Hydrogen is set to play an ever greater role in society, from decarbonising industry, domestic boilers and even vehicles.

The Hydrogen Research Network at Cranfield University is a collective of academic, technical and research experts covering the whole supply chain of hydrogen: production, storage, transportation, utilisation, and policy.

Below you will find further information about our leading expertise in these areas and our track record in hydrogen.

Production and storage

Dr Peter Clough - Lecturer in Energy Engineering

Dr Clough’s main research focus is based on hydrogen production via thermochemical pathways with combined carbon capture and storage. His research group leads catalytic material and CO2 sorbent development and testing, with the application of machine learning techniques to aid their research.

Dr Xu Tang - Lecturer in Carbon Storage & GeoEnergy Engineering

Dr Tang’s main research focuses are geological carbon storage and geoenergy, including subsurface hydrogen storage. His research group combines pilot field testing, novel laboratory experiments, and advance modelling approaches to address real-life problems related to subsurface engineering processes.

Dr Luca Alibardi - Academic Fellow in Separation Processes

Dr Alibardi has expertise in the biological production of hydrogen by dark fermentation from organic waste, sludge and residues. His current activities focus on exploring the possibility to intensify bioprocesses by the integration with cloth filtration. He is also interested in identifying the role of biological hydrogen production and fermentation in a waste biorefinery chain to maximise value recovery from organic residues.

Dr Ali Nabavi - Lecturer in Energy Systems

Dr Nabavi’s main research is based on reducing the carbon footprint of energy systems using carbon capture, fuel cells and process intensification. His expertise covers the development of functional CO2 sorbents, solid oxide-based energy systems and computational modelling of thermochemical processes. He is also involved in a BEIS-funded project, Combined Energy Recovery and CO2 Removal (£357k over three years), and has previously led an Innovate UK grant (£511k, two years) with Origen Power entitled 'Balanced Energy Network'.


Dr Xin Zhang - Senior Lecturer in Energy Systems (Future Grid)

Dr Zhang’s research experience covers power system planning and operation, renewable energy integration to the grid, and power grid interaction with multi-energy systems such as transport (electric aircraft and electric vehicles). He leads on a Department for Transport funded project - Aircraft to Grid (A2G): Hybrid and Smart Charging for Electric Aircraft (£30k over a six-month period, ending June 2020).


Dr Bobby Sethi - Senior Lecturer in Gas Turbine Combustion and Environmental Impact

Dr Yigeng Xu - Senior Lecturer in Structures

Dr Xu’s main research focus is based on structural integrity prediction under operational conditions, which includes the study of hydrogen-assisted cracking and hydrogen-induced cracking on the safety of machinery for the production, transport and storage of hydrogen. His research group works on the modelling and testing to understand the variety and complexity of mechanisms that can lead to hydrogen embrittlement, with the aim of developing engineering tools for reliable life prediction for the industry.

Dr Craig Lawson - Senior Lecturer in Airframe Systems

Dr Lawson is interested in aircraft fuel systems and electrical power systems for H2 aircraft; systems integration with other aircraft systems and structure for H2 aircraft; and aircraft performance and operational issues.

Professor Howard Smith - Professor of Aircraft Design

Professor Smith is interested in the conceptual design of H2 fuelled aircraft, the impact of H2 fuel on aircraft design and solutions to packaging issues, operational issues and performance.

Dr Zeeshan Rana - Lecturer in Computational Engineering

Dr Rana is interested in exploring the dynamics of H2 gas and its flow through a system at high speeds, analysing flow parameters, such as pressure for the purpose of prediction. Furthermore, he is interested in using machine vision based technologies for the investigation of leakage of H2 from tanks and computer/machine vision based automated online inspection.

Dr Yiguang Li - Reader in Gas Turbine Technology

Dr Li’s relevant research interests to H2 applications are gas turbine performance simulation and analysis of using alternative fuels such as hydrogen.