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PGR Research Culture & Community Seminar Programme: EEI Colloquium Event Series

Improving the Postgraduate Research Experience at the University of Hull

Energy and Environment Institute Colloquium 2021


The Energy and Environment Institute invite you to their ‘Colloquium Series 2021’ – a platform to share knowledge and exchange research ideas.

We expect to hold one session each Wednesday afternoon, which will include speakers drawn from across our EEI and University of Hull communities, as well as guest speakers from other Universities and partner organisations.

We aim to programme speakers that are representative of the key challenges at the heart of the work of the Energy and Environment Institute. Speakers will fall loosely within six themes, including one on Skills to contribute to staff and student capacity building, as well as five research/knowledge focused themes:

  • Climate
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Environment

We welcome speakers from across our University community, whose work falls into one or more of our six themes. If you are interested in speaking at an event, please contact in the first instance.

EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 20 October 2021 - 2pm-3pm

Machine learning algorithms help achieve the district building energy efficiency


Book online here


Yu Cui/ PhD student, Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET), Energy and Environment Institute


With the rapid development of building information modeling and machine learning algorithms, the smart city has become a popular concept in the building field. District energy management system plays an important role in the smart city framework to achieve sustainable development. This talk will give you a general idea about the link of machine learning algorithms and district building energy efficiency by discussing three topics: (1) why should we design and develop this system, (2) how to use different machine learning tools to achieve suitable model in different sensorial, and (3) how does the system work.



Yu Cui is a PhD candidate of Energy and Environment Institute in University of Hull and her doctoral supervisor is Professor Xudong Zhao and Dr. Zishang Zhu. Her main research direction is ‘application of machine learning and deep learning algorithm in urban/building energy consumption simulation’.


Book online here

EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 27 October 2021 - 2pm-3pm

Words and Waves: exploring the power of stories, community, and renewable energy in Orkney




Dr Rebecca Ford, Teaching Assistant, Institute for Northern Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands


As the home of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Orkney has become a focus for an emerging Marine Renewable Energy sector. This has brought the local community into contact with individuals, organisations, and ideas from across the globe, and into dialogue with a range of local and global narratives about climate change, energy policy, economic development, environmental protection, and marine spatial planning.  

This seminar explores the shared narratives that have emerged from these 'ecologies of meaning making' and suggests why understanding the power of stories in the process of technology development is important to our future relationships with energy and environment, in Orkney and beyond. 



Rebecca has recently completed her PhD with the Institute for Northern Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands – her thesis is entitled “Words and Waves: ecological dialogism as an approach to discourse, community, and marine renewable energy in Orkney”.

Rebecca’s research is interdisciplinary and is grounded in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and his dialogical approach to language. From this Rebecca has developed ecological dialogism – an approach to understanding language and meaning making as an embodied process, enacted and extended within a physical and cultural environment. Rebecca has a particular interest in the role of narrative in shaping cultural identity in Orkney, and the relationship between texts and everyday discourse as part of ecologies of meaning making. Her work engages with the Environmental Humanities and feminist approaches to science and technology, energy, and environment.



This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series Wednesday 13 October 2021 - 2.00-3.00pm - Online

‘Offshore Wind Ambitions: What might very large-scale offshore wind farm deployments in the North Sea look like by 2050?’

Peter Munro, MSc in Renewable Energy Student, Energy and Environment Institute

The talk summarises Peter’s MSc dissertation, wherein he researched the North Sea nations offshore wind capacity ambitions and how those might be met.


Peter is a student at the University of Hull's Energy and Environment Institute. Having worked as a design engineer in the offshore wind sector, Peter joined the EEI hoping to attain a MSc in Renewable Energy.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 6 October 2021 - 2pm-3pm

‘Onboard Merlin with Sail Britain to document the wildlife of the Cornish coast’

Freija Mendrik, 4th year PhD Student, Energy and Environment Institute

Freija will share her time on-board Merlin with Sail Britain where she joined a crew of scientists, artists and filmmakers to document everything the Cornish coast has to offer, all while learning how to sail!


Freija Mendrik is a marine biologist and 4thyear PhD student in the Energy and Environment Institute. Her research is looking at the transport and ecological impact of microplastic pollution in aquatic systems.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Wednesday 21 July 2021 - 2.00-3.00pm - Online

‘Plastic-Free July – would you choose a paper bag at a grocers?’

