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New co-director appointed to Sussex Energy Group
By: Neil Vowles
Last updated: Tuesday, 4 January 2022
Dr Matthew Lockwood has been announced as the new co-director of the Sussex Energy Group (SEG) replacing Professor Benjamin Sovacool who steps down after five years in the post.
Dr Lockwood, a political economy of climate and energy policy expert and former adviser to the UK government and Greater London Authority, will join Dr Mari Martiskainen and Dr Marie Claire Brisbois as SEG co-directors with effect from 1 January 2022.
Highly Cited Researcher Prof Sovacool will retain his Professorship of Energy Policy within the University of Sussex Business School and research projects including his co-directorship of the £20 million Industrialisation Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) established earlier this year.
Established in 1971, The Sussex Energy Group aims to understand and foster transitions towards sustainable, low carbon energy systems and sits within the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) - one of the world's leading science and technology think tanks.
Drawing on the SPRU traditions, the group undertakes academically rigorous, interdisciplinary and world-leading research that is relevant to contemporary policy challenges and also educates the next generation of energy policy professionals through MSc and PhD programmes.
Dr Lockwood, Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “I am honoured to be joining the team running the Sussex Energy Group, which has thrived under Benjamin Sovacool’s excellent leadership. There is an urgent agenda for this vibrant community of researchers, with its huge combined expertise. We face multiple challenges in the UK and globally, from managing spikes in energy prices to phasing out coal use, from ensuring justice in transitions to decarbonising heat and industry. I look forward to working with the group on all of these and more.”
Prof Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “It has been an immense privilege directing the Sussex Energy Group for more than half a decade. I can’t think of a stronger group around the world that does excellent, interdisciplinary, rigorous social science on energy and climate issues. Nevertheless, I can’t think of anyone better than Dr Matthew Lockwood to take my place. His knowledge of UK and European energy policy is exceptional, and I am confident he has the skills to allow SEG to further prosper and grow.”
Dr Martiskainen, Senior Research Fellow in the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “I would like to thank Professor Sovacool for his leadership, inspiration and enthusiasm in leading SEG for the past five years, and wish him well in stepping down as director and focusing on new avenues. As we are witnessing a worsening energy and cost of living crisis in the UK, Dr Lockwood brings extensive and invaluable policy expertise that will help guide our future direction particularly in terms of research impact.”
Dr Brisbois, Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex Business School, said: “As Director of the Sussex Energy Group, Professor Sovacool has encouraged, and often led, the development of a broad research agenda into the pressing energy issues of our time. He has helped to foster the development of a new generation of scholars, many of whom have found a permanent home within the SEG. His focus and commitment will be missed, but I look forward to his continued participation as a regular member of the energy group. At the same time, I would like to welcome Dr Lockwood to the Co-Director team. His experience and expertise in academia and policy paves the way for a new wave of SEG contributions to ongoing energy challenges.”