Dr Robert M Sorrell

Independent Technology and Policy Advisor at Self employed

Independent Technology and Policy Advisor
Policy Fellow Alum, Centre for Science and Policy

Robert Sorrell was BP’s Vice President for Public Partnerships. He was the Associate Director for the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, a 10-year $100m investment by BP with the hub at the University of Manchester and spokes at the University of Cambridge, Imperial College and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Robert was also BP’s technology policy advisor for the UK and EU.

Prior to this, in 2006 Robert was appointed as BP’s Vice President for Refining & Marketing Technology Strategy. In this role Robert was responsible for developing BP’s long term technology strategy across its global fuels, lubricants, refining and chemicals businesses. Robert also managed BP’s global hydrogen transport business with operational responsibility for a global network of refuelling sites.

Robert joined BP in 1987 from Durham University having earlier completed his PhD at Cambridge University, working with Professor Lord (Jack) Lewis in Inorganic Chemistry on the synthesis and chemistry of a series of ruthenium & osmium mixed metal clusters. During his early career, he held a number of research, business and market development roles. In 2001 Robert became Marketing Director for Europe and Asia. In this role he was responsible for developing and implementing customer segmentation and pricing strategy for the chemicals businesses. In 2003 Robert took over as Technology Strategy Manager for Refining & Marketing. In 2005 Robert was appointed Technology Vice President for Business Marketing. He was responsible for co-ordinating technology activities across BP’s air, marine, industrial lubricants and bitumen businesses.

Robert is on the Board of Breathing Buildings, a natural ventilation company, as a non-executive Director. He is also on the board of the UK Technology Strategy Board. He is also Chair of Trustees at the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE).

Dr Sorrell’s policy and research interests include:

  • how public/private partnerships function as part of the “innovation ecosystem”how policy (and public support) should be designed to support R&D at different points of maturity (technically proven, commercially proven…)
  • consumer perception and behaviour, both in energy and other markets (e.g. how will customers respond to the introduction of smart grids and metering?)
  • how risk can be understood and modelled in energy systems modelling
  • how policy responds to scientific input (including the issues of science and trust)
  • the European and global dimensions to policy.