Clare Collins, MSc by Thesis Researcher, Plastics in the Environment Research Group, Energy and Environment Institute

Do you ever find yourself standing in the supermarket trying to decide whether it is better to buy milk in a glass bottle, plastic bottle or a tetrapak?  Plastic-Free July is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year, a movement to encourage the switch from single-use plastics to reusable items.  This talk will discuss the need to consider our plastics usage, some of the sustainability complexities around switching from plastic products and some actions that we can all take towards sustainable living.


Clare is a Masters by Thesis student in the Plastics in the Environment Research Group in the EEI and is interested in understanding anthropogenic impacts on our World.  Her MSc research tries to define the scale of the plastics pollution problem by looking at whether fish, in a relatively pristine marine environment, are ingesting plastics.  Clare came to this project from her work as a Conservation Officer for the Zoological Society of East Anglia, engaging with members of the public and global conservation projects and seeing the impacts of humans on habitats, biodiversity and our natural world.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 14 July 2021 - 2pm-3pm

Ed Barsley, Founder/Director at 'The Environmental Design Studio'

‘Principles and Pathways to a Flood Resilient Future’

This seminar discusses some of the key principles of flood resilient design from the catchment, to the community, street and building scale. Specifically though it will explore how we communicate flood risk and introduce the speakers work in this field, in particular his RIBA book 'Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building & Community Design'. Outputs of the EPSRC 'Retrofitting Resilience' and ESRC 'Flood Narratives’ studies will be discussed and insight shared as to the 'next steps’ and opportunities for innovation in this field that lay ahead.


Ed Barsley is Founder of 'The Environmental Design Studio' (TEDS). He is a specialist in environmental design in architecture, with a particular interest in developing strategies to improve the resilience of communities and the built environment. His practice TEDS is an award-winning social venture whose aim is to reduce the exposure and vulnerability of communities and environments to natural/human induced hazards. They previously won the Sunday Times Resilient Home competition with their design of the ‘Home for All Seasons’ and in January 2020, Ed's book ‘Retrofitting for Flood Resilience: A Guide to Building & Community Design’ was published by the RIBA. During his career Ed has lived and worked in China, Denmark, India, Sri Lanka and the UK. He has experience at a variety of scales, from strategic masterplanning right down to 1:1 building construction. He has also been working on a PhD at the University of Cambridge on flood-resilient architecture and the communication of risk and launched the ‘Hazard + Hope’ series. Ed speaks regularly at flood conferences worldwide and is running the RIBA’s core CPD lecture series on flooding, with the seminar 'The Fundamentals of Flood Resilient Design’.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 7 July 2021 - 2pm-3pm - Online

‘Making illustrations in Inkscape

Josh Wolstenholme, Research Assistant/PhD Candidate

There are many different types of software that can be used to create and edit figures for reports and journal articles. Inkscape is an open source, vector graphics drawing software package that allows you to create your figures with ease, as well as edit and fine tune outputs from graphical packages such as Python, R and MATLAB. In this talk, we will cover the basics of using Inkscape, including different file types, transferring and resizing figures appropriate for different journal requirements, as well as have a go at using Inkscape with some figure examples. If you’d like to explore the software during the talk, please download and install Inkscape in advance (available across Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems) using this link.


Josh is a research assistant on the THYME project mapping bioeconomy assets across the THYME region and is working to automatically identify hedgerow gaps using deep learning. Josh is also working on a PhD verifying the ability of a numerical model to model the impact of natural flood management interventions on geomorphology and understanding the impacts on future flood risk management decisions.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 30 June 2021 - 3pm-4pm

The Diversity in UK Polar Science Initiative

Dr Huw Griffiths, Marine Biogeographer, British Antarctic Survey

As part of a series of activities and initiatives to mark the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, the Diversity in UK Polar Science initiative, conceived and funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Polar Regions Department, celebrates existing diversity, and takes an important step forward to promote and enhance Antarctic science opportunities to under-represented groups, including women, people from ethnic minorities, BAME, LGBTQ+ community and people with a disability.

For over 100 years since its discovery, visitors to Antarctica were overwhelmingly men. It was not until the 1980s that the first British female scientists began working at the frozen continent. The ambition for this initiative is to deliver a more diverse and inclusive future for UK Polar science – a future that reflects the diversity in British society today.

To achieve this we are delivering a two-year programme of work that enhances understanding of current barriers, explores ways to nurture and increase diversity in Polar Science, and pilots positive action to help boost diversity in UK polar science.


