Professor John Underhill
Director - Centre for Energy Transition
University Office, Kings College,
University of Aberdeen,
John Underhill is the Director of the Centre for Energy Transition, Aberdeen University, a role he took up on 1st March.
A geoscientist by training, his main research interests are in the use of geophysical methods and geological techniques to characterise and critically evaluate the potential to use subsurface sites in an effort to decarbonise and meet our Net Zero emission targets in the energy transition.
He is the Academic Executive Director of the UK Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) entitled GeoNetZero (GNZ). Supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the latter is an £5M industry-academic collaboration between 12 Universities and 8 industry partners that funds 48 PhD projects that are exploring the role of Geoscience for the Low Carbon Energy Transition and Challenge to meet Net Zero emission targets.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Geological Society’s Lyell Medal, the Clough Medal of the Edinburgh Geological Society, the Silver Medal of the Geological Society’s Energy Group, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) Alfred Wegener and Distinguished Lecturer Awards and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) George C. Matson, Grover E. Murray Distinguished Educator, and Ziad Beydoun awards.
He was President of the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE) in 2011-12. John has previously worked in industry with Shell and subsequently held professorial posts at The University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University, where he was their Chief Scientist.
John was a member of the UK Energy Minister's Technology Leadership Board (TLB) and currently populates the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA)’s Exploration Task Force (XTF) and the Scottish Government’s Science Advisory Council (SSAC).
As an interesting aside, John was a professional football referee on the FIFA circuit, which saw him officiate on European Champions League, internationals and Scottish Premier League games including those at Pittodrie, between 1994-2008.