Professor William Gale CEng. FIMMM FEI


Professor William Gale joined the University of Leeds in 2008 and is currently the Director of the Centre for Integrated Energy Research (CIER). Professor Gale founded CIER in 2010 with the vision of achieving a virtuous circle between technological and policy interventions in the energy system.  CIER brings together academics from across the Leeds campus to deliver highly interdisciplinary, whole systems oriented energy research.  He was formerly the Director of the Energy Research Institute at the University of Leeds.  Prior to joining the University of Leeds in 2008, he was the Executive Director of the US Federal Aviation Administration funded Air Transportation Centre of Excellence for Airliner Cabin Environment Research (ACER)/National Centre of Excellence for Research in the Intermodal Transport Environment (RITE).  ACER/RITE brought together 7 universities and 40 industry partners to focus on solutions to environmental challenges, with a £10 M Federal Budget, matched 1:1 by industry. 

Professor Gale is the author around 200 open literature publications and the editor of two books.  He was the editor and lead author of the extensively revised and expanded 8th Edition of Smithells Metals Reference Book, Elsevier and ASM International, 2004.  The 8th edition has been cited around 7,000 times (Google Scholar).  He has received a number of best paper awards.  His funding track record includes over £ 20 M of funding from government (EU; EPSRC; US Federal agencies, such as NSF, NASA, US Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration), industry (e.g. Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell, Thermasys, General Atomics) and other bodies (e.g. Royal Society, industry foundations).  He has extensive experience as a PI leading highly interdisciplinary teams.  

Professor Gale has an extensive track record in public engagement, including funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering, NSF and the Eisenhower Foundation.

Professor Gale holds a BEng from the University of Leeds and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Professor Gale is a Fellow of both the Energy Institute and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and is a Chartered Engineer.  Prof. Gale holds the Freedom of the Company of Educators.


  • Director, Centre for Integrated Energy Research
  • Aviation Programme Leader

Research interests


  • Interdisciplinary energy whole systems: integrating energy engineering with policy and socio-technical aspects of energy; energy whole systems strategies for cities; overcoming barriers to adoption of renewables in new build construction; energy aspects of urban transport; whole systems aspects of biofuels.
  • Applications of complexity science in development of energy decision support tools for local government that enable effective energy demand reduction campaigns.
  • Energy to materials science interface: materials for high-temperature energy applications, deployment of bioenergy in metallurgical industries.


  • Physical metallurgy and materials science: surface coatings; particulates; joining; solidification; adaptive materials; reactive materials; microstructural design, control and characterisation.
  • Energy, transport and other engineering applications of materials and systems: conventional and hypersonic aircraft; satellites; space craft; conventional and nuclear power generation (land and space based); materials for automotive and other manufacturing applications.
  • Interdisciplinary applications of materials science.


  • Protection of civil aviation and mass transit from chemical/biological terrorism and epidemics/pandemics, through field deployment of sensors and large-scale decontamination.
  • Materials and systems for aircraft and space vehicle applications. 

For further information on interdisciplinary energy research, please see the Centre for Integrated Energy Research site:


  • PhD, University of Cambridge
  • BEng, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Chartered Engineer, CEng
  • Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, FIMMM
  • Fellow of the Energy Institute, FEI
  • Freedom of the Company of Educators

Student education

Prof. Gale has an interest in innovation in teaching, for which he has received substantial funding.  He places particular emphasis on student centred education and has been an early adopter of emerging educational technologies/approaches.  He has 16 years of experience in distance education.  His teaching interests at both undergraduate and postgraduate level include a wide range of topics related to: energy; materials science; aviation and aerospace; safety; and interdisciplinary education.  Professor Gale was formerly Head of Aviation Programmes.  

Professor Gale also has an extensive track record in pre-university outreach.  

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Integrated Energy Research
  • Clean Combustion
  • Low Carbon Energy