Professor AbuBakr S Bahaj is head of the Energy & Climate Change Division (ECCD) at the University of Southampton where he completed his PhD in 1982, and progressed from a researcher to a Personal Chair of Sustainable Energy. For more than 25 years, Prof Bahaj has pioneered sustainable energy research directing one of the UK's leading university-based research groups, the Sustainable Energy Research Group, (SERG). The aims of ECCD and SERG are to promote and conduct fundamental and applied research and pre-industrial development in the areas of energy technologies, improvements in energy efficiency and assess the impact of climate change on buildings. Under the leadership of Prof Bahaj, SERG involvement in ground breaking research projects in the UK, as well as in China, the Middle East and Africa has been pivotal.
As an experienced research team director, Prof Bahaj has initiated and managed research in ocean energy conversion (resources, technologies and impacts), photovoltaics, energy in buildings and impacts of climate change on the built environment, resulting in over 240 published academic articles in journals and conferences of international standing. From 2001 to 2007, Prof Bahaj was a member of the Department of Business and Regulatory Reform (BERR) Technology Programmes Panels on Water (including ocean energy) and Solar Energy. He is the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Marine Energy and was the EPSRC appointee on the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Supervisory Board (2005-2010). He is also a member of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Advisory Board.
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 (energymasters.soton.ac.uk/).
In 2013, Prof Bahaj was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to Southampton City Council - believed to be the first such appointment in the UK.