New South Tyneside energy centre to be named in memory of Hebburn professor
A new energy centre is to be named in memory of a South Tyneside pioneering scientist who sadly passed away four years ago.
The Paul Younger Energy Centre will be sited in the professor’s home town of Hebburn and will provide renewable heat to public sector buildings by collecting mine water from the former Hebburn Colliery.
Professor Paul Younger, who passed away in 2018, was an internationally renowned hydrogeologist and environmental engineer, regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts in geothermal energy and the remediation of pollution associated with mining.
Due to be completed in 2023, The Paul Younger Energy Centre will provide renewable heat for the Hebburn Central leaisure hub, plus residential developments at Durham Court and Lincoln Court, with plans for more buildings to be added in the future.
Two boreholes will be drilled into the ground and pumps will be used to take warm water from disused flooded mines.
Cllr Ernest Gibson, Lead Member with responsibility for climate change, South Tyneside Council, said: “There really was no better choice than Paul when we were deciding how to name the energy centre.
“Paul was eminent in his field and was ahead of his time, championing this kind of minewater technology many years ago.
“We hope he would have been proud of what we are achieving in his hometown and to see us pay tribute to his pioneering contribution.”
The naming of the centre is a tribute to Paul’s key role behind the bid to make Newcastle a City of Science and Technology and in Newcastle University’s pioneering research to drill for geothermal energy in the heart of the city.
Paul joined Newcastle University as a geology undergraduate and worked his way up to become Director of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS) until he was appointed the University’s first Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement.
Colleague David Manning, Professor of Soil Science at Newcastle University, said: “I taught Paul as an undergraduate and worked closely with him to develop the region’s lead in geothermal energy. Naming the Energy Centre in his honour is a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much in so many ways, throughout his career, to the influence the region has in improving people’s lives globally.”