Huw is a BAS marine biogeographer with an interest in the Polar Regions. He is a passionate believer in science communication and making science more accessible to the public, policy makers and government. Within BAS he has played a leading role within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion sphere, co-organising the UK Polar Horizons Initiative. Huw is also the 2020 awardee of the SCAR medal for Education and Communication.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 23 June 2021 - 3pm-4pm

'Saved or starved? Human influences on sediment in river deltas'

Jana Cox, PhD Candidate, Utrecht University

The talk will discuss the ongoing issue of land and elevation loss in river deltas (due to negative sediment budgets), how growing ship size and economic demand are altering delta morphology and what is being done globally to counteract these issues. It will focus on the example of the Rhine-Meuse delta in the Netherlands and insights form other river deltas globally. More than just physical aspects, multidisciplinary considerations such as population growth, economic demand, governance arrangements and politics determine how and if deltas will fight oncoming climate change issues. There will also be some sneak peak ideas from experiments about how we expect sea-level rise to affect anthropogenically altered deltas and estuaries.


Jana is a PhD candidate at Utrecht university working on the Rivers2morrow project, which seeks to find sustainable management solutions for large river systems. She has a BA in Earth Sciences from Trinity College in Dublin and MSc in Earth, Surface and Water from Utrecht University.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 16 June 2021 - 3pm-4pm

Submarine channels: Bend evolution and sedimentation

Professor Jeff Peakall - Professor of Process Sedimentology, University of Leeds

There are a wide range of different types of submarine channel, several of which will be illustrated here. Such systems can extend for 100s of kilometres across the seafloor. So how do bends grow in these systems? River channel bends are known to grow by either bank pull, through preferential erosion of the outer bank, or via bend push through deposition at the inner bend. The rates and nature of these processes lead to river channels with different morphologies, in particular in terms of width changes around bends. Previous experimental and numerical work on submarine channels has assumed bends of constant width, in the absence of any data. Here variations in channel width around bends are examined using data from the Congo submarine channel, to assess what processes control bend amplitude growth. The implications of these bend growth processes are examined in terms of sedimentation at inner channel bends. In short, is much of what we thought we knew about submarine channel processes wrong? 


Jeff obtained a BSc in Geography & Geology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, then an MSc in Sedimentology and its Applications at the University of Reading, before moving to the University of Leeds to do a PhD in sedimentation and tectonics. Jeff then never left Leeds and led the Sorby Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory for 15 years, and is now Head of Experimental Fluid Dynamics for the Leeds Institute of Fluid Dynamics. Jeff’s interests are in deep water sediments, including submarine channels, channel-lobe transition zones, transitional clay-rich flows and hybrid beds. He is also interested in rivers, injectites, bedforms including sole structures, gravity current dynamics, and channels on Mars among many other things. Beyond sedimentology, Jeff has been working with Speedo for the past decade on the measurement and design of elite swimsuits, works on the fluid dynamics of shark skin, and works extensively on nuclear waste remediation. He is currently collaborating with Joan Jonas the doyen of video and performance art.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 9 June 2021 - 3pm-4pm

'Delivering on sustainability From Building block to City Scale'

Dr Hua Zhong, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University

While the Sustainability and carbon neutral are accepted by the whole society, in building sector, sustainable goals are set from Building block level to City level. This talk will explain the mechanism behind the goals and the attemptions at various levels, by talking a serious of assessment method, technologies and research projects done by the speaker. This talk will overview the sustainable developed strategies as a whole, while given case studies at building and city levels respectively.


H.Zhong is a Senior Lecturer and Chartered Engineer with expertise in building engineering services subject area. Hua has led many sustainable built environment design and assessment projects with both industrial and academic partners. Her current research projects are funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, HEFCE & DEFRA, British Council and STFC.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 2 June 2021 - 3pm-4pm

An entertaining guide (hopefully) to publishing your science – What to expect from the review process and how to tackle it

Professor Jeff Peakall - Professor of Process Sedimentology, University of Leeds

Jeff Peakall (featuring Reviewer #3)

“Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. Winston Churchill’s famous quote could easily be modified as “Peer review is the worst form for maintaining scientific excellence except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. Here I provide a guide to how it actually works, what to expect, and how to survive it. The aim will be to provide an entertaining insight into the whole publishing process, tell a few tales from the front line, and show you how to avoid many of the pitfalls in the process. Then we will open it up for discussion, so please come with all of your questions about the publishing and reviewing process.  We started with some quotes, so I’ll finish with a radical one: “No one should start in on the scientific publishing process without having seen such a presentation”, Jeff Peakall.


