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Project Partners
What is Flexis?

FLEXIS (Flexible Integrated Energy Systems) is a £24 million research operation designed to develop an energy systems research capability in Wales which will build on the world class capability that already exists in Welsh universities.

The operation is led by Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of South Wales , and will be delivered in two geographical areas; West Wales and the Valleys, and East Wales. FLEXIS has received £15 million in funding support through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). Through the FLEXIS operation we will focus on developing flexible energy systems, which is an urgent priority in energy generation and supply. We will make a significant economic impact through supporting and developing the internationally renowned research in this area, and more specifically through the new technologies and new jobs that will follow this work.

Our aim is to create a culture of research and innovation across Wales so that we are known across the world as a leader in energy systems technology. Part of our activity will also include driving innovation to create jobs and produce real economic impact. One of our key FLEXIS objectives is to create significant critical mass and attract new researchers to Wales. We aim to embed excellent researchers within research led companies in Wales, and we will be working to attract new companies to locate here, thus supporting the Welsh economy and creating jobs.

As FLEXIS partners we will support cluster development through collaboration with private and public sector research organisations in Wales, throughout Europe, and worldwide. Our aim is to promote the products of Welsh research, the professional training courses that will result from this activity, and produce the graduate research engineers that are needed to make Wales one of the global leaders in energy research.

To enable the UK to meet its climate change commitments, energy systems will need to be developed that enable decarbonisation of our energy supply, whilst ensuring its security and affordability.

Fuel poverty, particularly amongst the elderly, is of growing importance as energy prices increase to accommodate ever more complex renewable energy systems and the associated new infrastructure. We aim to tackle the socio-economic aspects of this challenge including public perceptions and communication about energy research and development, and the associated costs and benefits. An interdisciplinary approach is essential in order to solve these diverse, complex and inter-dependent challenges.

The research will also be based on four main pillars, as follows:
  • Sustainability
  • Security of Energy Supply
  • Socio Economic Issues
  • Welsh “Place Based” Demonstrator
The last of the pillars mentioned above is of particular importance. All of the research to be performed will focus on, and be applied at a Welsh “place based” demonstrator. This demonstrator is in the Port Talbot area, and is based at the Tata steel works.
Meet the Project Leaders
Professor Phil Bowen is Director of Cardiff University's Gas Turbine Research Centre. He worked in the private Energy Sector for 5 years before joining Cardiff University in 1994. He has published over 200 papers and been an investigator on over £30M of research contracts. He is currently a member of the RCUK Strategic Advisory Committee (SAC) on Energy and the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme in 'Clean and Efficient Combustion'. He was DIrector of Cardiff School of Engineering 2012-2015 and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, IMechE and Institute of Physics.
Professor Nick Pidgeon is Director of the Understanding Risk Research Group within the School of Psychology at Cardiff University and Professor of Environmental Risk. His research looks at public attitudes, risk perception and public engagement with environmental risks and energy technologies and infrastructures. He is a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association in 2011 and an MBE in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to climate change awareness and energy security policy.
Nick Jenkins is the Leader of the Energy Theme in the School of Engineering at Cardiff University. Before moving to academia, his career included 14 years industrial experience, of which 5 years were in developing countries. While at University he has developed teaching and research activities in both electrical power engineering and renewable energy. He is a Fellow of the IET, IEEE, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Learned Society of Wales. From 2009-2011 he was the Shimizu Visiting Professor to the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University.
Professor Hywel Thomas is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Cardiff University. Professor Thomas is also a Professor of Civil Engineering, Director of the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC) and a UNESCO Professor in the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment. His research interests cover a wide range of geoenvironmental issues, from coupled multiphysics/geochemistry flow problems in soils and rocks, through to sustainability issues in general.
Professor Andrew R. Barron is the Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment, where his research involves the application of nanotechnology to fundamental problems in energy research. He is also the founder and director of the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI)
Professor Alan Guwy is the Director of the Energy and Environment Research Institute (EERI) at the University of South Wales and the Head of the Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC). His research is focused on renewable generation of hydrogen, the optimization of anaerobic fermentation to produce bioenergy in the form of hydrogen and methane gas, bioelectricity using microbial fuel cells and bio-electrocatalytic systems water and wastewater treatment and analysis of recalcitrant pollutants.
Dr Petar Igic, Head/Director of the Electronic System Design Centre and Director of EEE Board of Studies, is a Reader at the College of Engineering, Swansea University. He also held the esteemed EPSRC Advanced Fellowship for his study in the field of High Power IC technology development. Petar has 20 year experience of research in power semiconductor devices and technologies, electro-thermal compact modelling, modelling and characterisation of microelectronic power semiconductor devices, power electronics and renewable energy. Dr Igic has been leading Swansea University’s contribution to the £50M Low Carbon Research Institute, a pan-Wales university initiative amongst others.
Manu Haddad, FIET, is Professor of High Voltage Engineering at the School of Engineering, Cardiff University.  He is also Director of the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre and the Morgan-Botti Lightning Laboratory. His research interests are in overvoltage protection, insulation systems, insulation coordination and earthing of electrical energy systems amongst others.