Oil & gas firm pledges $390k to clean energy program at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland

Oil & gas firm pledges $390k to clean energy program at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland The Lyell Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (source: Lyell Centre)
Alexander Richter 3 Dec 2019

Scottish oil and gas exploration firm Cairn Energy has pledged $390,000 in funding to a new clean energy scholarship programme at Heriot-Watt University, focused on carbon storage and geothermal energy.

As announced by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh/ Scotland, Cairn, one of Europe’s leading independent oil and gas exploration and development companies, has pledged GBP300,000 (around $390,000) to a new energy scholarship programme at the university.

The funds will be available over three years for postgraduate students to study for Applied Geoscience degrees in the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering that focus on clean energy themes like carbon storage or geothermal energy.

The Cairn Energy Prize will also award GBP 500 each year to the student with the best clean energy-focused geoscience project, from any part of the university.

Eric Hathon, exploration director at Cairn, said: “The Cairn Energy scholarships will focus on developing talent and research in clean energy from a subsurface and geoscience perspective, which are key areas of expertise in our business.

“We have collaborated with Heriot-Watt on research projects in the past and the university was a natural partner for our new scholarship scheme, which will complement our ongoing commitment to summer internship and graduate programmes.

“The energy transition needs expertise and detailed knowledge of the subsurface, and we are delighted to support the Applied Geoscience Masters degree programmes at Heriot-Watt.”

Professor John Underhill, chair of exploration geoscience at Heriot-Watt University, said: “The Cairn Energy scholarships will enable world-leading postgraduate research and training to be undertaken in the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering.

“The award underlines the confidence the industry has in Heriot-Watt’s ability to find subsurface solutions that address the low carbon energy transition.”

A committee at Heriot-Watt will approve all programmes of study to ensure they focus on clean energy.

Heriot-Watt is a leader in this field, with research expertise in subsurface geoscience that helps evaluate carbon storage sites and underpins geothermal energy applications.

Students interested in applying for the scholarship should contact Professor John Underhill, Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering (IGE), Heriot-Watt University on

Source: Heriot-Watt University release