Known as ‘London’s Global University’, University College London employs 4,078 academic research staff in over 50 departments and institutes. UCL has a global reputation for excellence in research and is committed to delivering impact and innovations that enhance the lives of people in the UK, across Europe and around the world. UCL is consistently placed in the global top 20 across a wide range of university rankings (currently 7th in the QS World University Rankings with a score of 95.6). Furthermore, the Thomson Scientific Citation Index shows that in 2015 UCL was the 2nd most highly cited European university and 14th in the world.
UCL’s total competitively awarded research income annually stands at € 530 million, of which 10% is European funded research & innovation. UCL is currently involved in more than 700 EU-funded projects, 200 ERC grants and was the top performing university in the first year of Horizon 2020 and 4th institution overall in EU collaborative research (#1 in the UK). UCL currently holds 202 Horizon 2020 grants (76 R &I, CSA and IA), 100 ERC/IF/MSCA) and 26 RISE/ITN) with a total revenue of €86.9 million (€51.6M on collaborative grants). In the last round of Health Collaborative calls, UCL won 5 of the 49 grants the EU awarded. In line with UCL’s position as Europe’s 6th most active Higher Education organisation in FP7, UCL has expanded its European Research and Innovation Office (ERIO) as a dedicated central support and project assurance service for all Horizon 2020 projects in which it participates. UCL also receives the highest share of any UK university of the UK Government’s strategic investment fund, and has recently invested more than € 310 million into state-of-the-art infrastructure to facilitate cutting-edge research across a broad range of disciplines.
Based on a research strategy that is oriented around a series of ambitious “Grand Challenges”, including ‘Sustainable Cities’ and ‘Human wellbeing’, UCL nurtures thriving and engaged communities of world-leading academics across the entire research and innovation spectrum, from arts and humanities to the basic and applied sciences and healthcare. Complementing its leading research and innovation portfolio, UCL is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for science communication. This has been recognized through UCL’s selection as one of six national Beacons for Public Engagement in the UK, funded by the UK government to deliver a step change in science outreach and impact activities.
Role in the project
UCL will lead this project. Striolo (UCL Chemical Engineering), Jones (UCL Earth Sciences) and one program manager from UCL European Research and Innovation Office (ERIO) will lead the activities within WP01 (management)
Chemical Engineering has a central role at UCL in tackling the global energy challenge by developing alternative and renewable energy technologies with EPSRC, TSB, ETI, EU and industrial funded projects. The UCL Chemical Engineering Department is completing a major renovation in both its offices and experimental equipment. A number of instruments for materials characterization will be instrumental for the success of the present project, including state of the art Xray tomography.
UCL Earth Sciences has accumulated an arsenal of experimental capabilities for the high-pressure characterization of rock samples including Probe SEM XRD XRF ICPMS and multiple high pressure experimental facilities.
Project Coordinator – Prof. Striolo is the Project Coordinator. The role of Prof. Striolo as Project Coordinator is described in the Management section of the proposal (section 3.2). Support has been secured from the UCL ERIO administration to help with reporting activities. The Vice Project Coordinator is Dr. Jones, who will help completing all managerial activities, and provide backup in case of absence.
Note that several of the researchers involved in the present project are long-term collaborators of Striolo’s, both in Europe and in North America, which will facilitate managing the consortium.
As part of WP5, Striolo will provide expertise in conducting molecular simulation studies for fluids confined in narrow pores representative of shale formations.
Striolo will lead WP8, which is focused on enhancing the collaborations between the S4CE consortium and North American institutions. The success of this WP is predicated on the basis of the long productive collaborations Striolo has benefitted from with Prof. David Cole (Ohio State University) and Prof. John Shaw (University of Alberta).
Jones is Vice Project Coordinator and will be responsible for managing specialist PDRAs within Earth Sciences to integrate the geology, geochemistry and mineralogy for the different sample sites across Europe. The UCL ES team are combining new methods with noble gas geochemistry, and mineral imaging techniques to quantify the textures and failure behaviour of rock being drilled including high pressure experiments with rock-fluid systems to simulate deep subsurface reservoir conditions. He manages the rock library facility at UCL and the core store of US drill core of classic unconventional gas plays in N America, providing a geological understanding and methodology for subsurface characterisation at the different field sites. For S4CE he will also coordinate the development of research access to specialist DCO instrumentation communities to jointly translate their isotope-based world-leading geochemical facilities. These tasks are facilitated by his long history of carbon-based research collaboration between academic and industrial sectors since directing the Eurocarb ESF Network (2000-2003), and co-Founding the Deep Carbon Observatory (2009-2019). The strong UCL inter-departmental partnership with A Striolo provides an excellent foundation for continuing to combine cutting-edge multidisciplinary research with practical international education and teaching programmes, focused on early careers and sustainable resources for society.
Andrea is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCL. He specializes in development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology and its application to energy and energy-related systems. The role of Andrea in the S4CE project is to perform LCA studies on geo-energy technologies.
Catalina is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences at UCL. Her research focuses on the study of fault and fracture zones by combining field, experimental and modelling approaches. Catalina´s role in the S4CE project is to use experimental rock mechanics and mineral analysis techniques to understand the response of fracture zones to fluid flow, and the evolution of physical properties of reservoir rocks when subject to changes in pressure, temperature and fluid chemistry.
Natalie Nestorowicz is a project manager at UCL’s European Research and Innovation Office and responsible for the management of contractual and financial matters for S4CE.