Dr Edward Barbour

MPhys PhD

  • Senior Lecturer in Energy Systems

Research groups and centres


Edward’s interest’s lie in the multidisciplinary field of Energy.

He did his PhD from 2009-2013 at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Energy Systems under the guidance of Prof Ian Bryden. His PhD project focussed on the development of Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage (ACAES) and the economics of energy storage within the UK market framework. 

He then worked as a postdoc for from 2014-2015 at the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES) under the guidance of Dr Jonathan Radcliffe and Prof Yulong Ding, continuing to work on the economic case for energy storage. 

In 2015-2018, he moved to Boston to work as a postdoc in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT department under the guidance of Prof Marta Gonzalez, working in energy data analytics and distributed energy technologies. 

As of 2019, he is a Lecturer in the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University, working as part of the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST).


2009—2013  University of Edinburgh
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering, Supervisor: Prof. Ian Bryden

2004 – 2008 University of Oxford, Hertford College
Master of Physics 

Key Awards

Best Research Paper - 2017 Pecan Street’s Student Research Competition, Austin, Texas

Thermomechanical energy storage systems

Thermo-mechanical energy storage technologies, including Adiabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage (ACAES) and Pumped Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) have enormous potential for reducing the costs of large-scale energy storage. Additionally, they offer many synergies, for example, they can be integrated with waste heat sources or designed as dual output systems to meet both electrical and thermal energy demands. Edward’s research in this area is both experimental and simulation, ranging from a rigorous thermodynamic analysis of systems and cycles to designing, building and testing laboratory-scale prototypes.

Energy data analytics

Big data is one of the hottest topics in energy research. Edward’s interests lie in using energy data and other data sources to carry out impact assessments for new and emerging technologies. These can ultimately be used for identifying new pathways for energy efficiency and optimal designs for future sustainable energy systems. His research in this area involves applying concepts from a range of disciplines, including operations research, applied computation and machine learning, as well as engaging with the energy policy-making process.

Grants and contracts

  • (Co-Investigator) Awarded $100k from the MIT-Philips Lighting grand Challenge call for Smarter lighting for urban environments informed by mobile phone activity.
  • Awarded £1.2k for a travel grant by the UK Energy Storage Research Network to present at the inaugural Offshore Energy Storage conference in Windsor, Canada, July 2014.

Selected publications

  • Barbour, E., Davila, C. C., Gupta, S., Reinhart, C., Kaur, J., & González, M. C. (2019). Planning for sustainable cities by estimating building occupancy with mobile phones. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-10.
  • Pena-Bello, A., Barbour, E., Gonzalez, M. C., Patel, M. K., & Parra, D. (2019). Optimized PV-coupled battery systems for combining applications: Impact of battery technology and geography. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews112, 978-990.
  • Barbour, E., Parra, D., Awwad, Z., & González, M. C. (2018). Community energy storage: A smart choice for the smart grid?. Applied energy212, 489-497.
  • Barbour, E., Wilson, I. G., Radcliffe, J., Ding, Y., & Li, Y. (2016). A review of pumped hydro energy storage development in significant international electricity markets. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 61, 421-432.
  • Barbour, E., Mignard, D., Ding, Y., & Li, Y. (2015). Adiabatic compressed air energy storage with packed bed thermal energy storage. Applied Energy, 155, 804-815.

External collaborators

  • University of Birmingham
  • Massachusetts Institute of technology
  • UC Berkeley
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory