Contact Professor Nigel Simms

Areas of expertise

  • Biomass and Waste
  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Conventional & Advanced Fuels
  • Fuels
  • Gas Turbines & Propulsion
  • Power Systems & Turbines
  • Structures and Materials
  • Surface Engineering


Professor Simms has wide-ranging experience of the performance of components and materials in advanced power generation systems, as well as in the design and development of large laboratory scale test rigs and pilot plants for investigating materials performance in realistic industrial conditions.

He has a PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy from the University of Cambridge, which followed a MA and BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (physical sciences) also from the University of Cambridge.

Professor Simms joined Cranfield in 1998 as a Senior Research Fellow, progressing to principal research fellow, reader and then professor in 2017. He became head of the Centre for Thermal Energy Systems and Materials within the Energy and Power theme in 2018.

He previously worked for British Coal on developing advanced coal-fired power generation systems and component/process failure analysis.

He has expertise in high temperature corrosion and the life prediction of materials for gas turbines, heat exchangers and gas cleaning components in power generation systems.

Current activities

Professor Simms is Professor of Energy Materials and Head of the Centre for Thermal Energy Systems and Materials (CTEM) within the Energy and Power Theme of the School of Water, Energy and Environment.

Current projects are funded by US Department of Energy, Innovate UK, EU Horizon 2020, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and various industrial companies. Professor Simms' research is investigating the use of laboratory scale test rigs and pilot plants to evaluate the suitability of materials for components within utility scale power plants. This work builds on previous research which led to the development of international standards for high temperature oxidation and corrosion testing, as well as methods for quantifying corrosion damage.

Combining expertise in corrosion science, fuel chemistry, combustion and deposition processes, Professor Simms is investigating the development of predictive models for high temperature corrosion related processes (particularly for components within gas turbines and heat exchangers). This work is funded by the EPSRC (iCASE programme), US Department of Energy and EU Horizon 2020 programme, as well as industrial companies.

Networking activities have included: EU COST programmes on power plant materials and a UK-US collaborative programme on 'Advanced Materials for Low Emission Power Plants'. He has published over 150 research papers on coal/biomass/waste technologies, materials/coatings performance and the development of corrosion life prediction models.


  • Babcock International Group PLC
  • Électricité de France SA
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Innovate UK
  • Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC
  • Siemens Energy AG
  • US Department of Energy


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers