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About the Centre

Leading the energy transition through interdisciplinary subsurface research

A technological revolution in energy generation, storage and consumption is underway as the transition from carbon-based energy toward clean alternatives accelerates. The subsurface is a source of vital resources for energy generation, as well as a place to store both energy and waste from energy production and consumption. As such, geosciences are central to our low-carbon transition, to ensure we can benefit from the resources and opportunities available to us within the earth‘s subsurface.

The University of Leeds draws on a long history of pioneering research providing geological characterisation and subsurface modelling for the energy sector and developing governance and policy frameworks for clean energy projects. The techniques, datasets, knowledge and expertise we have developed can help to de-risk the subsurface aspects of energy projects, including geothermal, rare minerals, energy storage, carbon dioxide storage, nuclear waste depositories and siting of wind farms.

We work flexibly with industry and other stakeholders on collaborative research including specific projects to address a business need and pre-competitive joint industry projects (JIPs).

Research-led teaching enables us to train the next generation of geoscientists and engineers through world class MSc and PhD programmes.

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Our research is pioneering technological advances in geological characterisation of the subsurface, de-risking subsurface operations in the low-carbon energy sector through multidisciplinary research that will link big-data analytics with new tools for subsurface modelling and characterisation. We are developing new predictive methodologies, and creating the research infrastructure and capabilities to underpin them, that will help us characterise subsurface porous geological media, such as sedimentary rock successions. Our research activities in this arena include:

  • development of geological and petrophysical knowledge bases;
  • creation of data-supported approaches for the erection of conceptual models of the subsurface;
  • generation of new methods for subsurface geological modelling and uncertainty assessment based on the integration of artificial intelligence and geostatistics.

Practical application of research outcomes has demonstrated proof-of-concept of methods and technologies, and this is driving their uptake by industry, in part through commercialisation of Leeds’ technologies. Our broad expertise in subsurface geological characterisation, geoengineering methods and the social and political dimensions of subsurface energy ensures the University of Leeds is ideally placed to blend science and application, working across sectors and disciplines to achieve impact