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About Prof John Counsell

John leads the department of 8 staff and its research activities in “Engineering Systems Architecture” covering Renewable Energy Systems, Terahertz RF, LiFi communications, Low Voltage DC Remote Powering, Advanced Control Systems, UAVs, Building Energy Systems and Local/Community Energy Systems. In this filed he manages the associated postgraduate training and research programmes. The department is fully engaged with test facilities “Energy Centre @ Thornton” and EA Technology’s Identically Thermally Matched Test Houses for Energy Systems research.


John’s scientific research expertise stems from his PhD work in 1992 in nonlinear controller multivariable controller design methods and theories.  John is the inventor of RIDE controller design methodology adopted by the Garteur studies for advanced flight control and Control ELECTric (CELECT) demand side management control solutions for buildings and their systems. John continues research in this filed field and recently invented nonlinear RIDE methodology to be published this year.  John has established internationally recognition in the research of advanced multi-vector control of energy systems resulting in his appointment in 2007 to the Professor of the BRE Centre of Excellence in Energy Utilisation at the University of Strathclyde.

In 1993 at EA Technology John invented and patented CELECT (and was awarded the largest EC Framework 4 Project ETHOS) an energy storage solution for electricity demand side management/response, a de-facto standard included in Part L of the building regulations. He was awarded the Electricity Industry’s prestigious Cowan Prize in 1995 for his contribution to the industry and became a Chartered Engineer.  In 1997 as a Senior Researcher at Lancaster University John pioneered Computer Aided Conceptual Design (CACD) methods for systems using advanced control. In 1999 John was appointed to technically direct Brother International Europe’s (£3Bn turnover) European new product development team to pioneer sustainability in new product development of office equipment.. John co-invented: the most energy efficient and compact colour A3 printing machine Brother’s A3 MFC-6490CW and an automatic hardcopy language translation machine Scan & Translate.

In 2007 with BRE he pioneered and developed integrated Photovoltaic generation with Smart DC powered ICT networks and advanced Smart DC lighting systems through IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) standards, now referred to as Remote Powering.  This led to internationally filed patents with BRE and his appointment to the KTN’s chairman of the Smart DC Special Interest Group and presently a key member of the IET’s TC2.4 working group for Low Voltage DC in Buildings codes of practice.   John currently leads InnovateUK (£800K) and EPSRC(£200K) funded projects at Chester in the research of all electric renewable domestic space heating solutions and is a government advisor on the electrification of heating in the UK.  He has pioneered advanced control and computer modelling of local hybrid energy systems such as Combined Heat and Power with PV (CHPV) solutions for local/community energy.  This activity involves collaboration with Universities of Liverpool and Newcastle and companies BRE, Arup, Peel Utilities, Siemens and Glen Dimplex and equally important SMEs such as EA Technology in Chester.

To date John has published over 50 articles in control theory and applications to Energy Systems (including Journal & International Conferences papers, Patents and IET’s Codes of Practice) and has edited 3 books on Computer Aided Conceptual Design. John throughout his career has won over £20Million in R&D research grants for both universities and industry and has successfully supervised over 20 MSc projects and 10 PhD students.  John is a BRE Associate and member of the IET’s Built Environment Sector’s steering committee and a member of the IEEE.

His unique combination of advanced technology skills and knowledge combined with his industry board level experience in a £3 billion company and his established UK and world contacts in the energy industry makes him an ideal leader in creating industry led and integrated EEE degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Chester. He aims to create a student experience of internationally leading technologies, skills and knowledge at the same time as opening pathways for prosperous careers for all Chester’s EEE students whatever their level of attainment.