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Towards a just transition and net zero future

Operating sustainably is no longer optional. It is imperative that we all take steps to address the climate change emergency. But the move to a future green economy must be a just transition. The way we live our lives will change and future generations must be ready to work and live in a carbon neutral environment.

Teesside University is committed to becoming a net zero institution by 2030. However, beyond changing the way the University operates, Teesside is also committed to powering the change we need to see across society, through industry partnership, skills development, research and innovation.

Net Zero Future

Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre fly-through

Take a virtual tour of The Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre (NZIIC). Video courtesy of GSS Architecture.

The Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre

The £13.1m Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre will play a key role in the delivery of net zero ambitions for the region and the UK. A hub for industrial decarbonisation and a national centre of excellence for net zero technologies, the NZIIC positions Teesside firmly at the heart of the UK's green industrial revolution, providing a focus for major investment.

The NZIIC will grow net zero capabilities and opportunities, creating hundreds more clean energy jobs and strengthening the existing innovation ecosystem through provision of specialist facilities and support.

Aligning the expertise of the University with industry need and government priorities, the NZIIC will deliver clear impact across collaborative research and development, enhanced productivity, environmental and business sustainability, and a unique opportunity to grow capabilities across clean energy and the circular economy.

Areas of expertise

Hydrogen and Decarbonisation

Adapting hydrogen applications, optimising industrial processes and developing alternatives to current chemicals and overcoming the challenges of hydrogen storage and carbon capture

Circular economy

Investigating applications of thermal and chemical processing and recycling to optimise, reduce costs and bring new technology to market.

Intelligent energy and industrial systems

Supporting product and service innovation to drive forward the smart energy and smart grid agenda.

Digital modelling and simulation

Providing support for maintenance and operation of industrial assets, including virtual and artificial reality and remote operations.

Featured news

Link to University collaboration with South Africa to support hydrogen research.

University collaboration with South Africa to support hydrogen research

Professor Michael Short. Link to Net Zero accolade for Teesside University academic.

Net Zero accolade for Teesside University academic

Link to Net zero credentials lead to further international collaboration.

Net zero credentials lead to further international collaboration

Harry Ford (Graduate Engineer at Kellas Midstream); Professor Nashwan Dawood (Associate Dean, Teesside University School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies); Stefan Kent (Asset Support Manager, Kellas Midstream); Siobhan Fenton (Associate Dean, Teesside University, School of Computing Engineering & Digital Technologies); Professor Stephen Cummings (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation); Alan Murray (Operations & Projects Director at Kellas Midstream); and Dr Adam Adgar (Head of Engineering Department, Teesside University).. Link to Half-million pound scholarship fund to develop clean energy solutions.

Half-million pound scholarship fund to develop clean energy solutions

From left to right: Dr Sina Rezaei Gomari , Director of Studies; Peter Scott, Director of Scott Bros Ltd and Mardin Abdalqadir, Post-graduate researcher.. Link to Making artificial soil to enhance natural carbon sequestration .

Making artificial soil to enhance natural carbon sequestration

Garry Hope, regional managing director, Robertson Construction North East, Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott and Professor Nashwan Dawood from Teesside University, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, Teesside University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Paul Croney OBE, Malcolm Page, Paul Booth CBE,  Professor Steve Cummings and Darren Vipond.. Link to Construction of new Teesside University Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre underway.

Construction of new Teesside University Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre underway

Members of Teesside University’s battery research team. Link to North East LEP investment aims to grow region’s battery sector.

North East LEP investment aims to grow region’s battery sector

(L-R): Bob Borthwick, Feysal Shifa and Peter Scott with the prototype bricks. Link to  ‘Recycled’ brick attracts interest from national housebuilder.

‘Recycled’ brick attracts interest from national housebuilder

Front - Wes McGeeney, Renewables Manager, Thirteen. Back (L-R) - Jayne Lawson, Head of Innovation and Marketing, Thirteen, with Dr Huda Dawood, Professor Natasha Vall and Professor Nashwan Dawood from Teesside University at Oval Grange in Hartlepool where air source heatpumps are being installed in houses.. Link to Funding boost for green projects.

Funding boost for green projects

Link to University will take the lead on Tees Valley Global Centre of Excellence.