Jeff obtained a BSc in Geography & Geology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, then an MSc in Sedimentology and its Applications at the University of Reading, before moving to the University of Leeds to do a PhD in sedimentation and tectonics. Jeff then never left Leeds and led the Sorby Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory for 15 years, and is now Head of Experimental Fluid Dynamics for the Leeds Institute of Fluid Dynamics. Jeff’s interests are in deep water sediments, including submarine channels, channel-lobe transition zones, transitional clay-rich flows and hybrid beds. He is also interested in rivers, injectites, bedforms including sole structures, gravity current dynamics, and channels on Mars among many other things. Beyond sedimentology, Jeff has been working with Speedo for the past decade on the measurement and design of elite swimsuits, works on the fluid dynamics of shark skin, and works extensively on nuclear waste remediation. He is currently collaborating with Joan Jonas the doyen of video and performance art.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series - Wednesday 26 May 2021 - 3pm-4pm

Language, metaphors and water-out-of-place

Dr Kate Smith, post-doctoral Researcher, Flood Innovation Centre, Energy & Environment Institute

Our embodied experience of water is mediated through a metaphorically dense linguistic landscape.  Often passing unnoticed in our everyday talk, conceptual metaphors of water can illuminate deeper social patterns of understanding that help us to recognise the impact of water (and of flooding) on individuals and communities. 


Starting from the earliest narratives of about flooding, this paper takes a journey through conceptual metaphors associated with water, using corpus linguistics evidence and comparative linguistics to arrive at key questions we need to consider in our construction of flood resilience.  How does the language we use to talk about water impact our understanding of flooding?  What are the limitations of language in relation to our work to improve our resilience around flooding and climate change? What can the methodologies more commonly associated with sociolinguistics and folkloristics bring to this work?


Kate Smith is post-doctoral Researcher within the Flood Innovation Centre at the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull. She conducts interdisciplinary research on sociohydrology, flooding and flood risk communication, participatory methodologies, and climate change communication.  She completed her PhD at Sheffield in 2007 and has taught at Sheffield, Hull, and the Open Universities. 

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Wednesday 12 May 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online

'Hydrodynamics of flexible vegetation canopies'

Robert Houseago, Research Assistant, Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull

Aquatic vegetation canopies, such seagrasses, provide a host of environmental, social, and economic benefits which are controlled by the canopy hydrodynamics. The natural variation of canopy properties is recognised to modulate the associated flow and turbulence processes, yet the quantified influence of canopy flexural rigidity remains limited. This research addresses this knowledge gap through laboratory-based experiments using surrogate seagrass canopies under both unidirectional and oscillatory flows. Novel methods are applied to obtain high spatiotemporal resolution velocity datasets within canopies for the first time. This enabled evaluation and visualisation of mixing layer coherent vortices and turbulent transport processes within the canopy in unprecedented detail. The results presented encompass the evaluation of mean currents and turbulence processes within and above flexible canopies, energy cascades, wave attenuation capacity, and canopy bulk drag. These processes are underpinned by relationships with canopy reconfiguration and motion.


Robert Houseago recently completed his PhD at the University of Hull as part of the European Hydralab+ project and is currently based within the Energy and Environment Institute. He specialises in fluvial and coastal hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes, whereby his thesis enhanced the understanding of the spatiotemporal flow and turbulence of flexible aquatic vegetation canopies, specifically seagrass, which forms the basis of this talk.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Wednesday 5 May 2021 - 3.00-4.00pm - Online

'Estimating erosion rates of soil mixtures through dense turf'

Hassan Ismail, Ph.D., P.E. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Increasing societal emphasis on ecological resilience, restoration, and conservation in natural and engineered systems have challenged engineers and scientists to develop designs which mimic natural conditions. As an example, vegetation – both natural and synthetic – have been shown to increase retention of soils, behave as filters of contaminants, and increase biological health of waterways, wetlands, and terrestrial slopes. With resiliency in mind, an understanding of the complex flow dynamics and sediment transport through vegetation is a necessity for the success of such endeavors. Through experimental testing and careful analysis, and building off of previous studies, an updated formulation to predict sediment flux was developed based on a reduction to the effective bed shear stress and dimensionless parameters relating to the flow, sediment, and vegetation characteristics. The new evidence-based formula significantly outperformed previous equations in terms of matching the experimental results. The experimental strategy, observations, findings, and implications of this work will be presented including the final recommended equation to predict sediment fluxes through dense vegetation. 


Hassan Ismail worked at Penn State University from 2017 to 2021 as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of South Carolina before continuing at the same university to obtain his Ph.D. in 2016. His Ph.D. studies primarily focused on numerical and laboratory modeling of density currents and dam-break surges in open channels. While at Penn State, Hassan broadly investigated environmental fluid mechanics phenomena such as river dynamics, sediment transport, density-driven flows, fluid-structure interaction, and improvements to engineering practice through basic fluid mechanics research. His focus areas include nature-based solutions, in-stream structures, immersed bodies, rock-weir hydraulics, and erosion through vegetation. Now, Hassan is putting those findings into practice as a project coordinator with Seamon Whiteside and Associates in Greenville, South Carolina. He has a strong record of publication through peer-reviewed journal articles, community engagement through outreach events and mentorship, and is an award-winning scientific communicator having given several invited talks to researchers with broad backgrounds.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Wednesday 28 April 2021 - 3.00-4.00pm - Online

'Investigation of a Novel Hybrid Photovoltaic-Thermoelectric Generator System'

Dr Samson O Shittu, Research Associate, Energy & Environment Institute, University of Hull

This talk introduces the numerical and experimental aspects of a novel hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric generator system developed and implemented by researchers at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) at the University of Hull. The talk will focus on the conceptual design, numerical simulation, experimental testing, model validation and system optimization for performance enhancement.


Dr Samson Shittu is currently working as a Research Associate in Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies at the University of Hull. He is conducting research on thermoelectric generators and hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric systems. His research focus is on system optimization using three-dimensional finite element numerical models. He has published 29 journal papers, 1 book chapter and he has a Google Scholar h-index of 15. He is an invited Guest Editor for a special issue on hybrid photovoltaic-thermoelectric systems in Energies journal.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Wednesday 14 April 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) is the leading organisation for Earth, planetary and space science research in Europe. The EGU General Assembly 2021 will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. This year, the EGU will be held online from the 19th to the 30th of April and will consist of 2-minute research pitches and break-out poster sessions. During this EEI colloquium, our colleagues will present their 2-minute EGU talk and discuss their research.

1. Presenter: Jack Buckingham

Paper: Microplastic in marine, nearshore waters of South Georgia: a study of background environmental levels of microplastic contamination

Authors: Jack Buckingham, Cath Waller, Claire Waluda, and Clara Manno

2. Presenter: Jessica Hurley

Paper: In situ microplastics ingestion by Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates

Authors: Jessica Hurley, Jorg Hardege, Katharina C. Wollenberg Valero, and Simon Morley

3. Presenter: Katie Parsons

Paper: INtergenerational Stories of Erosion and Coastal community Understanding of REsilience ‘INSECURE’

Authors: Katie Parsons, Florence Halstead, and Lisa Jones

4. Presenter: Katie Parsons

Paper: Mapping hedgerow gaps and fostering positive environmental behaviours through a combination of citizen scientists and artificial intelligence

Authors: Katie Parsons and Josh Wolstenholme

5. Presenter: Victoria F. Scott

Paper: The effect of plastic leachates on respiration and foraging behaviour in hermit crabs

Authors: Victoria F. Scott, Jorg D. Hardege, and Katharina C. Wollenberg Valero

6. Presenter: Christina C. Roggatz

Paper: Crabby’s Reef - Using games to bring people closer to the issue of ocean acidification

Authors: Christina C. Roggatz and Christopher J. Skinner

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Wednesday 7 April 2021 - 3.00-4.00pm - Online

‘Low-Carbon Energy Technologies in Buildings’

Dr Ali Badiei, Research Fellow, Energy & Environment Institute, University of Hull 

This talk introduces the technical and socio-economic aspects of a novel Solar-Assisted Heat Pump technology developed and implemented by researchers at the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) of the University of Hull. The talk will focus on the design and implementation of the system as well as the post-installation analysis and investigations carried out to optimise system performance for a range of domestic and non-domestic buildings.


Dr Ali Badiei is a Research Fellow in low-carbon energy systems with a PhD in Building Energy Research. He is a mechanical engineering graduate with a background in in low-carbon building design and modelling. Ali is currently working on a solar-assisted heat pump heating project funded by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) Low Carbon Heating Technology Innovation Fund.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 10 - Wednesday 31 March 2021 - 3.00-4.00pm - Online

'An Introduction to Diamond Light Source'

Dr Ann Fitzpatrick, Senior Laser Support Scientist, Diamond Light Source

Diamond Light Source is a national synchrotron facility and has been the largest single investment in the UK’s science infrastructure for the last forty years. It now has over 30 beamlines operational, allowing scientist to probe down to the atomic level. Research at Diamond covers many areas including biomedical, environmental, material and engineering sciences. Dr Fitzpatrick will present an introduction to this facility including some examples of environmental research linked to her own projects.


