Ceres Power wins the 2023 MacRobert Award for engineering innovation

Ceres Power wins the 2023 MacRobert Award for engineering innovation

The need for sustainable energy solutions has never been more urgent in a world grappling with the climate crisis. Enter Ceres Power, an energy technology company with roots at Imperial College London.

This innovative company has been named the winner of the 2023 MacRobert Award, the UK’s most prestigious award for engineering innovation. This recognition is a testament to Ceres Power’s groundbreaking fuel cell technology, which promises to significantly contribute to decarbonising the world.

With research at Imperial College, Ceres Power’s journey began over 20 years ago. The company’s solid oxide cell, which used an innovative deposition technique, proved to be a game-changer for the clean energy revolution.

The technology can use multiple fuels to generate electricity efficiently and, when run in reverse, produces green hydrogen at high efficiencies and low cost. This dual functionality is a significant breakthrough in the clean energy sector, offering a promising solution to the world’s energy needs.

Ceres Power’s licensing model has enabled it to partner with companies like Bosch, Doosan, and Weichai. These collaborations aim to deliver systems and products at the scale and pace needed to decarbonise power generation, transportation, industry, and everyday living.

The 2023 MacRobert Award

The MacRobert Award, named in honour of Lady Rachel MacRobert, has recognised the engineers behind the UK’s most exciting engineering innovations since 1969.

The award was established by the MacRobert Trust, which Lady MacRobert set up between 1943 and 1950 to foster ideals and spirit in young people after her three sons died in aviation accidents during World War II. The award honours the winning organisation with a gold medal and the team members with a cash prize of £50,000, recognising outstanding innovation, tangible societal benefit, and proven commercial success.

Past winners have included the engineers behind innovations such as the Pegasus jet engine, catalytic converters, the roof of the Millennium Dome, and intelligent prosthetic limbs. The award’s finalists have tracked the innovation through the decades – from leaps forward in computing and communication to advances in sustainability and medical technology.

Ceres Power clinched the MacRobert Award for its revolutionary SteelCell technology, a reversible fuel cell that generates low-carbon electricity in one direction and ‘green’ hydrogen in the other.

The fuel cell technology was recognised for its potential to significantly contribute to decarbonising the world at the scale and pace required to combat climate change. The fuel cells, similar to large batteries, are made of thin perforated steel sheets, onto which a gadolinium-doped ceria ceramic membrane has been printed.

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The judges were particularly impressed by the cell’s use of common low-cost materials combined with an innovative deposition technique and a highly differentiated stack technology.

The “truly reversible” nature of the technology was also highlighted as a “huge breakthrough in the clean energy revolution”. The cells operate in a temperature range of 500-600ºC, maximising performance, fuel flexibility, cost, and robustness.

The company’s licensing model has established partnerships with Bosch, Doosan, and Weichai, who will build cells for power generation, transportation, industry, and everyday life.

The company’s innovation marks a significant step towards a sustainable future, providing tools for companies to reach net zero, even in the most challenging sectors.


  • Ceres Power, an energy technology company, has won the 2023 MacRobert Award for its groundbreaking fuel cell technology.
  • The technology can efficiently generate electricity using multiple fuels and produce green hydrogen when run in reverse.
  • Through partnerships with other companies, Ceres Power aims to deliver systems and products to decarbonise various sectors.

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