Meet the Team

Leading Academics 

Female silhouette
Reader in Sustainable Energy Technologies, Head of Sustainable Energy Technology Laboratory
Karl DearnProfessor Karl Dearn
Director of Industrial Liaison, Birmingham Centre for Vehicle and Engine Technology Research
Professor Yulong DingProfessor Yulong Ding
Co-Director of Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage
Professor Emma KendrickProfessor Emma Kendrick
Co-Director of Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage
Jianing Li Profile Image
 Lecturer in Smart Energy Systems
 Professor in Thermal Energy Engineering
Jonathan Radcliffe
Reader in Energy Systems and Policy
Dr Adriano Sciacovelli
Dr Adriano Sciacovelli
Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering
Robert Steinberger-Wilckens
Professor Robert Steinberger-Wilkens
Director of Birmingham Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research
Professor Athanasios (Thanos) Tsolakis
Chair in Thermodynamics
Dr Grant Wilson

Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering

Xiao-Ping Zhang
Director of Smart Grids

Knowledge Exchange Fellows 

Yousif specialises in supporting businesses in water electrolyser integration to renewable energy sources  to produce green hydrogen fuel. This offers technical support and helps assessing feasibility of such businesses. 

Yousif supports business needs within the following fields: 

  • Green Hydrogen Fuels
  • Hydrogen Systems Integration to Renewable Energy Sources
  • Fuel Cells Applications (Design, sizing, and control)
  • Fuel Cells Hybrid Electric Vehicles

George Brinklow

Dr George Brinklow

George has experience and expertise working within the automotive sector. He is skilled in the disciplines of combustion, emissions, catalytic after treatment systems and CFD.

George specialises in working with businesses in the following fields:

• Heat and energy recovery

• Combustion

• Fuel blending and low carbon fuels

• Computational fluid dynamics

• Aerodynamics


Dave EckoldDr Dave Eckold 

Dave specialises in tribology—friction, wear and lubrication. He has supported businesses through his mechanical design expertise to provide prototype designs for parasitic generators to capture wasted energy in gym equipment, improved the design of insulating doors for warehouse applications, and reviewed designs for small scale wind turbines.

Dave supports business needs within the following fields: 

  • Testing frictional modifier additives for lubricants designed for automotive use
  • Researching graphite-free alternatives lubricants for non-ferrous forging applications
  • Researching alternative bearing materials for omnidirectional bearings
  • Consulting on the suitability of magnetic bearings for wind applications


Zixuan Jia

Zixuan Jia

Zixuan supports businesses across different fields, including simulation and analysis of Electric Vehicles, Energy Storage Systems and Grid Operation, to help them solve or improve the system.

Zixuan supports business needs in the following areas:

  • EV charging
  • Smart grid
  • Data analysis
  • Energy optimization

Zeyu Jiang

Zeyu Jiang

Zeyu has experience and expertise in hydrogen energy and energy storage technologies, particularly in fuel cells and electrolysers.

Zeyu specialises in working with businesses in the following fields:

  • Low carbon fuels (hydrogen and ammonia)
  • Hydrogen production and applications
  • Energy storage technologies 

Tiejun LuDr Tiejun Lu

Dr. Lu has rich experience and expertise in thermal energy storage systems and heat pump technologies.

Tiejun specialises in supporting businesses with:

  • Thermal energy storage businesses challenges 
  • Cold storage solutions



Xin MaXin Ma

Xin has experience and expertise in real-time power system simulation technologies.

Xin supports business needs within the following fields:

  • Smart Grids
  • Power Systems
  • Real-Time Hardware Simulation
  • Renewable energy generation

Female silhouetteDr Helena Navarro

Helena supports businesses across different sectors, offering lab support in Thermal Energy storage for material characterisation. She also advises on the new trends and opportunities to achieve a reduction in energy consumption, materials revalorization and explores new business opportunities.

Helena specialises in supporting businesses with needs in the following fields: 

  • Heat storage
  • Cold storage
  • Materials development
  • Materials recovery
  • Recycling

Pouriya  NiknamDr Pouriya Niknam 

Pouriya specialises in supporting businesses with energy optimisation and waste heat recovery solutions to drive emission reduction and increase the process efficiency and their revenue base. 

Pouriya supports business needs within the following fields: 

  • Waste heat recovery by thermal energy storage systems 
  • Computational fluid dynamics analysis for product development and performance enhancement 
  • Optimisation and retrofit of processes in chemical, petrochemical, and power industries (both conventional and renewable)
  • Feasibility assessment and multi-physics modelling of emerging solutions in the energy sector 

Dr Shivangi SharmaDr Shivangi Sharma

Dr Sharma has worked as a researcher in Sustainable Energy Systems over the last 7 years, specialising in Renewable Energy Engineering with Thermal Energy Storage systems. Prior to this, she worked in the industry for a similar period; associated with Tata, Volkswagen Group, and Jaguar Land Rover etc.

In her current role, Shivangi specialises in the design, analysis and integration of Renewable Energy Systems such as Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated PV (CPV), Bioenergy, and Thermal Energy Storage (Phase Change Materials or PCM, and nano-materials). The end goal for most interventions is innovation in energy efficiency and decarbonisation, and to improve the existing designs/technologies through research and development at all levels; from materials, devices, systems to whole system integration.

In addition, she is involved in Data Analytics and Energy Informatics projects on Local Energy Systems focussed in and around the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) area.


Conghuan YangDr Conghuan Yang

Conghuan specialises in supporting businesses with simulations and analysis in renewable energy, energy storage systems and EVs, to help or improve their system design or solve existing problems. 

Conghuan supports business needs within the following fields:

  • Smart Grids
  • Power Systems
  • Monitoring & Control
  • EV Charging
  • Power generation


Business Engagement and Project Management Team  

Eve Clarke
Business Engagement Officer 
As Business Engagement Officer for ATETA, Eve builds and maintains a network of relationships with regional businesses. She provides opportunities for support through projects involving low-carbon energy solutions and improving the energy efficiency of industrial processes. Eve has a Maths and Physics degree from the University of Warwick and a passion for supporting women in STEM. She is enthusiastic about working with a range of SMEs and helping them to grow the sustainability of their businesses.
Business Engagement Manager 

Lorelei has 13 years of research and engineering experience, having worked in technology transfer projects involving both academia and industry. She has taken a special interest in bringing innovation to SMEs and is keen on using her research and engineering expertise in supporting knowledge exchange, industrial collaborations. She is experienced in accelerating impact and research opportunities, helping develop projects from pitch to market. 

Martin Freer
ATETA Project Director 
Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute
Sureena Sohal
 Sureena Sohal
ATETA Project Manager

Sureena previously worked for the West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium as a Team Leader of the Project Management Office, which delivered the Manufacturing Advisory Service programme. Prior to this she worked on delivering the Business Link contract at Advantage West Midlands, again supporting West Midlands based SMEs. 

Sureena is responsible for managing the ATETA project, providing strategic direction and management to ensure that the project delivers in line with ERDF guidelines.