We have recently welcomed a new Director for Strategy & Technology to the PNDC, Richard Knight. Bringing a wealth of expertise in energy sector innovation to this newly-created role, we’re looking forward to working with Richard on shaping our vision for the PNDC’s future. Learn more about Richard’s role in the short interview below.

Tell us about your new role at the PNDC.

I’ve joined the PNDC as Director for Strategy & Technology. The initial focus of my role will be to develop a longer-term development strategy for PNDC, with particular focus on expansion into multi-vector systems. This involves understanding how the PNDC could evolve into more of a “whole-system” facility, with increasing consideration of heat and transport aspects within our research and development programme.

What was your background before joining the PNDC?

I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer with 29 years’ experience in energy sector innovation. I spent the first 9 years of my career at National Grid, where after doing post-graduate training I was involved in the specification, development and testing of new switchgear and reactive compensation plant for deployment on the NG transmission system.

I then spent 10 years at Rolls-Royce plc working on a range of research & development activities relating to gas-turbine based power plant and low-carbon energy solutions. The 10 years before I joined the PNDC were spent at the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and most recently the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) where I was involved in whole UK energy systems modelling and analysis, innovation needs identification, and innovation project portfolio development, project specification, procurement & value realisation. Until I joined the PNDC I was a member of the Energy Technology Partnership Industrial Advisory Board, and between 2014-2018 I was a member of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on Energy.

What can we find you doing in your spare time?

Spending quality time with my family, being a long-suffering season ticket holder at Derby County FC, attending live music events, running, and occasionally playing golf.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

Two key things: (1) Helping to shape the future of the PNDC, and (2) Working at the interface between academia and industry to accelerate good ideas into commercial reality. Plus on the domestic side I’m really looking forward to exploring Scotland.