Contact Professor John Oakey

Areas of expertise

  • Biomass and Waste
  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Conventional & Advanced Fuels
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Power Systems & Turbines


Professor Oakey has over 30 years experience in energy industries and has been progressing his career at Cranfield University since 1998. Prior to this, he was a senior Branch Manager in British Coal's Coal Technology Development Division (CTDD), leading a range of clean coal technology research programmes. With this research background in energy technologies, in particular materials and process troubleshooting, he has been at the forefront of many of the UK's clean coal projects in recent years. These include the BC/CEGB Joint Programme on PFBC, the Grimethorpe Topping Cycle Project and the Air Blown Gasification Cycle Programme in the 1990s. More recently, he chaired the EU COST Action 538 Management Committee on 'High Temperature Plant Life Extension' and leads the UK side of a major collaboration programme with the US on 'Advanced Materials for Low Emission Power Plants', as well as assisting DECC in the development of further collaborations with the US. Since 1998, he has also been involved in technology transfer projects with China on gas cleaning, underground coal gasification and biomass co-firing.

Current activities

John Oakey is Professor of Energy Technology and Head of the Institute for Energy and Resource Technology. John is engaged in a wide range of research activities in the UK, Europe and on the international scene. He is a recognised authority on materials and process problems in energy processes using fossil and related fuels and is active in research on the clean use of fossil fuels.

His recent research interests include:

Energy from biomass (member of the Bioenergy Supergen Consortium) (EPSRC 2004-2007 & 2007-2011)

Plant Life Extension (Supergen consortium) (EPSRC 2005-2008 & 2008-2012) and FlexEplant (Supergen)(2013-2017)

CO2 Capture and Transport - member of the UK CCS Research Centre and Materials Research Area Champion (2012-2017)

Advanced Materials for Low Emission Power Plants - a major UK-US Collaboration on under a UKDECC-USDOE MOU (2003-)

Low Emission Gas Turbine Technology for Hydrogen-rich Syngas (EC FP7 - 2009-2014); leads sub-project on materials issues

Materials for Next Generation CO2 Transport Systems (EPSRC - 2009-2013)

Oxyfuel Combustion - Academic Programme for the UK (EPSRC - 2009)

Joint UK-China Hydrogen Production Network (EPSRC - 2009-2013)

John represents the University Sector on the UK's Advanced Power Generation Technology Forum, is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, the Materials UK Energy Group and the Institute of Materials Energy Working Group. In Europe, he is on the board of the Energy Materials Industrial Research Initiative, leads the Energy Working Group of the EuMat Technology Platform and is a member of the Zero Emissions Technology Platform. He is also on the board of the collaborative 'Pilot Advanced Capture Technology (PACT)' facilities consortium established with support from DECC and EPSRC and is on the Project Board of the European Turbine Network..


Research collaborations and partnerships/consultancy with the following:

Alstom Power

Siemens Power Generation

Rolls Royce

Doosan Babcock

European Commission

Energy Technology Institute (ETI)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)



Technology Strategy Board (TSB)


EDF Energy

GDF Suez

National Grid


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers