The Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows

The Institute carries out interdisciplinary research in the University of Cambridge, with a focus on fluid mechanics and surface science. Our research spans subjects ranging from volcano dynamics, carbon sequestration, ocean mixing and ice sheet evolution, through to microscopic encapsulation technology, fundamentals of wetting and corrosion, flow in permeable rocks, and most recently granular flows and fluid mechanics for sustainability and the energy transition. It is characterised by the combination of experimental data, theoretical modelling and numerical analysis to enable quantitative description of many complex and often multiphase flow processes.

Over the past 20 years, research from the Institute has had significant impact in a number of key areas, including the design of low energy ventilation systems for buildings, new insights into carbon sequestration, improved functioning of lubricants, and new encapsulation processes for bio-active washing powders. The Institute was originally set up following an endowment by bp plc to the University of Cambridge in 2000, and in 2022 it was renamed the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows.

Cambridge Masterclass in Energy Supply and Demand

A flagship enterprise of the Institute is the Cambridge Masterclass, which has been running for over 17 years and includes lively debate on the energy transition, including presentations and discussion of the technological challenges associated with various sources of energy and challenges on reducing energy demand.

The building