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)
  • RWEnpower
  • EON
  • Technology Strategy Board (TSB)
  • Caterpillar
  • EDF Energy
  • GDF Suez
  • National Grid


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Simms N, Ekpe B, Riccio C, Mori S, Sumner J & Oakey J (2019) Approaches to modelling fireside corrosion of superheater / reheater tubes in coal and biomass fired combustion power plants. In: EPRI’s 9th International Conference on Advances in Materials Technology for Fossil Power Plants and the 2nd International 123HiMAT Conference on High Temperature Materials, Nagasaki, 21-24 October 2019.
  • Simms N, Mori S, Kilgallon P, Sumner J, Pidcock A & Oakey J (2018) Fireside corrosion on superheater / reheater tubes for advanced ultra supercritical power systems. In: International Symposium on High-temperature oxidation and Corrosion, 2018, Matsue, Shimane, 21-26 October 2018.
  • Jurado N, Gohari Darabkhani H, Anthony EJ & Oakey JE (2014) Experimental and simulation studies of oxy-fuel combustion for carbon capture and sequestration from a coal/biomass power plant. In: 13th International Conference on Clean Energy, 2014 (ICCE 2014), Istanbul, 8-12 June 2014.
  • Jurado N, Gohari Darabkhani H, Anthony EJ & Oakey J (2013) Kinetic simulation of a 100kWth oxy-combustor using Aspen Plus. In: 12th annual conference on carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS 2013), Pittsburgh, PA, 13-16 May 2013.
  • Jurado N, Gohari Darabkhani H & Oakey J (2013) Simulation of oxy-combustion co-firing coal and biomass with ASU and steam turbine using Aspen Plus. In: 6th international conference on clean coal technologies (CCT2013), Thessaloniki, 12 May 2013.
  • Jurado N, Gohari Darabkhani H, Anthony EJ & and Oakey J (2013) Co-firing performance of a retrofitted oxy-combustor burning coal/biomass blends: experimental and simulation study. In: 3rd Oxyfuel combustion conference (OCC3), Ponferrada, 9 September 2013.
  • Jurado N, Gohari Darabkhani H & Oakey J (2012) Oxy-combustion of coal/biomass mixtures in a 100kWth combustor. In: 11th annual conference on carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS 2012), Pittsburgh, PA, 30 April 2012.
  • Gohari Darabkhani H, Oakey JE & Zhang Y (2012) Improving stability limits of natural gas buoyant diffusion flames with co-flow of air. In: ASME 2011 5th International Conference on Energy Sustainability (ES2011), Washington, DC, 7-10 August 2011.
  • Syed AU, Hussain T, Oakey JE & Simms NJ (2011) Fireside corrosion of superheater materials in oxy-fired power plants. In: European Corrosion Congress 2011 (EUROCORR 2011), Stockholm, 4-8 September 2011.
  • Hussain T, Syed A, Oakey J & Simms N (2011) Microscopy of fireside corrosion on superheater materials for advanced power plants. In: Microscopy of Oxidation 8, Liverpool, 11-13 April 2011.
  • Oakey JE, Kilgallon PJ & Simms NJ (2006) Effects of Biomass and Coal Co-combustion on Degradation of Heat Exchanger Materials. In: International Conference on Advances in Condition and Remaining Life Assessment For Fossil Power Plants, Louisville, USA, 16 October 2006.
  • Simms NJ, Kilgallon PJ & Oakey JE (2006) Heat Exchanger Corrosion in Biomass and Coal Co-fired Power Plants. In: Materials for Advanced Power Engineering 2006, Liege, Belgium, 18 September 2006.
  • Cartmell E, Judd SJ, Kilgallon PJ & Oakey JE (2005) Sewage sludge disposal: A logistical analysis. In: Recycling and reuse of sewage sludge, Dundee, UK, 16 February 2005.
  • Abanades J, Oakey JE, Alvarez D & Hamalainen J (2005) Novel Combustion cycles incorporating capture of CO2 with CaO. In: 6th International Greenhouse Gas conference 2002, Kyoto, Japan, 15 February 2005.
  • Simms NJ, Encinas-Oropesa A, Kilgallon PJ & Oakey JE (2005) Performance of gas turbine materials in 'dirty fuel' environments. In: Materials for Advanced Power Engineering 2002, Liege, Belgium, 1 October 2005.
  • Pollard S, Cartmell E, Riddell-Black D, Gostelow P, Oakey JE, Jeffrey P, Morris J & Howsam P (2004) Sewage sludge - waste or fuel? An integrated appraisal of five co-combustion scenarios. In: Waste 2004, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, 28 September 2004.
  • Kilgallon PJ, Simms NJ & Oakey JE (2004) Fate of Trace Contaminants from Biomass Fuels in Gasification Systems. In: Materials for Advanced Power Engineering 2002, Liege, Belgium, 1 October 2004.
  • Henderson MB, Allen D, Oakey JE, Bailey D & Otter N (2003) European perspective on life cycle and materials technology issues for future energy systems. In: 3rd International Workshop on Life Cycle Issues in Advanced Energy Systems, 9 June 2002.
  • Simms NJ, Bale D, Baxter D & Oakey JE (2002) Environmental Degradation of Gas Turbine Coatings: Towards Standardised Testing and Databases. In: Materials for Advance Power Engineering, Liege, Belgium, 1 October 2002.
  • Kilgallon PJ, Simms NJ, Norton J & Oakey JE (2002) Materials for Gasifier Heat Exchangers. In: Materials for Advanced Power Engineering 2002, Liege, Belgium, 1 October 2002.
  • Saunders S, Simms NJ, Osgerby S & Oakey JE (2002) Degradation of Boiler and Heat Exchanger Materials: Data Generation, Databases and Predictive Modelling. In: Materials for Advanced Power Engineering 2002, Liege, Belgium, 1 October 2002.
  • Simms NJ, Kilgallon PJ, Nicholls JR & Oakey JE (2001) Gas turbines for solid fuel fired combined cycle power plants. In: John Stringer Symposium on High Temperature Corrosion : proceedings from Materials Solutions Conference 2001, Indianapolis, IN, 5 November 2001.
  • Simms NJ, Kilgallon PJ & Oakey JE (2001) Component durability in co-fired gas turbines. In: VTT symposium: BALTICA international conference on condition and life management for power plants, Porvoo, Finland, 1 June 2001.
  • Simms NJ, Norton JF, Encinas-Oropesa A, Oakey JE, Wilshaw D & McColvin G (2001) Degradation of Fe- and Ni-based Cr, Al-containing foils in a combustion gas atmosphere. In: John Stringer Symposium on High Temperature Corrosion: proceedings from Materials Solutions Conference, 2001, Indianapolis, IN, 5-8 November 2001.
  • Oakey JE & Simms NJ (1996) Measurement of erosion/corrosion damage to gas turbine components. In: International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition 1996, Birmingham, 10 June 1996.
  • Al Baroudi H, Mori S, Patchigolla K & Oakey J Qualification of elastomer materials for CO2 pipeline systems. In: 15th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference 2020 (GHGT-15), Online, 15-18 March 2021.