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ATETA, the European Regional Development Funded SME support programme from the Birmingham Energy Institute has been designed to help organisations overcome their obstacles and unlock business opportunities. Since its launch in 2017 it has offered advice and support to more than 100 businesses. 


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What does ATETA offer?

ATETA aims to promote research and innovation in the adoption of zero carbon energy technologies for SME’s that are active in the Black Country, Coventry, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Areas. 

ATETA provides FREE access to our team of Knowledge Exchange Fellow’s (KEFs) who will work with you in our state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories to identify ways for you to improve efficiency, identify new market prospects, test and demonstrate new ideas and ultimately grow your business. To date the programme has succeeded in generating a net income of almost £25 million for the local economy.

Email to find out how ATETA can support your business. 

ATETA Case Study - Tyseley Energy Park

We can support businesses by

  • Providing you with a platform to test and demonstrate innovative ideas in our state-of-the-art labs
  • Helping you provide enhanced products and services to your customers 
  • Adopt new technologies to reduce energy use in manufacturing 
  • Working with you to identify and initiate market opportunities in new energy markets and technologies
  • Offering support with product / process research and development for energy technologies such as; thermal materials, energy storage, distributed energy generation or fuel cell technologies
  • Identifying the right solution for your power security needs
  • Providing you with energy market intelligence

Technology Expertise

Our KEFs will apply their world leading research, experience and expertise to provide you with an applied, professional approach to business, economic, market and technical research that can provide independent and impartial evidence in support of your innovative product or service claims. The expertise of our KEF’s spans across a multitude of areas including, but not limited to, Thermal Energy Technologies, SMART Grids and System Integration and Renewable Power and Fuel Cell Technologies.

Key Project Themes

Thermal Energy Technologies

  • Thermal Energy Storage Systems
  • Thermal Materials – Development and Applications
  • Clean Cold Energy Systems
  • Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

Smart Grids and System Integration

  • Distributed Energy System Design and Grid Integration
  • Power Systems and Smart Grid Economics
  • Smart Power Grids and real-time simulation
  • Monitoring and Control Systems

Renewable Power and Fuel Cell Technologies

  • Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies
  • Power Generation Technology and Alternative Fuels
  • EfW Technology, Simulation and Design

Meet the Team

Project Director

Professor Martin Freer

Professor Martin Freer

Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI)
Director of the Energy Research Accelerator

School of Physics and Astronomy

Business Engagement Team 

David Terry 

David Terry

David is the ATETA Business Engagement Manager within the Birmingham Energy Institute, part of the University of Birmingham’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.  David has over 20 years’ experience of commercial development of low carbon technologies and in particular, renewable energy infrastructure. The focus of his current role is to manage the delivery of the ATETA project and facilitate support collaborative research activity between innovative small and medium enterprises and the academic expertise with the Birmingham Energy Institute. View David's LinkedIn profile. 


Dr Lorelei Gherman 

Lorelei GhermanLorelei has worked as a researcher in manufacturing engineering for the past 10 years. She was involved in projects engaging both academia and industry, having taken a special interest in bringing innovation to SMEs. She is keen on using her knowledge of research and engineering in supporting businesses in the Black Country. View Lorelei's LinkedIn profile. 



Evelyn Phoenix 

Evelyn Phoenix

Evelyn has worked for Rolls-Royce for the past eight years on various engineering projects across the aerospace and marine sectors as a Project Manager. Prior to this she worked in corporate liaison for a geological conservation charity covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire. She really enjoys working with different types of companies and has a focus on conservation and supporting a reduction in energy waste. Having now joined ATETA she will be focusing on liaising with SMEs in Worcestershire and looks forward to promoting ATETA's expertise in helping companies achieve net carbon neutral and adoption of green energy solutions. View Evelyn's LinkedIn profile. 

Leading Academics

Dr Raya AL-Dadah

Dr Raya AL-Dadah

Reader in Sustainable Energy Technologies
Head of Sustainable Energy Technology Laboratory

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Karl Dearn

Professor Karl Dearn

Head of Civil Engineering
Head of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering

School of Engineering


Dr Jianing Li

Dr Jianing Li

Lecturer in Smart Energy Systems

Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering

Professor Yongliang Li

Professor Yongliang Li

Professor in Thermal Energy Engineering
Exchange students tutor

School of Chemical Engineering

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe

Reader in Energy Systems and Policy
Fellow of the Institute for Global Innovation, Resilient Cities theme lead

School of Chemical Engineering

Professor Robert Steinberger-Wilckens

Professor Robert Steinberger-Wilckens

Professor in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Research
Director of the Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT) in Fuel Cells and their Fuels

School of Chemical Engineering

Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang

Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang

Chair in Electrical Power Systems
Director of Smart Grid, Birmingham Energy Institute
Co-Director, Birmingham Energy Storage Centre (sponsored by EPSRC)

Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering

Knowledge Exchange Fellows

Yousif AlDr Yousif Al-Sagheer PhD

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

Dave EckoldDr Dave Eckold PhD 

Dave specialises in tribology—friction, wear & lubrication. Additionally, he has supported businesses with 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

Amruta JoshiDr Amruta Joshi PhD

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

  • Renewable energy resources including solar photovoltaics and energy storage for smart grids
  • Optimisation of energy storage for different applications including microgrid, V2G(vehicle to grid)
  • Energy efficiency analysis including carbon footprint calculations, techno-economic analysis of energy systems

Tiejun LuDr Tiejun Lu PhD 

Tiejun specialises in supporting businesses with thermal energy storage businesses challenges, this includes cold storage solutions.

Dr Helena Navarro PhD 

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

Hadi NozariDr Hadi Nozari PhD 

Hadi specialises in Energy from Waste Technologies and sustainable fuels including Hydrogen, Bio Gas and Bio Diesel. 

Particularly, Hadi supports business needs within the following fields: 

  • Hydrogen fuel production and utilisation pathways
  • NH3 production and utilisation pathways
  • Biofuels applications for energy generation
  • Combustion:Gasoline & diesel engines and after treatment technologies
    • Characteristics: flame speed, ignition, emissions
    • Fundamental flames: premixed and diffusion
    • Applications: burners, boilers, combustion chambers
    • Flame stability analysis
  • Energy from Waste, Gasification and Fuel Reforming
  • Gaseous emissions and particulates characterisation
  • Chemical kinetics and equilibrium analysis
  • Exhaust thermochemical recovery

Dr Shivangi SsharmaDr Shivangi Sharma

Dr Shivangi Sharma has worked as a researcher in Sustainable Energy Systems with 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 to innovate for 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 PhD

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

Project Manager

Sureena Sohal

Sureena Sohal

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 supporting Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the West Midlands and North East. Prior to this she worked on delivering the Business Link contract at Advantage West Midlands, again supporting West Midlands based SMEs.  Her role involved contract management for European funded projects and monitoring partner delivery against core targets. 

During her project management roles, she has monitored contract compliance, coordinated project deliverables and milestones, maintained strict governance structures, managed and reported on complex budgets, driven marketing and communication activities and organised large events.

She then took a position as Project Manager at the University of Birmingham in August 2019. Sureena is responsible for managing the Accelerating Thermal Energy Technology Adoption (ATETA) project providing strategic direction and management to ensure that the project delivers in line with ERDF guidelines.

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