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Professor AbuBakr Bahaj BSc PhD CPhys MInstP FICE FIET FRSA MInstP.


Professor AbuBakr Bahaj's photo

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj (FICE, FIET, FRSA, MInstP, CPhys) is a Professor of Sustainable Energy at the University of Southampton.




Areas of interest - details
Areas of interest - details

Professor AbuBakr Bahaj leads the 55-strong Energy and Climate Change Division and the Sustainable Energy Research Group at the University of Southampton, where he completed his PhD, progressing from a researcher to a Personal Chair in Sustainable Energy.  For more than 25 years, Professor Bahaj has pioneered sustainable energy research and established the energy theme within the University. His major research programmes can be found at These include Cities, Energy and Infrastructure, Data and Modelling, Energy and Behaviour, Energy and Buildings, Energy for Development,  Environmental Impacts, Microgeneration Technologies and Renewable Energy (Solar Photovoltaics, Offshore Wind and Marine Energy).

Professor Bahaj’s work has resulted in over 300 articles, published in academic refereed journals and conference series of international standing. He founded the International Journal of Marine Energy (IJOME) for which he is the Editor-in-Chief. Prof Bahaj also holds visiting professorships at the Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XUAT), Xi’an, China, (2017 - ), the Ångström Laboratory and Engineering University of Uppsala, Sweden (2011-15) and the King Salaman ben Abdulaziz Visiting Chair for Energy Research, at King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2014 - ). He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), Institution of Engineering Technologies (FIET) and the Royal Academy of Arts (FRSA).



Marine Energy
Marine Energy


In 2012, Prof Bahaj was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to Southampton City Council—believed to be the first such appointment in the UK and in 2014; he was named by the UK’s Science Council as one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists.

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 (Energy Masters website).

1. 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.

2. 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).

3. Low carbon cities and infrastructure: Research and studies that address:

A. 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, data and modelling, energy efficiency measures and application of combine heat and power (CHP) technologies in communities.
B. 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).
C. 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.

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, Liveable Cities and the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF).

4. 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 (


Research group

Energy and Climate Change

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Professor AbuBakr Bahaj
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 178/4007/B1

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