Clean energy award for Heriot-Watt scientists



L-R: Dr Kiara Zennaro, Head of Biogas, Dr Jonathan Scurlock of the National Farmers Union, Dr David Flynn and Dr Valentin Robu.

A clean energy project that aims to reduce the carbon footprint of marine vessels has earned scientists from Heriot-Watt University a major honour at the British Renewable Energy Awards 2018.

Dr David Flynn and Dr Valentin Robu from the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, received the Low Carbon Transport Award at a recent ceremony hosted by Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, at the Savoy Hotel in London.

They were recognised for their contribution to a business led, collaborative project called the Hybrid Fusion Energy Management System (HyFES), which examines ways to further improve the benefits gained by sea vessels that switch to a hybrid propulsion system.

It's a great privilege to be recognised with this award and really is testament to the hard work carried out by our team at Heriot-Watt University.

Dr Valentin Robu

Sponsored by Innovate UK and EPSRC, the project measures three key performance indicators namely; energy performance, environmental metrics and asset health. Results from trials carried out on the River Thames demonstrated fuel efficiency savings of up to 80%.  

After receiving the award Dr David Flynn, said: "The Smart Systems Group at Heriot-Watt University is at the forefront of Embedded Intelligence in Energy Systems. This award not only recognises how a data driven approach can deliver both immediate and long term strategic value to companies, governments and society, but also how a knowledge based economy can support our distributed SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) community with world leading products and services."

HyFES brings together a consortium that spans the complete supply chain including Heriot-Watt and Southampton Universities, the High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI), Custom and Contract Power Solutions (CCPS), Denchi Power, FM and MBNA Thames Clippers.

Dr Valentin Robu, added: "It's a great privilege to be recognised with this award and really is testament to the hard work carried out by our team at Heriot-Watt University.

"The impact of HyFES is not constrained to the end users but also delivers new technologies throughout the supply chain demonstrating how the renewable and sustainable energy sector can deliver inclusive growth and support the creation of new supply chains."

More than 350 delegates from across the renewable energy sector were represented at the awards.

Organised by the Renewable Energy Association, the annual ceremony is the industry's most prestigious event. It celebrates the achievements of companies and individuals who have done most to advance renewable energy and associated clean tech in the UK.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association said: "It's been another record breaking year for the renewable energy sector, we have seen coal-free days in the UK for the first-time since before the industrial revolution, prices come down significantly and our most up-to-date numbers show that almost 130,000 people are now employed by the renewable energy sector nationwide - and these companies have been at the vanguard of that success here in the UK.

"The profile of renewables is rising fast, a clear and ambitious energy policy is now essential in order to back these businesses growth potential and ambition. Although the public's switch to green energy is not yet complete, I truly believe that with the continued drive and determination of companies like these we will get there sooner rather than later."

The award comes during Heriot-Watt's Year of the Sea 2018,  a calendar of engagement spanning schools, the public, academia, industry collaborators, funders and policy makers.

Keep up-to-date with Year of the Sea on Twitter @HWU_Seas, look for us across all channels using #yearofsea2018, and visit