UCL Summer School


Energy and Future Cities: Advanced Energy Systems

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
Thomas Heenan, Thomas Budd
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Open-book in-class test (40%), Case study (60%)
Download syllabus (PDF)

Module overview

Increasing levels of pollution and the diminution of fuels for traditional energy technologies has resulted in multinational agreements being established on a global scale. 2015 saw the production of the Paris climate agreement whereby 195 countries agreed upon a legally binding global climate deal, the first of its kind. In order to meet the targets of such agreements, significant breakthroughs must be made in key technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. Breakthroughs will require multidisciplinary approaches from the work of fundamental scientist in the creation of new chemistries, to the applied work of engineers in materials scale up and fabrication, to the economic and policy regulations and guidance that will be required to facilitate such change.

However, although significant research is being undertaken in both academic and industrial environments education on such devices remains limited. This course will build upon the teachings of the ‘Energy and future cities’ module in term one, exposing the audience to a detailed description of the fundamental mechanisms that drive electrochemical devices and how these devices are fabricated and implemented into real-word products answering questions such as: what is a battery? How is a battery made? Where and how can one implement battery technology?

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Understand the electrochemistry, thermodynamics and engineering of energy devices
  • Have knowledge of the most prominent technologies in the field of energy device, such as the lithium-ion battery
  • Know the materials and processes involved in the manufacturing of commercial energy devices
  • Recognise the methods for implementation of such devices in real-world applications

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • Open -book in-class test (40%)
  • 2,000-word case study (60%)

Module leader

Tom Heenan moved from Swansea in 2011 to complete a BEng degree in the Chemical Engineering department at UCL. In 2014 he progressed to a PhD in the electrochemical Innovation Lab and is now a researcher for the Faraday Institute. During this time he has embarked on international collaborations with the likes of NASA (USA), synchrotron particle accelerator facilities (SLS, ESRF, and Diamond) and national labs (ANL, NREL, LBL, NPL). Dissemination of his work has come in the form of international talks and many publications in high-impact journals, for which his work has received numerous awards. Tom has also taught on several undergraduate programs, summer schools and led a non-profit public engagement group (UCell) for many years. Internally within UCL, Tom has been involved in several of the Grand Challenge proposals including two cross-disciplinary projects between the Slade School of Art and UCL Physics.
Tom Budd has been studying and practicing architecture in London over the last 7 years. During this time he has worked within multiple architectural practices, and had the opportunity to take part in projects ranging from a new pedestrian Bridge in Kings Cross to larger scale conceptual studies for future transport systems in London. Most recently, whilst working for Foster and Partner’s, Tom worked with the Norman Foster Foundation on the foundation’s Droneport project, a concept for using drones as a fast paced medical delivery network in remote regions of Africa. Tom is currently coming to the conclusion of his March Part 2 Architecture Degree at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. His final thesis looked into the redesigning of the traditional English village for the future of Britain’s rural Landscape. Tom has taught computing lessons and run workshops on concept visualisation with undergraduate students at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and also worked on the Bartlett summer school programme.

Application information

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