EGPD 2023 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Neil Burnside

Dr Neil Burnside is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Geoenergy at the University of Strathclyde. His research mainly focuses on sustainable energy development and environmental resilience. He has led UKRI and EU H2020 funded work on several geoscience and energy related topics including: assessment of hot dry rock, hot sedimentary aquifer, and active volcanic geothermal resources for delivery of low-carbon heat and power; advancing environmental monitoring protocols for geoenergy extraction and mining activities; water resource management in stressed environments; citizen science for socioenvironmental impact assessment; optimisation and integration of renewable heat resources into district heating networks. He leads geothermal research activities at Strathclyde and his team is currently working on appraisal of UK mine water resources, improving deep geothermal assessment, advancing thermal energy storage, and transition of hydrocarbon rich regions to Net Zero societies.

Host Institution: University of Strathclyde

Prof. Gioia Falcone

Gioia Falcone is Rankine Chair, Professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow, where she leads the Energy and Sustainability Research Group and is Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions. She is also Visiting Professor at Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London. Until June 2018, she was Professor and Head of the Geo-Energy Engineering Centre at Cranfield University. Between 2011 and early 2016, she held the Endowed Chair and Professorship in Geothermal Energy Systems at Clausthal University of Technology, Germany. Gioia was formerly an Assistant and then Associate Professor in Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, Chevron Corporation Faculty Fellow and faculty member of the Ocean Drilling and Sustainable Earth Science partnership. Prior to joining academia, she worked with Eni-Agip, Enterprise Oil UK, Shell E&P UK and Total E&P UK, covering both offshore and onshore assignments. She holds a Laurea Summa Cum Laude in Environmental-Georesources engineering from Sapienza University of Rome, a M.Sc. degree in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College London and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London. She is Vice-Chairperson of the Bureau of the Expert Group on Resource Management of the United Nations Commission for Europe (UNECE), Member of its Renewables Sub-Group and its focal point for the UNECE Pathways to Sustainable Energy & Carbon Neutrality Project. She sits on the BEIS (UK Government Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) Energy Working Group, chaired by the Chief Scientific Advisor to BEIS, advising on the development of Technical Screening Criteria in the energy sector for the UK Green Taxonomy. She serves on the Board of Directors of the International Geothermal Association (IGA) and is Chair of the IGA UNFC Ad Hoc Committee. She serves on the Directorate of Scottish Carbon Capture and Sequestration (SCCS) and on the Board of the Energy Technology Partnership (ETP). She is member of the Academic Panel of the Net Zero Technology Centre, of the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) and of the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC). She serves on the Scientific Committee of the 2023 International Conference on Multiphase Flow and Heat Transfer (ICMFHT’23) and has served on the Scientific Committee of the 2022 European Geothermal Congress (EGC).

Host Institution: University of Glasgow

Lucy Cotton

Lucy is a geologist based in Cornwall and is the Geothermal Group Manager for GeoScience Limited. She was the Lead Site Geologist during the drilling of both deep geothermal projects in the UK - the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project and most recently, Eden Geothermal. Currently, Lucy is focused on assessing the “size of the prize” for mine water geothermal, specifically from abandoned Cornish tin mines and is leading a team to establish the viability of using mine water geothermal from Geevor, Levant and Botallack, for space heating on the tin coast. Lucy is passionate about establishing a diverse and inclusive geothermal industry in the UK and, in her role as UK WING Ambassador (Women in Geothermal) is keen to encourage more women and girls to pursue a career in the geothermal sector through outreach and education.

Host Institution: GeoScience Limited, Eden Geothermal and Women in Geothermal

Dr. Apostolos Michopoulos

Dr. Apostolos Michopoulos is Senior Researcher and Deputy Director at Energy & Environmental Design of Buildings Research Lab. at University of Cyprus. He holds a Diploma and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and a MSc in Project Management. His research focuses on energy, environmental and technoeconomic analysis, energy efficiency, and implementation of RES technologies in building and industrial sector. He has University-level teaching experience in heat transfer, RES technologies and energy management. He participated in more than 40 research projects and the outcome of his research includes in more than 85 publications in book chapters, journals and conference proceedings.

Host Institution: University of Cyprus Aleksandrs Zajacs Aleksandrs Zajacs holds a position of associate professor at Riga Technical University. Research interests are related to the assessment of development scenarios of district heating systems combining renewable and fossil energy sources in the most efficient way as well as energy efficiency measures in district heating and housing sector. Has a 10 year of experience in district heating company JSC “Rigas Siltums”, which is the largest DH company in the Baltic States.

Host Institution: Riga Technical University

Dr. Maja Turnsek

Maja Turnsek, PhD is Associate Professor & Vice Dean for Research at University of Maribor, Faculty of Tourism, Slovenia. Her research interests cover storytelling, humour and climate change and communication in tourism. She gained her PhD in media and communication studies at the University of Ljubljana. Her PhD was on the need of transnational deliberation in the face of climate change as a global public issue. She lectures on communication, psychology and marketing in tourism and food production. In the past, she was one of the researchers involved in the Geothermica funded project GeoFood, focusing on the interconnection of food production, tourism and geothermal energy. Currently, she leads the research project Climate change and sustainable tourism in Slovenia and is actively involved in local initiatives with regards to climate change, especially in relation to geothermal energy.

Host Institution: University of Maribor

Dr. Prasanna Varadarajan

Prasanna Amur Varadarajan, PhD is Senior Simulation Engineer, Digital development at Celsius Energy, SLB. He holds a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. His expertise is on development of models and simulations across various applications of multiphase flows, non-Newtonian flows and gas dynamics. He has led development of products and solutions for real time monitoring of drilling hydraulics for the oil and gas industry. His current work focuses on developing digital twins and products around the shallow geothermal well installations for heating and cooling of the buildings, using physics-based models as well AI data driven methods.

Host Institution: Celsius Energy