About the Energy Zone

Energy is vital to our modern world. Fridges in the US consume the same amount of energy as 25 large power plants produce every year. That’s a lot of energy just for keeping your food cool. And Google uses around 0.013% of the world’s energy – enough to continuously power 200,000 homes (remember that when you’re next googling your homework!). Where does all this energy come from, and how can we use it better?

Didcot power station. | Image by Andrew Smith

Engineering is at the heart of answering these questions. Whether it is designing sustainable energy systems, extracting fossil fuels in more environmentally sound ways, creating innovative projects to reduce carbon emissions, or better understanding the nature of energy itself you can bet that somewhere there is an engineer working away to make it happen.

In this zone we have five engineers who are all working closely with energy. There is an engineer who designs new buildings to be more energy efficient, another who simulates nuclear reactors on supercomputers, and another who works out how to get oil and gas reserves out from deep under the ground. There is also an engineer researching how to store the energy from solar panels and another who works in power stations making sure that they are working at their most efficient.