Director - Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Transition
John Underhill is Aberdeen University’s Interdisciplinary Director for Energy Transition and Professor in Geoscience and Energy Transition in their School of Geosciences. He is the academic executive director of the UK's GeoNetZero* Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT). His research interests focus upon the role of geoscience in the energy transition and use of methods and data in providing the best solutions and outcomes to deliver low-carbon net zero goals. Before taking up an academic career that has seen him hold posts at Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and Aberdeen Universities, John worked as an Exploration Geoscientist for Shell and has also undertaken sabbaticals with bp in Glasgow and Norsk Hydro in Bergen. John helped lead Heriot-Watt's efforts to set up the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Science and Technology and was the University's Chief Scientist. He was a board member of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) for three years and their President in 2011-12. John was the Chair of the National Energy Skills Accelerator (NESA), a collaboration between Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University *RGU), North-East Scotland College, Skills development Scotland and Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) in 2022-23. An unusual fact is that he also was a professional football referee who officiated in the top-flight matches in Scotland and Europe between 1994-2008.
*GeoNetZero = The Role of Geoscience in the Energy Transition and in addressing the Challenge to meet net zero emission targets
John populated the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC) between 2019-2022, the leading independent scientific advisory body in Scotland and he continues to be part of the UK’s Subsurface Task Force (STF).
He is a Fellow of the Geological Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE).
Prizes and Awards
John has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Geological Society’s Lyell Medal, their Energy Group’s Silver Medal and President's Award, the AAPG’s Matson, Beydoun and Grover Murray Distinguished Lecturer Awards, EAGE’s Alfred Wegener Award and Distinguished Lecturer Awards and the Edinburgh Geological Society’s Clough Medal.
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The search for "Jenyon's channel": The Missing link between the Permian basins in the North SeaMarine and Petroleum Geology, 106619Contributions to Journals: Articles
Use of exploration methods to repurpose and extend the life of a super basin as a carbon storage hub for the energy transitionAAPG Bulletin, vol. 107, no. 8, pp. 1419-1474Contributions to Journals: Articles
A REGIONAL GEOLOGICAL OVERVIEW OF THE UPPER PERMIAN ZECHSTEIN SUPERGROUP (Z1 TO Z3) IN THE SW MARGIN OF THE SOUTHERN NORTH SEA AND ONSHORE EASTERN ENGLANDJournal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 223-256Contributions to Journals: Articles
THE UPPER PERMIAN ZECHSTEIN SUPERGROUP OF NE ENGLAND AND THE ADJACENT SOUTHERN NORTH SEA: A REVIEW OF ITS ROLE IN THE UK'S ENERGY TRANSITIONJournal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 383-406Contributions to Journals: Articles
Using UAV-Based Photogrammetry Coupled with In Situ Fieldwork and U-Pb Geochronology to Decipher Multi-Phase Deformation Processes: A Case Study from Sarclet, Inner Moray Firth Basin, UKRemote Sensing, vol. 15, no. 3, 695Contributions to Journals: Articles
Introduction to the AAPG thematic set on carbon capture, utilization, and storageAAPG-CCUS Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Conference, pp. 1705-1709Contributions to Journals: Review articles
Geological evaluation of suprasalt carbon storage opportunities in the Silverpit Basin, United Kingdom Southern North SeaAAPG Bulletin, vol. 106, no. 9, pp. 1791-1825Contributions to Journals: Articles
Reply to discussion on ‘Palaeogeographical evolution of the Rattray Volcanic Province, Central North Sea’, by Quirie et al. 2020 (JGS, 177, 718–737)Journal of the Geological Society, vol. 178, no. 3, jgs2021-011Contributions to Journals: Comments and Debates
Palaeogeographical evolution of the Rattray Volcanic Province, Central North SeaJournal of the Geological Society , vol. 177, no. 4, pp. 718-737Contributions to Journals: Articles
UK Rockall prospectivity: re-awakening exploration in a frontier basinPetroleum Geoscience, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 247-271Contributions to Journals: Articles