Sunamp shortlisted for MacRobert Award, the UK’s top engineering prize

Sunamp has been named one of three finalists for the UK's leading prize for engineering innovation, the MacRobert Award.

The prestigious award has been running since 1969 and recognises Sunamp for pioneering the development of innovative heat batteries using phase change materials to revolutionise thermal energy storage.

Following a rigorous judging process, Sunamp was shortlisted alongside Google DeepMind for their revolutionary AI-powered weather forecasting tool and the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca and partners for their scale-up and manufacture of the Covid vaccine

Andrew Bissell, co-founder and CEO at Sunamp, said: “Our innovation journey from startup to standing alongside global giants in engineering and innovation is a testament to the commitment of a very talented, mixed discipline team.”

“It has been a huge privilege to work with stars like Dr David Oliver who invented our stabilised formulation for Plentigrade P58 phase change material which delivers exceptional performance over tens of thousands of cycles; Dr Maurizio Zaglio bringing fresh ideas from academia to model and refine the heat exchange process; Sandy Gataora bringing to bear decades of expertise from the world of HVAC to ensure relevant product design and the whole team crossing disciplinary boundaries to bring something needed and new into the world. Overcoming these many significant engineering challenges, is not just an innovation; it's a beacon of hope for reducing carbon emissions from heating and cooling around the world.”

“It's also not just a lab curiosity – we have manufactured over 30,000 heat batteries so far, enabling businesses, , social landlords and tenants to switch from polluting heat sources to renewable heat. We are just in the foothills today – we are very ambitious and focussed about scaling up both demand and production capacity for our products with partners to tackle decarbonisation and fuel poverty all over the world and at all scales including removing the fossil fuels from industrial heat via our thermal storage.” 

“Being nominated for the MacRobert award is amazing recognition that underscores the profound impact dedicated teams can have on society and the planet, proving that with the right vision and determination, even the smallest players can drive monumental change.” 

Professor Richard Friend, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and chair of the MacRobert Award judging panel, said: “Sunamp's strong connections with Edinburgh University brought fundamental science to solve practical engineering challenges that had limited phase change heat storage, and helped develop its advanced heat batteries which are paving the way for sustainable thermal energy storage and helping combat climate change.”

The winner will be announced at the Royal Academy of Engineering's annual awards dinner on Tuesday 9 July in London, where a gold medal and £50,000 prize will be awarded.

Watch Andrew Bissell and Dr Kate Fisher, head of materials and test, discuss what it means to be recognised as finalists below, and find out more about the MacRobert Award here.

Published: 17 June 2024