Contact Professor Chris Sansom

Areas of expertise

  • Renewable Energy


Professor Christopher Sansom gained his BSc from Liverpool University, and his PhD from Sussex University for research into the optical properties of infrared detectors. During a research career in industry and academia that has spanned over twenty-five years he has also gained two postgraduate diplomas, one in "Manufacturing Management and Technology" and a second in "Higher Education Teaching and Learning", and is a Black-Belt Six Sigma practitioner. He is currently Professor of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and Head of the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems (CRES) at Cranfield.

Research opportunities

We are always interested in research proposals on topics related to renewable energy technologies and applications. In particular we welcome proposals related to concentrating solar power and its applications for power generation, heating, cooling, industrial process heat, and thermal desalination. Thermal energy storage, including PCM and thermochemical materials, is also a core area for our research.

Current activities

Dr Sansom's current research activities are in CSP (Concentrating Solar Power), solar thermal materials and applications, thermal energy storage, and thermal energy harvesting. Spearheading UK research on CSP, his current projects include concentrating solar power for electrical power generation, solar collector characterisation and ageing evaluation, polymer films for solar power plant heliostats and line-focus solar collectors, linear Fresnel community scale CSP, heliostat design and manufacture, solar thermal heating and cooling, solar driven desalination and water purification, thermal storage, and nanostructured thermo-electric devices for energy harvesting. Current collaborations include work with Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, and Pakistan. He currently supervises three PhD students, eight taught MSc student projects, an MSc by Research student, all on CSP or solar thermal related research topics. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA); a Member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), and the sole UK representative on the EERA (European Energy Research Alliance) Joint Programme on CSP (Concentrating Solar Power). Dr Sansom also lectures on Solar Radiation - Fundamentals and Models, Solar Power: Thermal Collector Types, Applications of Solar Thermal, Solar Energy - CSP/PV Materials and Applications, Energy Harvesting, and Statistical Techniques in an industrial environment.

Current projects include:

H2020: LCE-11-2017 Grant no. 792103 'SOLWARIS' - 'Solving Water issues for CSP plants'

IUK: Energy Catalyst 7: 'A CSP and TFG hybrid energy system'

IUK: SIF1 No. 78689 'Low carbon heating and cooling with PCM storage and gender-based temperature-based regulation for public and commercial buildings'.

IUK: SIF1 No. 79783 'HH-Gen: High performance green hydrogen generation from solar energy' - short focus parabolic cline optics CSP

H2020: LC-SC3-RES-20 Grant no. 101022686 'DESOLINATION' - Demonstration of concentrated solar power coupled with advanced an desalination system in the Gulf region

Past projects include:

FP7-ENERGY-2010-2, Project Number 268219, MATS - "Multipurpose applications by Thermodynamic Solar".

FP7-ENERGY-2012-1, Project Number 308792, FRESH NRG - "Fresnel for Solar Heat with New Receiver and Geometry"

FP7-ENERGY-2013-IRP, Proposal Number 609837, STAGE STE - "Scientific and Technical Alliance for Guaranteeing the European Excellence in Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy"

EU project 654479 - WASCOP 'Water Saving in CSP plants'

British Council funded project 'Off-grid integrated water and energy systems for water treatment potable and non-potable) in Israel, Palestine and Jordan'.

EU Project 731287 INSHIP 'Integrating National Research Agendas on Solar Heat for Industrial Processes

'EPSRC Grant Ref: EP/P03103X/1; 'Solar Oil'

EPSRC Grant Ref: EP/P031072/1 'Solar Steam: A novel application of Fresnel lenses as a solar thermal collector to benefit industry'.


  • Solar Water PLC
  • EGB Engineering Ltd
  • EnSo Impact
  • FOXX Am Pty Ltd
  • Rothon Research Ltd
  • Recoup Energy Solutions Ltd
  • TFG Global Power Ltd
  • Eider Investors LLP


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers