Professor Martin Freer is a nuclear physicist, and Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) at the University of Birmingham. He is also Director of the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), which comprises eight internationally-renowned Midlands universities which are part of the Midlands Innovation partnership, together with the British Geological Survey.
Martin is former Director of the Birmingham Centre for Nuclear Education and Research, which he established in 2010. He has overseen the development of the BEI, helped establish Energy Capital and has co-led the establishment of the joint University of Birmingham–Fraunhofer Germany research platform. He led the development of the Birmingham Energy Innovation Hub and the co-development of Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham.
In 2015 he co-led the BEI Commission “Doing Cold Smarter” chaired by Lord Teverson, and in 2012 he led the Policy Commission “Future of Nuclear Energy in the UK” chaired by Lord Hunt. He co-led the Policy Commission with Sir David King which saw the creation of Energy Innovation Zone in the West Midlands and in 2020 published a report on The Road to Low-Carbon Heat with the CBI chaired by Lord Billimoria.
His main research area is the study of the structure of light nuclei, using nuclear reactions. This research is performed at international facilities worldwide. In addition, he is actively engaged in promoting research and educational programmes to support the UK’s investment in nuclear power generation. He received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize, Humboldt Foundation, Germany in 2004 and the Rutherford Medal (IoP) in 2010.