Dr Fitzpatrick's role involves working with a wide variety of projects and beamlines across Diamond and the Central Laser Facility. Her research focuses on developing time-resolved laser-Xray experiments for synchrotron X-ray sources that are complimentary to those at XFEL sources.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 8 Wednesday 17th March - 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online

Performance Assessment and Optimisation of an innovative Cooling System using Machine learning

Dr Yousef Golizadeh Akhlaghi, Research Associate, Energy & Environment Institute, University of Hull 

This talk is mainly about the working principle of a state-of-the-art evaporative cooler which are introduced as a potential replacement for existing traditional coolers mainly in industrial buildings such as warehouses, data centres, etc. The talk will focus on performance prediction and optimization of such coolers in different operating conditions using ML. In addition, the power saving potential of the system in the upcoming three decades is illustrated considering climate change.


Dr Yousef Golizadeh Akhlaghi is a Research Associate and Project Coordinator in Sustainable Energy Technologies and Machine Learning. He currently conducts a research on optimising performance of cooling systems in data centres using Artificial Intelligence in two projects funded by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 7 Wednesday 10th March - 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online

How do you interpret a Martian sandstone? Partial analogues from the pre-vegetation Earth inform interpretations of Mars’ sedimentary-stratigraphic record.

Dr William McMahon, Postdoctoral Researcher, Energy and Environment Institute

Orbital observation has revealed a rich record of fluvial landforms on Mars, with much of this record dating 3.6–3.0 Ga. Despite widespread geomorphic evidence, few analyses of Mars’ alluvial sedimentary-stratigraphic record exist, with detailed studies of alluvium largely limited to smaller sand-bodies amenable to study in-situ by rovers. These typically metre-scale outcrop dimensions have prevented interpretations of larger scale channel-morphology and long-term basin evolution, important for understanding the past Martian climate. This talk considers a far larger, 1500-m-wide, 190-m-thick sedimentary succession identified from satellite imagery and located in the NW Hellas Basin. The succession comprises stacked channel and barform packages which together demonstrate that river deposition was already well established >3.7 Ga. Models for siliciclastic deposition are largely based on sedimentary environments on Earth, where physical form and process is near ubiquitously influenced by biology in some way. To eliminate the influence of biology here, the interpretations of the sedimentary architecture at Hellas stem from tangible observations made from Earth’s Precambrian (pre-vegetation) record. The deposits mirror partial terrestrial analogues subject to low-peak discharge variation, implying that river deposition at Hellas was subject to semi-perennial, or even perennial, fluvial flow. Furthermore, conceptual advances in our understanding of how time is preserved at outcrop suggest active water-conduits may have been maintained for 100,000 years or longer. These results strongly suggest a precipitation-driven hydrological cycle was operational on Mars by the mid-Noachian.


William is a post-doctoral researcher within the EEI. His research integrates techniques in sedimentology, geochemistry, petrology and planetary geology to study some of Earth's most fundamental transitions, such as the initial emergence of metazoans and the subsequent terrestrialization of the continents. He also works in planetary sedimentology and is working to demonstrate how, through biological evolution, Earth's sedimentary rock record has become differentiated from those on other planets. Using this ideology, William was part of a team who last year published details of 3.7 billion year old alluvium identified in Mars' stratigraphic record, the subject of this upcoming talk.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 6 Wednesday 3rd March 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online

Contribution of Tidal Energy to an Integrated Island Energy System – A case study of Orkney Island

Mohammed Almoghayer, Senior Research Engineer and final year PhD student at Heriot-Watt

Tidal stream energy is an emerging sector of the energy generation industry with advantages of predictability and a competitive projected levelized cost of energy (LCOE). A competitive cost depends on an efficient array in a suitable location and this requirement can conflict with other demands for marine space. Also, tidal stream energy joins a crowded market and since it will add an energy source to a strained electrical network may encounter constraint issues. Much of the tidal stream resource is at remote locations, feeding into an islanded electrical network (i.e., a system at an island or remote location that is isolated, or has highly constrained connection to a broader electrical grid).  These islanded systems can have severe constraint issues, but also enable a simpler study of network and market issues, since they are largely self-contained. This study will design a tidal array for Orkney waters, testing it against a wide range of constraints from engineering efficiency to market suitability. The project contains two key research objectives. Firstly, to design a tidal stream array that is energy and cost efficient while sharing sea space with other users. Secondly, to propose how that energy generation could work within the existing and developing local energy market. Different layout configurations and energy generation patterns were examined to find the most cost-effective method to integrate tidal energy into the Orkney energy system. This study demonstrates the potential of integrating tidal energy into an island energy system without the need for expensive grid upgrades. It shows that arranging the turbines in a novel Staggered Sub-Array (SSA) formation enhances the turbines’ performance. Also, limiting the capacity of the tidal device, and maximising the generation time at the most frequent flow velocities increases the system efficiency. This strategy improves the economic viability and commercial competitiveness of tidal energy.


