Sustainability database


Prof Ian Cotton

Professor of High Voltage Technology; Director of Manchester Energy

One of the University's growing number of Sustainability Enthusiasts. Find out more about the initiative here.

I studied for my first degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Following this I worked for an electricity distribution company before returning to University to complete a PhD. This saw me work on lightning protection of wind turbines at UMIST (one of the two Universities that merged to form the University of Manchester in 2004). I have been employed at the University since 1998 within the Electrical Energy and Power Systems Group of the School Of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Manchester. 

I have a number of roles at the University. I carry out research in the area of high voltage with particular interests including the novel power system equipment, power systems transients, the use of higher voltage systems in aerospace applications and power system induced corrosion. My work is based in the University of Manchester HV Laboratories, the largest in the UK where a 2MV impulse generator, 800kV AC test set and 600kV DC test set is available. I have supervised 15 PhD students to completionand am the author / co-author of over well over 100 papers. My research has led to a number of patents and the formation of a spin-off company, Arago Technology, of which I am a Director. 

I am also the Director of Manchester Energy, the cross-University research initiative maximising the societal impact of our energy research. I am a Member of the IET, a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Chartered Engineer. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Sustainability enthusiast?: 
Interdisciplinary themes: 



SUPERGEN Wind Energy

To undertake research to achieve an integrated, cost-effective, reliable & available Offshore Wind Power Station


Electrical Energy and Power Systems

The Group focuses on future networks, with research into the design and operation of power-system plant, transmission networks, and smart low-carbon distribution networks, and the development of HVDC expertise. 

Smart grids, Electric and electronics, Power system, Power electronics, Power engineering, Energy, Energy industry, Cogeneration, Energy networks


The University of Manchester Aerospace Research Institute

The mission of our Institute is to gain full benefit from the University’s diverse research capability and to be internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in aerospace research and innovation.  The Institute nurtures a broad-based research portfolio and at the same time is seeking to establish a number of major research initiatives that add value to the existing research base in the University.

Aerodynamics, Aerospace, Car and vehicle aerodynamics, Aero



AKA Manchester Energy. From underpinning strategic research to the transfer of technology into the marketplace, the University of Manchester has a range of world-class activities supporting the need for solutions that can play their part in meeting the global energy challenge.

Energy, Energy industry, Energy storage, Cogeneration, Interdisciplinary


National Grid Power Systems Research Centre

The centre has six experimental laboratories; three associated with high voltage engineering, one for dielectric materials, one for protection and control, and one for measurements and instrumentation.

The largest HV lab, the Cockcroft Laboratory, has a floor area of 500m2 and includes a 2MV impulse generator, a 800kV AC cascade resonance test set, a 600kV DC test set, a 300kV AC test set and the latest numerical control, instrumentation and monitoring system.

Power system, Electric and electronics, Energy, Power electronic circuits and systems