Professor Walker joined the University of Nottingham in 1997, where he has established a leading research group in hydrogen storage which has expanded into hydrogen systems. In recognition of his research, he was awarded a Low Carbon Leadership award from Carbon Trust and EPSRC in 2007 and in 2010 was appointed as the Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Chair in Sustainable Energy. In addition to over 100 publications, he is also Editor of the text “Solid State Hydrogen Storage Materials”. In 2014 Gavin Walker became Director of the University of Nottingham’s Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI), which has a £70 million portfolio of research including efficient fossil, energy storage renewables, smart grids and efficient energy buildings.
Gavin Walker’s research in energy started with investigating materials for solid state storage of hydrogen. From this work several collaborations have been developed extending this fundamental research to investigate the design of hydrogen stores and the development of renewable energy systems and the importance of energy storage, but also the utilisation of waste heat to increase system efficiency. Some examples include designing and testing a 60 kWhe hydrogen energy systems for community microgrid, a prototype hydrogen energy system for seasonal storage for a village in India (a full scale system will need in the order of 3 MWhe storage capacity), and investigating the design of a prototype thermal energy store based on metal hydrides in collaboration with E.ON. The prototype store will have a capacity of 10kWhTh, with the full scale system being for deployment for a 50 MW concentrated solar power plant. The demonstration of the latest hydrogen technologies is also important for a research institute like the University of Nottingham, and as Champion for a £9 million new Energy Technologies Building, Nottingham has the first sustainable hydrogen fuelling station in the UK, generating hydrogen from the sun. The facility is being used within the TSB Island Hydrogen project (led by ITM Power) developing hydrogen fuelling systems for the UK.