Gareth has a strong track record of delivering innovative solutions to engineering problems with demonstrable impact on industry in a range of sectors, including oil and gas, power generation and electrochemical energy conversion and storage. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and holds visiting academic positions at University College London, the University of Strathclyde and Harbin Institute of Technology. He is the author of over 200 publications and Immediate Past President of the Institute of Corrosion.

Interactive topic discussion in small break out room groups.

13:30-15:45 Session 4 – Fuel Cells for Transport and Stationary Power


Anthony Kucernak (Imperial College London/Bramble Energy Ltd)

Anthony Kucernak is an experimental electrochemist at Imperial College and has 25 years in electrochemical research including electrochemical power systems, and novel electrochemical devices. His work spans fundamental aspects of electrocatalysis, fuel cells, supercapacitors, electrolysers and batteries and novel electrochemical systems such as electrochemical muscles and electrochemical plasmonics. He is a founder of Bramble energy, a company spun out of Imperial and UCL in 2016 developing high volume manufacturable polymer electrolyte fuel cells. He is founder and director of RFC Power, a flow battery company spun out from Imperial College in 2018 . He is founder of Sweetgen, developing new technology to clean waste-water, whilst simultaneously generating electrical power.

Richard Cartwright (AFC Energy)

Richard Cartwright joined AFC Energy as a research scientist in 2014 to focus on electrode development after completing a PhD in materials science from the University of Cambridge. Over the past 7 years he has been involved in progressing the fundamental fuel cell and stack technology. He currently leads the team of scientists responsible for the development of the HydroX-Cell (S)® anion exchange membrane fuel cell alongside AFC’s traditional HydroX-Cell (L)® liquid electrolyte fuel cell.

Ben Todd (Arcola Energy)

Founder and CEO of Arcola Energy, a systems engineering company and Tier 1 supplier specialising in hydrogen, fuel cells, and batteries. Ben has been involved in fuel cells for nearly 20 years, having undertaken his PhD in engineering at Cambridge University working on modelling the Rolls-Royce solid oxide fuel cell system for power generation. He has worked in R&D, technical and strategy on commercial and public-sector projects, including at Cambridge Consultants, Johnson Matthey and Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems.

Chris Evans (Ceres Power)

Chris is Director of Product Management at Ceres Power.  He is a Control Systems engineer by background and started his career at Ricardo, working on advanced combustion system control. He joined Ceres Power in 2005 to build a new control and electronics capability, initially focused on a residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.  He has had several roles since then, including Head of Systems Engineering and Director of Engineering. He now leads Product Management for Ceres Power, responsible for the development and licensing of the core fuel cell stack, for integration into a range of stationary and motive applications.

Hugo Spowers (Riversimple Holding Ltd)

Hugo Spowers set up Riversimple, a sustainable car company based in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, to develop lightweight hydrogen fuel cell cars, along with the strategies necessary for bringing them to market.  Riversimple is adopting an entirely circular ‘usership’ model – Mobility as a Service – designed to make efficiency and sustainability profitable and to align the interests of business with the needs of society.  The company is currently raising funds to establish its first plant for volume production in mid Wales – their entry level car, the Rasa, is designed from a clean slate to be as efficient as possible while being affordable and fun to drive.

Interactive topic discussion in small break out room groups.