Professor John Loughhead, OBE

Chief Scientific Advisor & ERP Public-side Co-chair
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

In 2014, John Loughhead took up the position of Chief Scientific Advisor at DECC (now BEIS). Prior to that John was Executive Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

Previously he was vice-President of Technology and Intellectual Property for the Alstom group, based at its head office in Paris, having spent his career in industrial research and development.

He is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London, where he also spent five years in computational fluid dynamics research. His professional career has been predominantly in industrial research and development for the electronics and electrical power industries, including advanced, high power industrial gas turbines, new energy conversion systems, spacecraft thermal management, electrical and materials development for electricity generation and transmission equipment, and electronic control systems.

For several years he has been extensively involved in national and European public sector technology programmes, as a member of various advisory committees and chair of policy reviews in the area of future energy systems. He is the UK member of the European Energy Research Alliance, a member of the European Advisory Group on Energy, and Advisor to the European Commission Directorate-General Research, Assessor for the Technology Strategy Board, Non-Executive Director of the Ministry of Defence Research & Development Board, and a member of the UK’s Energy Research Partnership. He was also Co-Chair of the Implementation Panel of the EC Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform, which produced the future plan for European fuel cell commercialisation, and is currently Co-Chair of the Implementation Committee of the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy. He was previously a member of EPSRC Council.

John is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow and Past-President (2008) of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the City & Guilds of London Institute, and the Royal Society of Arts. He is Honorary Professor of Cardiff University, Honorary Fellow of Queen Mary University of London, and a Freeman of the City of London.


The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change.

BEIS are responsible for:

  • developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the government’s relationship with business
  • ensuring that the country has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean
  • ensuring the UK remains at the leading edge of science, research and innovation
  • tackling climate change