Students and staff working in an engineering lab

UK’s largest investment in engineering and physical sciences training will enable Loughborough to build green hydrogen workforce of the future

Loughborough University is set to launch a new research training facility that will help accelerate the affordability, scalability and sustainability of green hydrogen.

EnerHy, the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Engineering Hydrogen Net Zero, will play a central role in developing the skilled workforce needed to enable rapid growth in green hydrogen-related technology.

The centre is 1 of 65 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) CDTs being launched, following a £1 billion funding boost.

The investment, which is the UK’s biggest-ever in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills, was announced yesterday by Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Ministry of Defence are investing £500 million and a further £590 million is being provided by universities and business partners.

Collectively, the centres will train more than 4,000 students and address key challenges such as net zero, AI, defence and security, healthcare and quantum technologies.

Loughborough’s EnerHy CDT has been developed in partnership with Cranfield University and the University of Strathclyde, as well as more than 60 industry and civic partners, including global organisations, regional developers and local councils.

Over 60 academics, with expertise in engineering, science, manufacturing and economics, will work together to train and support the future leaders of the hydrogen industry, whilst also delivering nationally important research and innovation. The University of Strathclyde will lead the wind energy training and research and Cranfield University will lead on elements relating to chemical processes and scale up, alternative fuels and social science.

Professor Dani Strickland, Professor of Electrical Power Engineering within Loughborough University’s School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, and lead academic for the EnerHy CDT, commented:

“To enable rapid growth in hydrogen-related technology for net zero, there are complex global challenges around affordability, supply and waste chain development and scalability, new technologies, and social acceptance. 

“EnerHy CDT builds on the research that is already happening at Loughborough, Cranfield and Strathclyde to address these challenges. Together with our large network of external partners, we will expand the work we are doing much further and faster, whilst also nurturing the next generation of hydrogen innovators, researchers, specialists and industry experts.

“We welcome new researchers from all backgrounds, including STEM, business and social sciences and will be offering fully funded studentships to successful applicants.”

Professor Dan Parsons, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Loughborough University, commented:

“Hydrogen offers the scope to deliver energy security and acceleration to net zero and there has never been a more important time to accelerate our wider ambition in this area. Growing the quality and volume of our doctoral researcher community is a key part of our University’s Research and Innovation Core Plan, underpinning a significant expansion in our research endeavours.

“Loughborough University is already working with global, national and local partners in research, industry and policy to accelerate the production of hydrogen, as well as creating space for businesses to expand their own research and innovation in this area and supporting new skills and knowledge exchange at all levels.

“Through our ambitions for The Hydrogen Works, we are driving innovation and productivity to create a hydrogen superpower in the East Midlands, and the EnerHy CDT is set to enhance and accelerate this intention further.”

The University is also a partner institution in two other CDTs that will be launched as part of the same investment: the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy Sustainability and Resilience, led by the University of Hull, and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Transformation of Metals Industry, led by the University of Leicester.

Professor Charlotte Deane, Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, said:

“The Centres for Doctoral Training announced today will help to prepare the next generation of researchers, specialists and industry experts across a wide range of sectors and industries.

“Spanning locations across the UK and a wide range of disciplines, the new centres are a vivid illustration of the UK’s depth of expertise and potential, which will help us to tackle large-scale, complex challenges and benefit society and the economy.

"The high calibre of both the new centres and applicants is a testament to the abundance of research excellence across the UK, and EPSRC’s role as part of UKRI is to invest in this excellence to advance knowledge and deliver a sustainable, resilient and prosperous nation.”


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 24/35

About Loughborough University 

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running. 

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2024, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. 

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes. 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.