Zoe ShiptonProfessor Zoe Shipton, a former member of the SCCS directorate, has been awarded an OBE for her services to geoscience and climate change mitigation.

Prof Shipton’s research is concerned with the structural and permeability architecture of faults, helping drive understanding of 3D fault structures – a key to answering many questions concerning the evolution of faulty zone structures and the mitigation of fluids through the Earth’s crust. In terms of carbon capture and storage (CCS), her research focuses on fluid flow and containment of CO2 in the subsurface.

“I am delighted to be awarded this honour: really this represents a recognition for a large team of colleagues, researchers and research students, technicians and support staff whose work is so essential to my research,” Prof Shipton said.

Currently Deputy Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, Prof Shipton served on our directorate in 2014, having led the university’s successful application to join SCCS that year. Since then Strathclyde has been an active and engaged partner, receiving funding for more than 30 CCS-related projects including on geological faults, fluid flow, well integrity, MMV, social, economic, policy analysis and biochar.

“Professor Shipton’s rigorous analysis, and ability to quickly get to the nub of the issue, have always been valuable for delivering SCCS outputs,” said Dr Philippa Parmiter, SCCS Programme Manager. “Her OBE is richly deserved and reflects her foresight and dedication.”

Formerly Head of Department and a Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Engineering at Strathclyde, Prof Shipton took her first degree from the University of Leeds before moving to the University of Edinburgh for her PhD. She chairs the UK Geoenergy Observatories Science Advisory Group, which provides guidance to research facilities in Cheshire and Glasgow run by the British Geological Survey that will inform the responsible development of new energy technologies. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

“Humanity's consumption of our geological resources has had a profound positive effect on our quality of life: enabling warmer, better fed, healthier societies. At the same time, the negative environmental effects of our consumption are being felt across the planet,” Prof Shipton said.

“Geoscience is at the heart of efforts to mitigate these effects: safe and effective subsurface disposal of greenhouse gases or radioactive waste; responsible production of the limited amount of hydrocarbons we can afford to utilise; smart use of the Earth's geothermal resources for decarbonising heating and cooling – all rely on a deep understanding of Earth processes.”

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