Dr Rachael Spraggs

Dr Rachael Spraggs


Having completed a PhD in Geochemistry at the University of Leeds in 2007, I worked for as an Environmental Consultant before returning to the University as a teaching and research fellow in 2009.  Since then I have worked in a variety of research support and business development roles across Earth Sciences and Engineering. This has included 11 years association with Petroleum Leeds and secondment positions supporting the Bragg Centre for Materials Research and the Henry Royce Institute

From 2018 until 2022 I was the Director of the Institute of Applied Geosciences with Prof. Nigel Mountney.  In August 2022 I became the Deputy Head of School of the School of Earth and Environment.

I am currently focussing on working across disciplines to deliver world leading geoscience research to underpin future energy generation, storage and consumption through our new Geosolutions Centre and am co-leading delivery of principle 3 of the University’s Climate Plan.


  • Deputy Head of School, School of Earth and Environment
  • Geosolutions Leeds

Research interests

The subsurface is a source of viatl resources for energy generation, as well as a place to store both energy and waste from energy production and consumption.  As such geosciences are central to our low carbon transition. The University draws on a long history of pioneering research providing geological characterisation and subsurface modelling for the energy sector and developing governance and policy frameworks for clean energy projects.  The techniques, datasets, knowledge and expertise we have developed can help to de-risk the subsurface aspects of energy projects including geothermal, mineral exploration, oil and gas, energy storage, carbon dioxide storage, nuclear waste depositories and siting of wind farms.

We are building on the legacy of existing relationships with academic and industry partners to maintain our multi-million pound research portfolio as we re-orientate our research to face future energy and resource challenges as we seek to deliver on net-zero goals.  We will continue work flexibly with industry and other stakeholders on collaborative research including specific projects to address a business need and pre-competitive joint industry projects (JIP).  Our research brings together geoscientists, engineers and scoial scientists across four broad themes: 

Our experts contribute to professional bodies, act as advisors to national and international centres and their research generates demonstrable impact both to the industry and beyond.  We also offer postgraduate training and continued professional development through our portfolio of standard and bespoke Masters level courses.

I'm happy to help with any queries related to these research areas or you can find more information on the Geosolutions website. 


  • PhD Environmental Geoscience, University of Leeds
  • BSc Geochemistry, University of Manchester

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Applied Geoscience
  • Geosolutions Leeds