University appoints new Energy and Environment Research Chair

Professor Paul Stewart has been appointed as Research Chair in Energy and Environment in the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) at the University of Derby.

He will join IISE to lead and develop an industry focused research and enterprise group in fundamental and applied Research and Development (R&D) activity across the energy, automotive and aerospace sectors, growing IISE research, industrial innovation energy futures and legislation. He will also establish the structure for University-wide multidisciplinary collaboration in energy research and innovation.

Before his academic career, Professor Stewart spent 14 years working in and running SMEs in the Automotive Industry, specialising in drivetrain development and tuning, and has also held academic posts in the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres for Control Systems, and Advanced Electrical Machines.

He gained his BEng in Electronic, Control and Systems Engineering in 1996 and completed an industrially sponsored PhD focused on Electrical Machines and Drives Control for Electric Vehicles at the University of Sheffield in 2000.

This led to a 16-year relationship with the Electrical Machines and Drives Research Group at the University of Sheffield, eventually becoming Senior Lecturer in 2006. He was subsequently conferred a Chair as Head of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at the University of Salford, where he co-founded the CASE Centre in Control and Systems Engineering.

Joining the University of Lincoln as Professor of Control Engineering and Head of School in 2009, Professor Stewart founded the first new School of Engineering in the UK for more than 20 years, in partnership with Siemens, gaining Siemens Principal Partner Status in 2012.

The venture additionally won awards from Times Higher Education, Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Lord Stafford Award for Industrial Collaboration. He was subsequently promoted to Pro Vice Chancellor Research for the University, and additionally founded research groups in Energy, and Systems.

Institute for innovation in sustainable engineering

Professor Stewart has conducted numerous professional roles, including Chairman of the UK and Republic of Ireland Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Industrial Electronics Chapter, member of the Aircraft Electrical Power systems National Advisory Committee, member of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, and is an active funding panel member of the RCUK Energy Programme.

Professor Richard Hall, Director of Research, Innovation and Academic Enterprise at IISE, said: “Paul will join us at a most interesting and exciting time in the growth of our research and business support activities here at the University. His areas of expertise fits perfectly with the challenges faced by so many of our local companies: that of sustainability which will affect us all. The companies that can provide solutions will be those that prosper in an ever more competitive market place. It’s here where Paul’s team will make their impact”.

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Stewart said: “The Research Chair in Energy and Environment in IISE represents an unprecedented opportunity to join a new, vibrant, and rapidly expanding organisation which is already engaging and collaborating with industry from multinationals, through the supply chain, to SMEs.

“I’m looking forward to developing Energy and Environment R&D within the Institute, and contributing to the growth and competitiveness of industry within the region, nationally and internationally.”

His personal research interests centre on Complex System Simulation, Design and Optimisation; Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Control Systems; Power and Energy Architectures and Electrical Machines, Drives and Systems; Energy Conversion and Storage; Remote Monitoring and Sensing; Prognostics and Diagnostics; Low Carbon and Low Emissions Operations. He is Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), and is a Chartered Engineer.