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Engineering and the Environment
(023) 8059 2051

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj BSc PhD CPhys MInstP FICE FRSA


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Professor AbuBakr Bahaj is Professor within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

Professor AbuBakr S Bahaj is head of the Energy & Climate Change Division (ECCD) at the University of Southampton where he completed his PhD and progressed from a researcher to a Personal Chair of Sustainable Energy.

Areas of interest - details
Areas of interest - details

For more than 25 years, Prof Bahaj has pioneered sustainable energy research within the University directing one of the UK's leading university-based research groups, the Sustainable Energy Research Group, (SERG).  The aims of ECCD and SERG are to promote and conduct fundamental and applied research and pre-industrial development in the areas of energy technologies, improvements in energy efficiency and assess the impact of climate change on buildings. Under the leadership of Prof Bahaj, SERG involvement in ground breaking research projects in the UK, as well as in China, the Middle East and Africa has been pivotal.

Marine Energy
Marine Energy

As an experienced research team director, Prof Bahaj has initiated and managed research in ocean energy conversion (resources, technologies and impacts), photovoltaics, energy in buildings and impacts of climate change on the built environment, resulting in over 270 published academic articles in journals and conferences of international standing. From 2001 to 2007, Prof Bahaj was a member of the UK’s Department of Business and Regulatory Reform (BERR) Technology Programmes Panels on Water (including ocean energy) and Solar Energy. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Marine Energy and was the EPSRC appointee on the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Supervisory Board (2005-2010). He is also a member of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Advisory Board.

Energy for development
Energy for development

Prof Bahaj is a major contributor to the energy debate at local, national and EU levels as well as through the organisation of and participation at major international conferences and meetings. He has been invited to deliver keynote addresses in conferences throughout Europe, America and the Far East. In 2007, he was invited to give the RSA President's Lecture, chaired by HRH Prince Phillip. He was Conference Chair of EWTEC 2011 in Southampton, and is a member of the British Standards Institute (BSI) Committee GEL/82 on PV Energy Systems.

To address a lack of education and training in the areas of energy and climate change, he developed two revolutionary MSc programmes -MSc Energy Resources & Climate Change and MSc Energy Environment & Buildings, covering energy generation and distribution, energy resources and climate change and energy in the built environment ( In 2013, Prof Bahaj was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to Southampton City Council - believed to be the first such appointment in the UK and in the UK and in 2014, the UK’s Science Council named him as one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists.





  • Marine energy: Research in wave and tidal energy encompass development of new knowledge which contributes to our understanding of the waves and flows in the sea (resource assessment and kinetic energy potential), the conversion of the resource by appropriate technologies such horizontal axis turbines and fundamental understanding of specific wave energy devices.
Marine Energy
Marine Energy
  • Solar photovoltaics: (PV): Research covers fundamental understanding of solar cells, system designs, building integrated PV, solar refrigeration, PV minigrid approaches to power supply in rural communities in Africa and elsewhere (see item 4, below).
  • Low carbon cities and infrastructure: Research and studies that address:
    • Link building refurbishments and occupier comfort to achieve reduced demand (Urban energy studies). Use of urban energy generation technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV), microwind turbines, micro combined heat and power (µCHP) and ground source heat pumps to address electricity and heat generation in cities and elsewhere. Large scale refurbishment of buildings, energy efficiency measures and application of combine heat and power (CHP) technologies in communities.
    • This work builds on an EPSRC grant awarded through on Sustainable Urban Environments programme to develop tools for industry that created appropriate weather data sets as input to building simulation software. These tools are now the industry standard for generating such tools (Building performance under changing climate).
    • In infrastructure a key challenge involves taking into account the ways in which infrastructure systems in one sector increasingly rely on other infrastructure systems in other sectors in order to operate. These interdependencies mean failures in one system can cause follow-on failures in other systems. The work has a bias to toward energy and city infrastructure and their resilience.
Solar Photovoltaics
Solar Photovoltaics

This work is supported through programmes addressing the fast development within China (and the concomitant increase in carbon emissions) under Eco networks, the carbon emission reduction work being undertaken within UK cities funded by EPSRC and City Councils, Cities and the International Centre for Infrastructures (ICIF).

Low carbon cities
Low carbon cities
  • Energy for Development: Current works in Africa promoting and implementing electrification projects for impoverished rural villages without power sources, establishing and addressing villagers’ needs, investigating impacts on rural poverty and improving the health and wellbeing of the community. This works is providing power to businesses and to around 3000 villagers in Kenya and influencing the works of global institutions with mandates in this area. Other countries being considered are Uganda, Mozambique and Zambia (
Energy for Development in Kenya
Energy for Development in Kenya

Current Research Projects

(Cities) Transforming the Engineering of Cities to Deliver Societal and Planetary Wellbeing

(e4D) Replication of Rural Decentralised off-grid Electricity Generation through Technology and Business Innovation

(SAVE) Solent Achieving Value for Efficiency

(Marine) Reducing the Costs of Marine Renewables via Advanced Structural Materials

(ICIF) International Centre for Infrastructure Futures

Research group(s)

Energy and Climate Change


Book Section(s)



Code Title Role
Professor AbuBakr Bahaj
Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 7/5010/5011

Telephone: (023) 8059 2051
Facsimile: (023) 8067 7519

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