Job – Professor of Geothermal Energy, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

The Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (source: Lyell Centre)
Alexander Richter 14 Jul 2019

Heriot-Watt University has advertised the position of Professor of Geothermal Energy, a joint position between BGS and the University to substantially enhance the new collaborative research efforts in the field of Geothermal Energy by expanding existing research and teaching activities into the area of characterising and modelling geothermal reservoirs.

Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland is seeking applications for the position of Professor of Geothermal Energy at the Lyell Centre, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society.

Detailed Description

This joint position between the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the University is strategic to the Lyell Centre, and will substantially enhance the new collaborative research efforts in the field of Geothermal Energy by expanding existing research and teaching activities into the area of characterising and modelling geothermal reservoirs. This will allow us to engage more closely with national and international research activities, for example the UK Geothermal Energy Observatories, where BGS via the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the University are making a ca. £22 Million investment in developing a geothermal research facility in Glasgow that will be operated by the BGS, the Icelandic Deep Drilling project, or geothermal opportunities in Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries.

The position will be a full-time University appointment based in the Lyell Centre to proactively lead and expand new, effective, and sustainable collaboration between BGS and the University in the area of Geothermal Energy.

Key duties and responsibilities

The appointee will:

  • Set-up and manage a vibrant and collaborative research group at the Lyell Centre that leverages existing expertise at BGS and IPE and conducts world-class research with emphasis on characterising and modelling geothermal reservoirs (e.g. quantitative geophysical and/or geological field observations, petrophysical and geomechanical studies, or numerical simulations), in alignment with the strategy and vision of the Lyell Centre and its stakeholders;
  • Actively pursue large-scale research funding in collaboration with the BGS and relevant University staff, for example through the development of new joint industry projects and/or the submission of high-quality grant proposals to national and international research funders;
  • Enable and promote the development of new collaborations between BGS and the University by taking a leading role in large-scale national and international research activities, for example the UK Geothermal Energy Observatories, the Icelandic Deep Drilling project and overseas development geothermal projects;
  • Publicise research through high-quality journal and conference papers, jointly with other colleagues from BGS and the University;
  • Contribute to postgraduate teaching at the University in the field of Geothermal Energy through the delivery of lectures and tutorials, as well as setting and marking examinations and coursework;
  • Represent BGS and the University with integrity in a professional capacity at conferences, with industrial partners, in professional societies, in relevant external bodies, etc.;
  • Work with industry and related external bodies to expand existing industry-facing networks at BGS and the University to the area of geothermal energy;
  • Establish collaborative research within and outside the Lyell Centre;
  • Support the Lyell Centre management team and the BGS Science Director for Energy Systems and Basin Analysis;
  • Establish joint PhD research projects between BGS and the University, and including the joint supervision of the PhD students;
  • Mentor and coach research associates, junior academics and other research staff at the University and BGS.

Education, qualifications and experience

Specific success criteria for the parties will include:

  • Enhanced output and impact of jointly authored, peer reviewed papers;
  • Enhanced grant winning performance;
  • Access to and effective exploitation of joint facilities/equipment pools/technologies;
  • New or enhanced income through innovative applications of joint research;
  • New UK and international collaborative opportunities building on the current consortia leadership or memberships of the parties;
  • Where appropriate, develop consultancy jointly between both parties;
  • Demonstration of ‘line of sight’ links between excellent science and societal application, raising joint performance in external evaluations of excellence and impact;
  • New exchanges of staff between sites and research teams;
  • Enhanced competitiveness in joint applications for studentships, and joint supervision of MSc and PhDs.

Essential Qualifications

  • Higher degree or significant industry based experience in geothermal energy
  • Track record of high-quality research as evidenced through publication in high impact international journals
  • Experience in leading successful applications to secure significant research grants related to geothermal energy
  • Evidence of strategic vision in geothermal energy research
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Excellent communication skills and an ability to articulate complex topics effectively
  • A collegiate and collaborative approach in group and personal interactions

Desired Qualifications

  • Previous experience in leading a research group
  • Previous teaching experience in a university environment

How To Apply

Applications and queries can be made, in confidence by contacting Evan Yeckley or Natalie Derry at Witt/Kieffer International, the executive search firm exclusively engaged to assist with the appointment.

Evan Yeckley
T: +44 7408 834 744

Natalie Derry
T: +44 7408 851 596

For more details please visit:

Closing date: Monday 19 August 2019

Interview date: Wednesday 2 October 2019

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered alongside other applications. For further information on this please visit the UK visas and immigrations website

Use our total rewards calculator: to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.

Minimum Salary: GBP: 59,828

Amount of Travel: Moderate Travel

Source: Heriot-Watt University