Mohammed is a senior research engineer at Aquatera Ltd. He has 10 years' experience in the energy sector. He has a proven track record in the execution of complex multidisciplinary oil and gas projects to the highest international standards for quality, health and safety, on time and within budget. With a strong civil/structural engineering background, and extensive project management experience, Mohammed provides support to energy projects and enhances the growth and development of the renewable energy industry.

Mohammed also has a good knowledge in tidal technologies and developments together with special expertise in hydrodynamic modelling and marine survey. Besides his industrial experience, Mohammed is undertaking a PhD project entitled “Contribution of Tidal Energy to an Integrated Island Energy System” with the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) at Heriot-Watt University, the project is partially funded by ETP and Aquatera.

This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 4 Wednesday 17 February 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online


“The dark side of street lighting – impacts on moths and evidence for the disruption of nocturnal pollen transport”              

Dr Callum MacGregor, Postdoctoral Researcher, THYME ProjectUniversity of Hull

Dark skies are not just important to astronomers, but also to the many animals and plants that make use of the night-time, including moths. Callum will discuss how, far from being pests of wardrobes and carpets, moths make an important contribution to the health of ecosystems by providing nocturnal pollination to plants. He'll then describe how this "ecosystem service", and many others, are threatened by artificial light at night.


Dr Callum Macgregor a Postdoctoral Researcher working on the THYME Project, to understand the potential biodiversity consequences of repurposing brownfield sites for the bioeconomy. He is an ecologist and conservationist, with a strong interest in the responses of organisms (at individual, population and community levels) to anthropogenic changes in the biotic and abiotic components of their environment. Callum is keen to apply his skills in field-sampling species and interspecific interactions, and the complex analysis of large-scale and long-term datasets, to the study of biodiversity change on a rapidly changing planet. His previous research has ranged from analysis of community dynamics over periods of years or decades, to detailed single-species experimental and field studies. He is passionate about finding solutions that will allow species, and biodiversity as a whole, to thrive in the 21st century and beyond. Although much of his research to date has focussed on Lepidoptera, his interests are much broader, also including other insects, vertebrates and plants.


This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 3 Wednesday 10 February 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online


‘EvoFlood – quantifying the evolution of flood frequency and hazards in the past, present and future’ 

Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the Energy & Environment Centre and PI for EvoFlood

Professor Dan Parsons will introduce innovative research relating to the Nerc-funded EvoFlood project, a collaboration between nine UK universities.

Flood hazard and risk are not stationary. A range of processes within riverine and estuarine environments are both unsteady and non-stationary, varying on a range of time and space scales. Variations in flow strength alter a suite of morphodynamic processes. For example, during flow field unsteadiness bedforms change in size and shape over time and in space, altering bed roughness and imparting system hysteresis between flows and form. However, our knowledge of how these bedforms adapt to changing flows remains inadequately understood. Moreover, how these variations, and hysteresis between flow and form, manifest at broader scales and control the morphodynamic evolution of the wider sedimentary system is also poorly understood.

Herein, I will present a mix of laboratory flume experiments, field case studies and numerical experiments to explore some of these relationships and their controls. The results indicate how changes in primary sediment transport mechanisms can dominate morphology links to unsteady flows and how sediment redistribution over greater spatial scales can also play a significant role. Where substrate sediments are comprised of mixed sand and mud, the results indicate how this can play a first-order control. How this work extends our knowledge on the impact of variable flows on riverine and estuarine processes will be discussed and the broader impact and significance of the findings for a wide variety of purposes, such as improving morphodynamic modelling over large spatio-temporal scales, environmental and engineering management, and more reliable flood predictions will also be highlighted.


Professor Parsons is an active researcher in areas related to fluvial, estuarine, coastal and deep marine sedimentary environments, exploring responses of these systems to climate and environmental change.

