The Committee

The Inquiry Committee brings together a wealth of expertise across a broad range of areas, including energy sources, engineering, technology, law, regulation, climate change, social sciences, industry, and public services.

Committee Members

Sir Muir Russell (Chair)

Muir Russell

Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE was Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Office (1998-1999) and Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Executive (1999-2003). Between 2003 and 2009 he was Principal and Vice-Chancellor the University of Glasgow, and from 2008 to 2016 he was Chairing Member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.

Sir Muir, who was elected a Fellow of the RSE in 2000, currently serves as Chairman of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Vice-chair of the Board of Governors of the Glasgow School of Art, and is a non-executive director of the National House Building Council, among other roles.

Professor Rebecca Lunn (Deputy Chair)

Prof Rebecca Lunn FRSE is Professor of Civil and Environment Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and was elected a Fellow of the RSE in 2014. She has served as a member of several Government Advisory Bodies, including the Scottish Government Working Group on Geothermal Energy and the UK Government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.

Prof Lunn’s research focuses on the development of low carbon technologies for ground engineering, with specific applications in nuclear decommissioning, nuclear waste disposal, geological carbon storage and hydrocarbon production.

Professor Simon Harley

Prof Simon Harley FRSE is Professor of Lower Crustal Processes at the University of Edinburgh. He served as a member of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management between 2007 and 2016 and was elected a Fellow of the RSE in 1998.

Prof Harley’s research interests include processes in the formation & evolution of continental crust; geological development of Antarctica; melting & metamorphism, particularly high & ultra-high temperature deep-crustal rocks; and, chemical processes bearing on the behaviour of minerals used in isotopic age dating.

Professor Gareth Harrison

Professor Gareth Harrison is Bert Whittington Chair of Electrical Power Engineering and Deputy Head of the Institute of Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh. He was a founding member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland, and now holds the position of emeritus member.

Professor Harrison’s research interests include renewable energy sources, grid integration of renewable energy, life cycle carbon emission of energy sources, operation and planning of energy networks, energy systems integration, and climate impacts and adaptation in energy systems.

Professor Gavin Little

Prof Gavin Little is Professor of Environmental and Public Law at the University of Stirling. He is also Adjunct Professor at the School of Law, Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Prof Little’s research addresses environmental and energy law and public law regulation; and developing new, interdisciplinary approaches to legal scholarship. A key theme in his work is integrating legal and regulatory analysis with politics, public administration, history and culture. He is co-editor of “Delivering Energy Law and Policy in the EU and the US” (EUP, 2016).

Professor Stephen McArthur

Prof Stephen McArthur is Professor of Intelligent Energy Systems at the University of Strathclyde. He is Academic Director of the Advanced Nuclear Research Centre and the Low Carbon Power and Energy Research Programme at Strathclyde. He also Directs the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Power Networks and Smart Grids.

Prof McArthur’s research interests include intelligent system applications in power engineering, condition monitoring, diagnostics and prognostics, active network management, and wider smart grid applications.

Professor Peter Smith

Professor Peter Smith FRSE FSB is Professor of Soils and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen. He also serves as Science Director of ClimateXChange, and Director of Food Systems at the Scottish Food Security Alliance. He was elected a Fellow of the RSE in 2009.

Professor Smith’s research interests include global change impacts on ecosystems, soils, agricultural and land based options to mitigate climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental and agricultural sustainability, global carbon cycle, ecosystem modelling, food security, ecosystem services, and bioenergy.

Professor Karen Turner

Professor Karen Turner is Director of the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde. She previously held academic posts in the Economics departments of Heriot-Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde universities.

Professor Turner’s research interests include modelling the economy-wide impacts of energy and climate policy. The main focus of her current work is investigating economy-wide rebound effects and macroeconomic impacts of energy efficiency enhancing and/or carbon reduction technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Professor John Underhill

Prof John Underhill FRSE is Chair of Exploration Geoscience and Chief Scientist at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. He served as president of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) in 2012, populates the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC)’s Earth Science Advisory Group and is a member of the UK Energy Minister’s Technology Leadership Board (TLB). He was elected a Fellow of the RSE in 2004.

Prof Underhill’s research interests include petroleum geology, structural geology, tectonics, oil and gas, carbon storage, the North Sea and West Shetlands Basin, hydrocarbons, Earth Science, geology, and geoscience.

Professor Janette Webb

Janet Webb

Janette Webb is Professor of Sociology of Organisations at the University of Edinburgh. She leads a portfolio of research on European comparative heat and energy efficiency policy and practice, acted as 2016 Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change Advisory Group on Heat and Energy Efficiency, and is a member of the Scottish Government Panel To Review The Definition Of Fuel Poverty. She is also a UK nominated expert to the International Energy Agency Programme on District Heating.

Prof Webb’s research interests include sociology of climate change and energy markets, energy and cities, and practices of energy use in buildings.