School of GeoSciences Research

Project partners

Galleries to Calories comprises industry, academic and national research partners from Scotland, USA and Ireland.

Project leaders​​​​

TownRock Energy Logo
TownRock Energy 

Overall project industry lead

  • Lead WP2 Environmental and Geosciences Site Characterisation
  • Major contribution to WP3 Field Site and Testing
  • Lead WP8 Techno-Economic Business Development, Legal Heat Ownership

TownRock Energy (TRE) is an award-winning geothermal energy consultancy and technology R&D company established in Aberdeen and based in Edinburgh. TRE are market leaders in the delivery of techno-economic assessments of geothermal energy resources and engineered geothermal system for private, public and third sector clients across the UK.

TRE specialise in the creation of commercially viable business models for the utilisation of underground thermal energy for the purposes of fundraising and risk management. TRE have designed and implemented the first exploratory drilling programme into a mine water thermal resource in Scotland. TRE also provide operations, maintenance and optimisation services, as well as redesign and development, for the UK’s largest mine water heat pump.

Visit the TownRock Energy website

University of Edinburgh stacked logo

The University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences

Overall project academic lead

  • Significant contribution to WP2 Environmental and Geosciences Site Characterisation
  • Lead WP3 Field Site and Testing
  • Lead WP6 Thermal Resources Assessment

The University of Edinburgh (UoE) is a highly respected institution, ranked 18th in the world in the current QS World University Rankings (2019). It achieved UK 4th overall in REF 2014, along with the highest research power for Earth systems.

UoE PI Professor Christopher McDermott has worked in industry and academia, holds two MSc level qualifications, a PhD and a German habilitation (2006) in Applied Geoscience and Hydro-Informatics. He has wide ranging coupled process modelling experience and experimental design experience much specifically related to geothermal applications.

UoE PDRA: Dr Samuel Graham is a research assistant in hydrogeology and geothermal energy. He holds BSc in Geology from Durham University, and an MSc in Engineering Geology from Newcastle University, where he also completed his PhD in geomechanics. Through his MSc and PhD he has experience relating to fundamental geomecahnical properties of mudstones, and computational aspects of geomechanics and groundwater modelling.

Alejandro Jesus Perez is a Geoscientist with wide-ranging experience in hydrogeological modelling of open-cast and underground mines, tailing dams, and lithium brine resources. He has worked in O&G Exploration and in Management of geophysical campaings in several countries of South America. He holds an MSc in Geoenergy, a BSc in Geophysical Eng. and is currently a PhD Student at UoE.

Co-I Dr Mark Naylor is a Senior Lecturer in Computational GeoScience and Hazard Research at the University of Edinburgh. He has an undergraduate MPhys degree from the University of Oxford. Mark is currently PI on a NERC Digital Environment project “Sounding out the river” contributing real time fluvial monitoring expertise to the project.

Visit the School of GeoSciences homepage

Academic partners

University of Strathclyde logo

University of Strathclyde

  • Lead WP7 Existing and New Technologies for Dynamic Monitoring

The University of Strathclyde is a THE-award-winning, EPSRC-Tier-1 University. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) comprised of ~100 PhD students, 24 full-time researchers and 35 academics. CEE has an extensive track-record of delivering multi-disciplinary, industry-led research.

CEE were ranked 1st in Scotland for research power in REF2014 (2nd for overall REF score). CEE houses the Centre for Ground Engineering and Energy Geosciences, which is a highly innovative cross-disciplinary research centre that bridges the gap between engineering, geology and geophysics, with specific interests in (1) engineered barrier technologies, (2) the development of novel monitoring techniques, (3) the behaviour of saturated and unsaturated geomaterials and (4) energy geosciences.  Of particular note is the expertise in both microseismic monitoring expertise and airborne monitoring technology to be applied in WP7. 

Dr Pytharouli’s research focuses on the development of monitoring strategies and the analysis of monitoring data acquired using passive seismic and aerial, terrestrial and satellite surveying technologies, aiming to help interpretation of surface and subsurface processes and assess the structural integrity of infrastructure.

Visit the CEE homepage

Berkeley Lab logo

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

  • Lead WP5: The Dynamic System
  • Key contribution to WP8: Techno-Economic Business Development, Legal Heat Ownership

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL; Berkeley Lab) is a multiprogram science lab in the U.S. national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science, with over 4000 employees. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Berkeley Lab develops science and technology solutions for the world by bringing together multidisciplinary teams of researchers and creating world-class tools for scientific discovery.

