Press release

DECC appoints new chief scientific advisor

Professor John Loughhead OBE FREng FTSE has been appointed DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Professor John Loughhead OBE FREng FTSE has been appointed DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor, it has been announced today.

Professor Loughhead is currently Executive Director at UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and will bring his extensive experience in energy industrial research to make sure the best science and engineering advice underpins Government energy and climate change policy.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:

“We are very fortunate to have Professor Loughhead join DECC as we deliver the greatest reform of the electricity market in a generation.

“New technology is the driving force that is moving us to a low carbon economy, powering new jobs and green growth. With vast engineering experience across academia and the private sector, Professor Loughhead brings a depth of knowledge that will be invaluable in areas such as shale gas, as well as keeping the UK as an energy world leader and creating momentum towards a global climate change deal.”

Professor Loughhead has been active in energy research for more than 30 years, predominantly in industrial development for the electronics and electrical power industries. Before joining UKERC, John was Corporate Vice-President of Technology and Intellectual Property at Alstom’s head office in Paris.

He has been a member of the EPSRC Council and of the European Advisory Group on Energy, is presently the UK-China Science Focal Point for Energy and Renewables, and a member of the European Energy Research Alliance Executive Committee.

Professor Loughhead said:

“I am both honoured and delighted to be appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor. DECC has a great reputation for accessing the best available science and engineering evidence and analysis. I look forward to helping further improve this, and supporting our Ministers and the rest of DECC in its insightful use to tackle the great challenges of energy and climate change.”

A Chartered Engineer, Professor Loughhead graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London, where he also spent five years in computational fluid dynamics research. He is Past-President of the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology, Fellow of both the UK and Australian national Academies of Engineering, Professor of Engineering at Cardiff University and Fellow of Queen Mary University of London.

Notes for editors

  • Professor John Loughhead OBE, FREng, FTSE replaces previous Chief Scientific Advisor Professor David MacKay FRS, who was appointed in October 2009.
  • Professor Loughhead starts as DECC’s Chief Scientific Advisor on 22 October and will continue part-time as Executive Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) until the end of 2014.
  • The Chief Scientific Advisor’s role is to ensure that the Department’s policies and operations, and its contributions to wider Government issues, are underpinned by the best science and engineering advice available.
Published 2 October 2014