University will take the lead on Tees Valley Global Centre of Excellence

From left to right: Elizabeth Assmann (Planet Mark), Michael Thompson (Teesside University), Jonathan Withey (Planet Mark), Michael Short (Teesside University), Bridie Marshall (Planet Mark). Link to Net Zero bus visits Teesside University.

Net Zero bus visits Teesside University

Left to right: Martin Walker (PD Ports), Professor Michael Short (Teesside University), Maurice Brooksbank (PD Ports), Edgar Segovia-Leon (Teesside University), Farida Amrouche (Teesside University), Andrew Kidd (Teesside University).. Link to Ground-breaking research to improve port’s energy usage.

Ground-breaking research to improve port’s energy usage

Professor Nashwan Dawood. Link to Teesside University to take part in academic cluster as part of new Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre.

Teesside University to take part in academic cluster as part of new Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre

Link to Support for green energy policies is strong, research finds.

Support for green energy policies is strong, research finds

Siobhan Fenton and Kim Gauld-Clark signing the Memorandum of Understanding with staff from Teesside University and Sofia.. Link to Teesside University and Sofia Offshore Wind Farm sign strategic skills partnership.

Teesside University and Sofia Offshore Wind Farm sign strategic skills partnership

Featured case studies

Meet the Team

Glen Kelly

Glen Kelly

Project Manager

Glen is responsible for the project management of the NZIIC. Before joining the University, Glen worked as Project Manager for NEPIC, partnering with RTC North, North East Automotive Alliance & Generator to successfully deliver the £6.1m Supply Chain North East programme. He has worked in various capacities since 2017 to support innovation and business growth in the region. Glen holds a BA in Business Management and is a member of the Association for Project Management.

Dr Ellis Marshall

Dr Ellis Marshall

Business Innovation Manager

Ellis is the Business Innovation Manager for the NZIIC. He is responsible for establishing future links for Net Zero and NZIIC in the region, including skills research and industry collaboration. He is also part of the NZIIC operational team, providing a channel for academics and industry to collaborate on projects, and provides technical expertise and assistance for the wider University. Ellis has an academic background in Materials Chemistry and Sustainable Materials and sits on the board of the Polymer Society for the Institute of Materials, Mining, and Minerals (IoM3), as well as a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Dr Gari Harris

Dr Gari Harris


Gari is the Director of the NZIIC following an industrial research background heading-up British Steel's Research and Development effort Worldwide. Within this role Gari was responsible for a diverse strategic portfolio which relevantly included; decarbonisation strategy and policy, net-zero road mapping, waste utilisation and the circular economy, supply-chain integration, Industry 4.0, and IPR portfolio management. Gari sits on the UK Government (BEIS) Expert Panels for CCS, Hydrogen, and Energy from Waste.

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Gari has a background in both industry and academia, and has managed research projects in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. He has worked in a Professorial role at Dundee University in nanomaterials, and as the External R&D manager for Motorola Worldwide. Gari holds a D.Phil. from Oxford University and has published seminal work in nanomaterials arena.

Gari is passionate about climate change and decarbonisation and feels that NZIIC can lead the way for the UK to deliver on the 2050 decarbonisation strategy.

Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

Research Associate

Ben is a master's degree graduate in electrical power and energy systems and is currently undertaking a PhD that looks at efficient and optimal energy management and prioritisation of renewable energy sources within an EV rapid charging scenario. He also participated in a three year EU-H2020-funded research project, touching on demand response, research of legislation and standards, drone-based aerial LiDAR scanning and infrared thermography/videogrammetry, electronics prototyping and 3D printing.

Dr Prasanth Karikkethu Prabhakaran

Dr Prasanth Karikkethu Prabhakaran

Research Associate

Dr Prasanth Karikkethu Prabhakaran is a research associate in NZIIC, Teesside University doing research on hydrogen storage, green hydrogen, fuel cells, electrochemistry, hydrogen production, circular economy and support systems for decarbonisation in industrial clusters. Before joining the NZIIC team in april 2022, Dr Prasanth worked as a researcher and assistant professor at University of Bristol (UK), St. Albert's College, Ernakulam (India), Mahatma Gandhi University (India) and ENSTA Paris (France).

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Dr Prasanth Karikkethu Prabhakaran has immense research experience working on the design, characterisation and application of sustainable materials for low carbon energy. Specifically on the synthesis and application of porous materials and their composites for hydrogen storage and CO2 capture applications. Dr Prasanth has 17 research publications in various peer-reviewed international journals and one US patent to his credit. He is also a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London.

