Dr Florian Doster
+44 (0) 131 451 4077
At Heriot Watt, we are delivering a new MSc programme in Subsurface Energy Systems (SES) that will edcate you about unlocking energy resources with a low carbon footprint. This will be a stepping stone for your career in industry, government, non-government organisations (NGOs) or academia.
The programme addresses key concepts in subsurface energy and CO2 storage, geothermal energy or transitional gas while integrating geoscience, engineering, political and societal aspects. It will appeal to geoscientists, reservoir engineers, governmental stakeholders and all those interested in the management of subsurface reservoirs used to switch from a fossil fuel-driven economy to a decarbonised one, using natural gas as a transitional energy resource. Its production from unconventional reservoirs comes with environmental risks that we have to assess and control. This degree is delivered jointly by The Lyell Centre and the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering.
The recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts serious consequences from further emitting CO2 into the atmosphere, thereby accelerating man-made climate change. This requires a drastic decarbonisation of our economies by switching from fossil fuels to renewable energies like wind, solar, hydro, or geothermal or by implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS) at scale. Renewable energies can readily be used in the form of electrical power. When electricity production exceeds the demand, electricity can be stored in grids or batteries at limited capacity. At larger scale, electricity can be stored in the subsurface after conversion to, for example, hydrogen, thermal energy, or compressed air until needed, allowing for back-production within short and longer time scales of hours to years.
In comparison to temporary energy storage, CCS aims at safe and permanent storage. The UK and especially offshore storage sites in Scotland are attractive targets for CCS and considered to extend the lifetime of oil and gas reservoirs significantly, thereby strengthening the related industrial sectors. The combined technologies of geothermal energy production, subsurface energy storage or CCS refer to the geoengineering aspects of subsurface energy systems (SES). In this context, SES rather refers to the integration of geoenergy applications with energy production at the surface as well as economic, societal and policy aspects.
There is a significant demand globally for research and training in these technologies, given that many small and large integrated oil and gas companies are decarbonising their assets, which at the same time, needs to be monitored and regulated by governmental bodies. Councils across the UK and Europe are increasingly looking at the subsurface for storing or producing energy.
Full-time: 1 year
SES is building on a number of courses related to the upstream petroleum industry currently taught at Heriot-Watt University within other programmes. New courses specifically address the important aspects related to geothermal energy, energy storage or CCS. The aims of this programme are to increase awareness and enhance the skills related to professional engineering and geoscience and related scientific methods.
Students in SES will benefit from the excellent links with industry and research activities by staff at the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering and The Lyell Centre. The Institute has an industry-based strategic advisory board which monitors activities in the wider context of the needs of the industry and offers guidance on the degree, ensuring its content is up to date and relevant to current industry needs.
Seminar sessions are also conducted by staff from a variety of petroleum engineering companies.
Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information