New Head of Technology's Energy Research Unit: Tristan Davenne
17 Apr 2024







​The Technology Department is delighted to announce the appointment of Doctor Tristan Davenne as the new head of its Energy Research Unit (ERU).

Tristan (right) pictured with ERU engineers​ on a trip to 

2023's Second Symposium on Ammonia Energy.

​Tristan, who has a background in mechanical engineering, received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2002 and has been working with Technology’s Applied Science Division for the last 17 years.

During his time at STFC, his projects have included target engineering for various high-energy physics projects (including LBNF and Mu2e) and research into the generation and use of green ammonia. 

Most recently, Tristan and his team have been working on the £4.28 million ASPIRE project​ to design and build a flexible green ammonia plant.

When asked about his new role, Tristan said:

“There is an expanding opportunity for us to contribute to the global challenge of net zero. I believe the national laboratories are a unique environment for delivering disruptive demonstrations of new technologies which can support the goal of achieving net zero. The calibre of our facilities and staff, as well as  our dedication  mean that we have a strong ability to take projects from an academic concept towards wider exploitation in industry. 

As STFC and its national laboratories are focused on big science and pushing the boundaries of our understanding of fundamental physics, there is also a tremendous opportunity to foster a growing UKRI centre of excellence around the global challenge of meeting energy requirements and achieving net zero. The Energy Research Unit is an excellent foundation for this work. Under the stewardship of Dr Jim Halliday, the ERU has made significant contributions to the development of wind power in the UK and, in recent years, has become more focused on the challenge of energy storage.

“I look forward to the opportunity to further develop the energy research activities taking place at RAL and will be proud to represent STFC’s Energy Research Unit at national and international conferences. I also hope that moving to this new role will lead to opportunities for the dedicated early career staff  we have within the ERU.”

Dr Jim Halliday, Tristan’s predecessor, and current Head of Technology’s Applied Science Division, also commented:

“After many years of running the Energy Research Unit and enabling ground-breaking energy R&D, I am very pleased to be able to pass the Net Zero baton to Tristan. I am sure that he will provide insightful leadership to the team and enable it to not only work on externally funded and nationally important projects but support STFC on its own Net Zero journey.”​

To learn more about the ERU’s projects and capabilities, visit their page​.

​Written by Cat Lewin-Williams.​​