BGS news

Prof Mike Stephenson appointed to the EPSRC Energy Strategic Advisory Committee

03/02/2020 By BGS Press
Professor Mike Stephenson British Geological Survey©UKRI
Professor Mike Stephenson British Geological Survey©UKRI

BGS Executive Chief Scientist Prof Mike Stephenson has been appointed to the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Energy Strategic Advisory Committee.

The Energy Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) is an independent body of advisors responsible for providing advice to help guide the UK’s energy agenda in support of government targets, led by EPSRC.

The committee meets at least twice a year, providing expertise to participating Research Councils who work together to bring strategy to UK energy training and research. It is influential across the whole of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Appointments to the SAC are by a robust assessment process, with selected representatives including industrialists, academics and individuals from across government organisations.

Those selected for the committee do not represent their individual organisations and advise impartially based on their expertise.

Prof Stephenson is the chief scientist for decarbonisation and resource management at BGS and has internationally recognised expertise in the geoscience of energy.

He holds honorary professorships at Nottingham and Leicester universities in the UK and is a visiting professor at the University of Nanjing, China. He has published three books and over 100 peer-reviewed papers.

His most recent book ‘Energy and Climate Change: An Introduction to Geological Controls, Interventions and Mitigations’ examines the earth system science context of the formation and use of fossil fuel resources, and the implications for climate change.

Prof Stephenson regularly represents UK geoscience interests in energy, as well as providing advice to the UK Government. In October 2013 he was advisor to Sir Mark Walport, then chief UK Government scientific advisor, on shale gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS) during a fact-finding mission to Texas and Alberta.

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Speaking of his appointment, he said: “I’m delighted to be appointed by EPSRC. The Energy Strategic Advisory Committee has the potential to help guide tens of millions of government energy investment, and I’m excited by the opportunity to ensure there is a focus on building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges for a low carbon future.”

For further details or to arrange media interviews please contact:

Hannah Pole, British Geological Survey Press Office, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG
Office: +44 (0)115 936 3600
Mobile: +44 (0)7565 297 132

Notes for Editors

For additional information go to:

Images free for media use with this acknowledgement: British Geological Survey©UKRI

Professor Mike Stephenson

Mike Stephenson is Executive Chief Scientist (Decarbonisation) at the British Geological Survey and runs the £8 million Decarbonisation and Net Zero programme at BGS with more than one hundred scientists, as well as the ground-breaking £31 million UK Geo-energy Observatories (UKGEOS), a unique facility that looks into the subsurface geoscience of decarbonisation.

The Energy Research Advisory Committee

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main funding body for engineering and physical sciences research in the UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It leads the energy theme on behalf of all participating research councils with a current portfolio in excess of £0.5 billion.

The overarching goal of the energy theme is to focus resources in areas with the potential to meet the UK’s 2050 climate change targets and to sponsor research and PhD training to support a low-carbon future. It also promotes multidisciplinary partnerships between researchers, industry, funders and government departments.

The Energy Strategic Advisory Committee supports these objectives, including investment in high quality research to reduce carbon emissions and enabling technologies such as storage, materials and digital technologies.

British Geological Survey

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is a world leading applied geoscience research centre that is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and affiliated to the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). BGS core science provides objective and authoritative geoscientific data, information and knowledge to inform UK Government on the opportunities and challenges of the subsurface. It undertakes national and public good research to understand earth and environmental processes in the UK and globally. The BGS annual budget of approximately £60 million pa is funded directly by UKRI, as well as research grants, government commissions and private sector contracts. Its 650 staff work across the UK with two main sites, the head office in Nottingham and Lyell Centre, a joint collaboration with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. BGS works with more than 150 private sector organisations, has close links to 40 universities and sponsors about 100 PhD students each year. Please see


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