Ternan Energy and the Geological Society

Education is the cornerstone for tackling environmental issues as we work towards decarbonisation and tackling the climate crisis. At Ternan Energy, we are very aware of the importance of the link between business and academia in Geoscience to further advance the energy transition.

Dr Aggie Georgiopoulou, our Principal Marine Geologist, has been heavily involved in academia and research all over the world throughout her career and is part of an interdisciplinary leadership team launched by the Geological Society to rally geologists and engineers. 

The Geological Society has launched a multi-year scientific theme for Society activities on Geohazards, Geoengineering and Georesilience (G3). The theme will see the development of innovative interdisciplinary activities, public engagement events and networking opportunities aimed at bringing together researchers from all disciplines, along with members of the public, NGOs and policy makers to foster new collaborations and develop cutting-edge knowledge within this GGG theme. 

Dr Aggie Georgiopoulou (Ternan Energy) alongside Dr Irene Manzella (University of Twente/University of Plymouth) and Dr Anna Hicks (BGS) are keen to demonstrate the necessity of interdisciplinary work to tackle some of the challenges within all aspects of G3. 

We sat down with Aggie to learn more about her academic background and hear why this initiative is so important.

Tell us about your background

I studied Geology at the university in my hometown of Patras, Greece. I then did a MSc in Oceanography and followed on with a PhD in Marine Geology. 

From there I stayed in research and academia, my work has always focused on marine geohazards and deep sea sedimentary processes. In the research community I'm mostly known for my work with submarine landslides, what triggers them, how a slope can be preconditioned to fail and the potential to generate tsunamis. 

In my years of research I have worked in geographic locations all over the world, from the Canary Islands to the Nile Delta and both sides of the North Atlantic, offshore Ireland and UK, Canada, the US and New Zealand. 

I have participated in, and led, offshore expeditions on research vessels and have collaborated with people across universities and research institutes all over the world. I joined Ternan Energy in 2022, after I decided I wanted to do something with a more immediate impact and apply my skills in a sector I felt needed people with my background. I didn't know if I would like it and it turns out I love it!

How long have you been working with the Geological Society?

The subaqueous landslides community holds a conference every couple of years and produces a book of research papers that are presented at the conference. I was going to host the 2020 meeting in Dublin and the book would be published as a Geological Society Special Publication. We went ahead with the book and we produced Geol Soc Sp Publ 500, but the conference was postponed for 2021 and eventually had to be hosted online due to COVID19. 

I worked closely with the Geological Society Publishing group to produce the book. Then in 2022 the Geological Society announced their intention to launch a series of Scientific Themes and invited volunteers to lead them. I was invited to be a co-lead for the theme of Geohazards, Geoengineering and Georesilience with Anna Hicks of the BGS (primary lead) and Irene Manzella (then at the University of Plymouth, now at the University of Twente).

What is the goal of this partnership?

Originally the partnership aimed to bring research scientists together across different geohazards. I represented marine geohazards, Anna volcanic and her involvement in engaging with local people at places of natural disasters, and Irene as an engineer in disaster resilience. With my move to industry our partnership ticks even more boxes, with one person at the British Geological Survey, one person in industry and one in academia, it is the perfect blend to create a truly diverse network of people that don't usually, surprisingly maybe, find themselves in the same circles. 

We don't have an easy task but our goals are to create a network of interested parties that work across this Scientific Theme in order to create partnerships and clever projects; to reach out to schools and the general public; to express the science through art, and maybe most importantly to create opportunities for young scientists.

Tell us more about the event, how are Ternan supporting?

The purpose of the scientific theme is to have multiple events. The first one will be a conference that will be held at the Geological Society, Burlington House in London in October, and Ternan is actively supporting my involvement in this.

How will this work help with the energy transition?

There is a separate Scientific Theme on the Energy Transition, but of course this one isn't entirely separate. Geohazards, geoengineering and georesilience are at the heart of making the energy transition possible, safe and green. Hazards need to be identified and studied extensively so that we can engineer for them, reducing the risk and creating resilient industries and infrastructures. The Geological Society is aiming to reduce the chance of events in the future that could cause pollution and ensure environmental protection is at the heart of the energy transition.

Find out more about the Geological Society. You can also find out more about Ternan Energy and Dr Aggie Georgiopoulou's work on the energy transition here.