Dr Christine Doughty is a Staff Scientist in the Energy Geosciences Division. Current research focuses on mathematical modelling, using numerical and analytical methods, of multi-component, multi-phase fluid flow and heat transport in geologic media. Dr Curt Oldenburg is a Senior Scientist with expertise in numerical model development and applications for coupled subsurface flow and transport processes. Dr Patrick Dobson is a Geological Staff Scientist and the lead for the Geothermal Systems program at the Energy Geosciences Division, where he works on geologic and geochemical research projects associated with geothermal energy and geologic nuclear waste disposal. Dr Hanna Breunig specializes in conducting techno-economic and life cycle modelling of energy and water technologies. Her work includes design and process modelling of novel technology systems, as well as development of deployment scenarios, cost estimates, and evaluation of potential environmental and social impacts. Dr Yingqi Zhang expertise includes numerical modelling of multiphase flow in porous media; optimization, uncertainty and risk analysis, fuzzy logic and parameter estimation for decision support. She has applied these skills to applications related to geothermal system; underground energy storage; geological carbon sequestration; and environmental remediation. Finally, Dr Timothy Kneafsey has led and collaborated on numerous laboratory and field studies related to heat and mass transfer and phase change in fractured and porous rock.

Visit the LBNL homepage

Idaho National Laboratory logo

Idaho National Laboratory (INL)

  • Key contribution to WP5 The Dynamic system
  • Key contribution to WP6 Thermal Resources Assessment

Idaho National Laboratory is a multiprogram science lab in the US national laboratory system supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) through its Nuclear Energy R&D. INL has a staff of over 4,500 with annual operating budget of over $1 billion. INL’s mission is to discover, demonstrate, and secure innovative nuclear energy solutions, other clean energy options, and critical infrastructure.

Dr Travis McLing has 30 years of experience developing, growing, and leading multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research in water-related fields, and leads the US DOE’s geologic thermal energy storage (GeoTES) research effort. Dr Wencheng Jin, a staff scientist at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), has many years of research experience in modelling the mechanics and physics of porous/particulate material at multiple scales. He is involved in the Feedstock-Conversion Interface Consortium and has been leading the effort to model biomass flow using physics-based constitutive models with FEM and to inform feedstock handling equipment design and operation, which landed his team the 2020 Laboratory Director Vision Award. All these experiences have equipped him with state-of-art expertise in computational multi-physics modelling, and he has published 20+ peer-reviewed journal papers.

Visit the INL homepage

University College Dublin logo

University College Dublin (UCD)

  • Lead WP9 Dissemination and Capacity Building, WP9
  • Key contribution to WP2 Environmental and Geosciences Site Characterisation
  • Contribution to WP5 The Dynamic System
  • Contribution to WP6 Thermal Resource Assessment and Sustainable Management

University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland’s largest university and leader for research funding. It is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities. The researchers involved in G2C at UCD are senior members of the Fault Analysis Group, which conducts basic and applied research on all aspects of faults and other types of fracture, in a variety of sectors including coal, geothermal, hydrogeology, minerals, petroleum and storage.

Professor John Walsh has a background in the analysis and 3D modelling of subsurface fault systems. Dr Koen Torremans concentrates on the economic geology and structural geology of sediment-hosted mineral deposits. Dr Conrad Childs specialises in the 3D modelling of faulted rock volumes and the numerical modelling of fluid flow and geomechanics. Dr Tom Manzocchi develops techniques for incorporating faults and complex sedimentology in flow models, including fault transmissibility modelling and the upscaling sub-seismic fault zone structure.

Visit the UCD Earth Sciences homepage

Industry partners

Sandown Ltd logo

Sandown Ltd

  • Contribution to WP2 Environmental and Geosciences Site Characterisation
  • Contribution to WP3 Field Site and Testing
  • Contribution to WP7 Existing and New Technologies for Dynamic Monitoring
  • Key contribution to WP8 Techno-Economic Business Development, Legal Heat Ownership

Sandown Limited provides legal research and engineering services in the geo, civil, hydro, enviro and mining sectors.  Legal related services include research and advisory reporting for the EU funded HORIZON 2020 – WP  2014-2015 into the environmental footprint of shale gas development in the EU (as a member of the FracRisk consortia).

Technical services include geotechnical and hydrogeological assessment and design of remedial systems (including of/for tailings dams, spoil slopes, surface water management) and systems to provide ongoing monitoring post remediation. SNDWN funds its own R&D programme into technologies that deliver real time field sensor data to globally connected web servers to internet/company web browsers, with reading to browser latencies of typically less than two seconds.

Scene Connect logo


  • Lead WP4 Environmental, Social and Economic Baseline and Future Sustainability

Scene is a community renewable energy and local energy specialist. Scene is both a practitioner and research organisation, and of one of very few British organisations that has made a purposeful effort to provide market research and engagement services, whilst backing up this research expertise with a tangible development portfolio and associated expertise.

Scene has experience in supporting, designing, and delivering renewable heat projects throughout the UK, including innovative approaches to local energy (Iona heat network, Powering Parks) and mine water heating (Hartwood Farm, Fortissat Community Mine water DHN). Scene has an in-depth understanding of the drivers of local and community-led energy and considerable expertise in engaging and building support for novel and challenging low carbon projects in UK communities.

Visit the Scene Community homepage