Ian Fells

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ian Fells CBE, PhD, FREng,[1] FRSC, FInstE, FIChemE, FRSE is Emeritus Professor of Energy Conversion at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and former chairman of the "New and Renewable Energy Centre" at Blyth, Northumberland, England.

Education and career[edit]

Fells was educated at King Edward VII School, Broomhill, Sheffield, then carried out national service in the British army, before studying at Trinity College, Cambridge where he gained an M.A. then in 1958 a Ph.D. entitled "The kinetics of the hydrolysis of the chlorinated methanes".[2] After lecturing in Chemical Engineering and Fuel Technology at the University of Sheffield he was appointed Reader in Fuel Science at King's College of University of Durham in 1962. In 1963 this college became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and he was on the staff of the Chemical Engineering Department.[3] He has been Professor of Energy Conversion at Newcastle University since 1975 and has published some 200 papers on a varied range of topics, including:

Fells is a long-standing advocate of nuclear power.[4] As of 2008, Fells was of the view that "any notion that renewables can provide for all our [energy] requirements is a mischievous and reckless boast".[5]


In 1976 Fells was awarded the Beilby Medal and Prize.[6] He was then elected Fellow[1] of The Royal Academy of Engineering[1] in 1979 and was President of The Institute of Energy (now the Energy Institute) for 1978-79. In 1993 he received the Michael Faraday medal and prize from the Royal Society, and was elected Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1996. He was awarded the Melchett Medal of the Energy Institute in 1999 and the John Collier Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in the same year. He was awarded a CBE in June 2000.[7] In the same year he presented the Higginson Lecture.[8]

Other activities[edit]

Fells has made over 500 television and radio programmes, including the TV popular science series Take Nobody's Word For It with Carol Vorderman, and appeared as guest expert on The Great Egg Race in 1985.[9]

He has been science adviser to the World Energy Council and special adviser to select committees of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons as well as serving on several Cabinet and Research Council committees. He was chairman of the UK-based National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec)[10] and is an energy adviser to the European Union and European Parliament, has advised a number of Foreign Governments on energy policy and is a consultant to various multi-national companies.

In 2012 he created a Newcastle based company, Penultimate Power, to develop small modular reactors.[4][11]

His wife is Hazel, a mathematician, and they have four sons, all engineers:[12][7]


  1. ^ a b c "List of Fellows".
  2. ^ Cambridge University Newton Library catalogue
  3. ^ Underneath the Arches Spring 2008 Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine The Fells Swoop (on Newcastle)
  4. ^ a b "Hartlepool project to drive down cost of UK's new nuclear fleet could be a world-first". GazetteLive. Newcastle upon Tyne. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  5. ^ Fells, Ian (18 September 2008). "We need an expensive miracle". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Beilby Medal and Prize Winners". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Fells Associates". Fells Associates. Archived from the original on 18 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 May 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Scientists honoured across the UK", BBC News, 16 June 2000
  10. ^ IAEA: NUCLEAR POWER Current, Future Prospect and The Agency's Activities 1 November 2004
  11. ^ McCusker, Peter (10 February 2016). "Newcastle company at forefront of technology for small nuclear reactors". ChronicleLive.co.uk. Newcastle upon Tyne. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  12. ^ Conference Programme Archived 9 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, UK Offshore Wind 2006

External links[edit]