Edgar Segovia Leon

Edgar Segovia Leon

Technical Principal

Edgar Segovia Leon is a mechanical engineer with experience working in renewable energy. He has been involved in European projects, and that expediency allows him to learn about the best experts in Europe and carry up innovative projects in other to have a positive impact on society. Currently, Edgar Segovia Leon works with Tees Valley SMEs to help them engage in research and design, and innovation activities. Responsible for establishing, maintaining, showcasing and the setup of smart energy, intelligent energy and virtual reality equipment and related processes for the NZIIC.

Oluyemi Kehinde

Oluyemi Kehinde

Principal Technician

Oluyemi is the Principal Technician (Circular Economy Innovation) for the NZIIC and a PhD student in Material Science with experience in plastic wastes, mineral wastes and geopolymers. He is responsible for engaging and liaising with Tees Valley SMEs on the use of Circular Economy equipment and overseeing operation of materials, equipment, software and other resources in the support of enterprise and business engagement activities. He manages and delivers new research projects relating to the Circular Economy to support Tees Valley SMEs.

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Oluyemi has 14 research publications with more than 74 citations in various peer-reviewed international journals and conferences. He is a Nigerian registered Mechanical Engineer, a member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and a member of the Nigerian Institution of Professional Engineers and Scientists.

Sandra Ozturk

Sandra Ozturk

Project Administrator

Sandra is responsible for all aspects of project administration, directly supporting the Business Innovation, Project Manager and the NZIIC team. Duties include ensuring quality and compliance with ERDF contract paperwork, CRM activity and reporting, office management, procurement and wider business engagement such as coordinating meetings, events and liaising with external SME businesses.

Robyn Claridge

Robyn Claridge

Marketing, Communications and Event Co-ordinator

Robyn is the marketing, communications and event co-ordinator for the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre. She is responsible for developing strategic marketing initiatives and activities which will help achieve the long-term goals of the NZIIC. Robyn's background involves working with innovative and sustainably-driven SMEs in both an agency and in-house capacity. Robyn has always had a keen interest in sustainability, focussing specifically on it as part of her final year research project in her BA (Hons) Marketing degree.

Vishal Vats

Vishal Vats

Principal Technician (Health and Safety)

Vishal graduated with a master's degree in materials engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka. He is currently undertaking an industrial PhD focused on hexavalent chromium in welding fumes, in collaboration with Teesside University and the National Structural Integrity Research Centre in Cambridge. He has experience working on projects involving mechanical, materials, and chemical engineering.

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During his master's, Vishal worked on projects related to corrosion and tribo-corrosion. Before joining Teesside University for his PhD, Vishal was working as a research fellow at Ahmedabad University in India. His project focused on nanocrystalline substituted cobalt-based metal oxides for oxygen evolution reaction for photochemical water splitting.

Before joining the Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre (NZIIC), Vishal was working as a part time research assistant at Teesside University on a project titled ‘Hydrogen Direct Reduction of Iron - Pilot Furnace and steelmaking (H2DRI Pilot)'.

Vishal has worked on several small projects at TWI Cambridge, which were focused on welding fumes. At the NZIIC, he handles and establishes health and safety protocols, with particular interest in specialist gases and pressurised systems.

Deeshani Wijesekara

Deeshani Wijesekara

Principal Technician (Health and Safety)

Deeshani is Principal Technician (Health & Safety) for the Net Zero Industry Innovaton Centre and a PhD student in civil engineering, focusing on recycling and valorisation of mixed post waste plastics through pyrolysis.

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Her research area was low carbon construction materials that use readily available waste streams from municipal origins. She has completed her bachelor's specialising in chemistry, followed by a master's research degree in chemical research.

Deeshani has a good blend of knowledge in chemistry and polymer science from her first degree, and experienced different chemical characterisation methods of materials for their specific use.

Deeshani is responsible for establishing and maintaining health and safety protocol around elevated temperatures and pressurised vessel across the NZIIC, in line with the University's School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies guidelines.

She also works to establish, maintain, and showcase the NZIIC lab facilities, and with Tees Valley businesses to help them engage in research and development and innovation activity.


European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse TVCA

*The project is receiving up to £8.85m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

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