He has research interests in anthropogenic disturbances to these systems and determining necessary societal adaptations to mitigate the impact of change - for example understanding how evolving flood risk on large mega-deltas can impact populations and related regional and global food security - through to understanding the impact of plastics, particularly in coastal and marine environments.

He also has research interests in environmental scale modelling, innovative environmental measurement technologies and in areas related to offshore renewable energy.


This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 2 Wednesday 3 February 2021- 3.00-4-00pm - Online


‘Knowledge Exchange opportunities and delivery within the Flood Innovation Centre’          


With Hiatt Jackson, Dr Chun Keat Yew and Dr Elena Kuvshinova of the Flood Innovation Centre         

Hiatt Jackson, Dr Chun Keat Yew and Dr Elena Kuvshinova are employed as Technology Research Managers at the Flood Innovation Centre. They will give a joint presentation on the Centre’s strategic role in Knowledge Exchange at the University of Hull; opportunities for a diverse range of Hull academics to become involved in innovative research activities based on real-world challenges; and brief case studies from a number of live projects being run from the Centre.

The ERDF funded Flood Innovation Centre, based within the Energy and Environment Institute, helps businesses develop innovative services, processes and products in flood resilience.  The overarching aim is to reduce the Humber Region’s long-term flood risk while contributing to regional economic growth. The Centre acts as a conduit for knowledge exchange between University academics and businesses, aiming to support 100 businesses over the lifetime of the project. A lab space has recently been established at the Aura Innovation Centre which may be utilised to progress the development and testing of innovations, as well as wider experimental requirements relating to flood resilience.

Hiatt Jackson, Dr Chun Keat Yew and Dr Elena Kuvshinova are all Technology Research Managers at the Flood Innovation Centre

They work with SMEs to develop and support innovation projects, running diagnostics to determine the innovation intervention required, working collaboratively with the business and across faculties to develop and deliver tailored packages of support.

Hiatt specialises in earth science, geology & hydrology, remote sensing using geophysical techniques, data management and analysis. She has a particular interest in increasing flood resilience through Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Natural Flood Management (NFM).

Chun specialises in electronics engineering, Earth observation, remote sensing, fourier transform infrared spectrometry, hyperspectral imaging, energy harvesting, drones/UAV, agritech/precision agriculture. He is a passionate engineer, able to apply academic and industrial research into real-world applications. As a project scientist with the National Space Academy, Chun has extensive knowledge and expertise to help accelerate flood innovation ideas.

Elena specialises in innovation management and marketing, chemical engineering, fluid flow, flow sensing, microscoping, rheology, spectrometry, computational fluid dynamics. With extensive expertise in economics and chemical engineering, Elena draws on her experience in innovation management as well as her technical knowledge to support businesses to drive their ideas forward.


This event has now taken place - EEI Colloquium Series: Event 1 - Wednesday 27 January 2021 - 3.00-4.00pm - Online


'Advanced façades for end user energy demand reduction: a comprehensive evaluation from the system development to the occupants’ perceptions'


Professor Yupeng (Jack) Wu, University of Nottingham                       

The building sector is responsible for 36% of global final energy consumption. The energy used in buildings is largely required for creating a thermally and visually comfortable environment for building occupants. Glazed façades play an important role in determining a building's energy performance and are called upon to perform a range of, sometimes conflicting, functions. Improving fenestration energy performance can make a significant contribution to reducing building energy loads. It is reported that optimal glazing design could reduce residential building energy consumption by 10-50% in most climates, while for commercial, institutional and industrial buildings, a properly specified fenestration system could reduce lighting and air-conditioning costs by 10-40%.

Following a comprehensive review of the recent development, a novel PV integrated smart window will be shared on this lecture, which automatically responds to climatic conditions by varying the balance of solar energy between PV electricity generation and transmission into a building to provide daylight and control heat. Therefore, renewable electricity can be generated onsite while providing comfortable daylight and passive heating or cooling for buildings. The developed window has the potential to significantly reduce building energy loads and meet the building’s electricity requirement.


Professor Wu is a Chair in Building Physics at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Research Leader on Low Carbon Building Design and Simulation, and Leader for Public Engagement.

His researches focus on building energy simulation and integration of renewable energy systems into buildings and built environment. He has been awarded ~ £4m in research grants including funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK (EPSRC), Innovate UK, etc. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in SCI journals and conference proceedings contributing to the state of the art in renewable energy technologies and their application to the built environment. Jack serves as subject Editor for the journal of 'Renewable Energy'. He is a full member of the EPSRC peer reviewer college and is also reviewer for European, Canadian and US funding agencies.