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Staff Profile: Prof J Loughhead


Prof John Loughhead
BSc(Eng), MSc, DIC, CEng, FIMechE; FIET; FCGI; FRSA, FREng.



Honorary Prof.


Research Theme:

Energy and Environment


Research Group:

Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply





John Loughhead, FREng, is Executive Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) with £14M spend on research from the research councils. Prior to this, he was Corporate Vice-President for Technology and Intellectual Property of the Alstom group, based in its Paris Head Office. He was the immediate past President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), and has an influential involvement in several UK and international committees.
John’s professional career has been predominantly based in industrial research and development for the electronics, electrical power, and energy industries. After graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London John Loughhead continued at Imperial in a research post studying computational fluid dynamics.
John’s extensive and highly successful industrial career started at the then GEC Mechanical Engineering Laboratory at Whetstone working on a range of heat transfer technologies. This led to his developing the ESATAN system for the European Space Agency, which remains the standard thermal design code for European space vehicles. John subsequently led the Thermofluids Division, developing new and renewable energy technologies, and was one of the first UK industrial developers of fuel cell systems.
He then became Director of the GEC Engineering Research Centre. While there, he initiated the first UK industrial work on high-temperature fuel cells and hosted the full hardware test bed for the Eurostar train control system. Following the creation of the GEC ALSTHOM joint venture, he moved to Paris as the R&D Director for the group, and on its later flotation as ALSTOM, he became Vice-President for Technology. During this time he set up the major European grouping developing solid-oxide fuel cells, pursued the application of high temperature superconductors including the demonstration of the world’s largest motor using the technology. He also led the alternative energy programmes, and coordinated all other technology development across the whole product range.
John is involved in numerous national and European public sector technology programmes, as a reviewer and assessor. He is a member of various advisory committees, and chair of policy reviews in the area of future electric power systems. He is Non-Executive Director of the Ministry of Defence R&D Board, Assessor for the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the EC Framework R&D Programme. He is also a member of the European Commission Advisory Group on Energy, chaired the EC Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Implementation Panel, and is currently co-chair of the Implementation Committee of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy, an inter-governmental body. John is a member of the UK’s Energy Research Partnership, and was previously a member of EPSRC Council, and Chair of its User Panel. He serves on several university advisory boards, including the School of Engineering's Industrial Advisory Board.


Professional Activities and Recognition:

John’s activities include:
• lecturing to undergraduate and MSc students on issues related to global energy;
• supporting and giving feedback on research funding proposals;
• advising members of the Institute of Energy on future direction of research; and
• under the I & E agenda, using his expertise on product development and industrial engagement.