Chemical Engineering Diamond Jubilee Keynote Lecture: Professor Geoff Maitland


Swann Lecture Theatre, Michael Swann Building, King's Buildings


Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 16:45 to 18:00

Chemical Engineering Diamond Jubilee Keynote Lecture by Professor Geoff Maitland

"Avoiding major climate change in a cleaner fossil fuels world: the challenges and opportunities for (chemical) engineers and governments"

This lecture is the first in a series celebrating 60 years of Chemical Engineering at Edinburgh!

The talk will review how the energy landscape might evolve over the decades ahead and the challenges we face if we are to continue, as we must, to use fossil fuels well into the second half of this century. I will give my personal view on what we need to do to meet the challenging carbon mitigation targets that we must meet to avoid the consequences of catastrophic climate change. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) will play a key role in this. The current status of this technology will be summarised and some of the research being carried out at Imperial in the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC) will be described. The measurement and prediction of the thermophysical properties under reservoir conditions of CO2 mixtures with model and real reservoir fluids will be covered, alongside the use of imaging techniques for studying multiphase flow in porous rocks. QCCSRC is a ten year industrially funded programme, sitting within the Imperial Energy Futures Lab. I will link this to IChemE’s technical strategy ‘Chemical Engineering Matters’ and suggest ways in which chemical engineers can both ensure that we achieve a low-carbon fossil fuels future, and also work more closely with government and other professional bodies to create the right fiscal and political climate to encourage this.


Professor Geoff Maitland is Professor of Energy Engineering at Imperial College London and Immediate Past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, having served as President for 2014-15. His career has spanned academia and industry, spending 20 years in oil and gas with Schlumberger and over 20 years at Imperial, first as a young lecturer from 1974-1985 and from 2005 in his current post. His work is centred on how we can continue to use fossil fuels for most of this century without causing catastrophic climate change. This includes carbon capture and storage, cleaner recovery of unconventional hydrocarbons, subsurface processing and solar production of fuels. Geoff was awarded the Hutchison Medal by the Institution of Chemical Engineers in 1998 and served as President of the British Society of Rheology from 2002-2005. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He was awarded the IChemE Chemical Engineering Envoy Award for 2010 for his media work explaining the engineering issues involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil-spill. He chaired the post-Macondo review of the UK Offshore Oil and Gas Regulatory Regime in 2010 (‘The Maitland Report’). He is the Founding Director of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre, a $70M 10 year programme sponsored by Qatar Petroleum, Shell and Qatar Science and Technology Park, based at Imperial College London.

Further Information

60 Years of Chemical Engineering at The University of Edinburgh
60 Years of Chemical Engineering at The University of Edinburgh
Professor G Maitland
Professor G Maitland, Imperial College London

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