Churchill Fellowship recipient to investigate how a robust hydrogen economy could work in Australia

Briony O’Shea, from Toorak Gardens in South Australia, is one of 115 recipients Australia wide to receive the prestigious Churchill Fellowship award. Ms O’Shea will travel to the UK, Norway, Germany, France and Turkey to understand how barriers to introducing hydrogen into natural gas networks can be overcome.

Ms O’Shea currently works as a senior consultant and project manager for GPA Engineering and has over twenty years’ energy industry experience with a specific focus on renewable energy and enabling technologies.
“A hydrogen economy is in its infancy in Australia and my project will develop practical insights into how other countries, with more advanced research and commercial application, have overcome barriers to implementation of hydrogen in their gas networks,” said Ms O’Shea. “This is the first step to developing a robust hydrogen economy in Australia.”
“Upon returning to Australia I will have a better understanding of the steps taken to overcome regulatory, social & technical (including safety) barriers to implementation of hydrogen in the gas networks in the UK,” said Ms O’Shea. “I will also learn about developments of commercial scale hydrogen injection projects in France and Germany, which can inform how Australia can progress to commercial implementation.”
“Churchill Fellowships recognise people with passion and drive, providing an unrivalled opportunity and freedom for people to experience world’s best practice on issues that matter to Australian communities,” said CEO of the Churchill Trust, Mr Adam Davey.
This year Churchill Fellowships have been awarded to 115 people from cities and towns across Australia, including 24 from NSW, 22 from VIC, 20 from QLD, 14 from WA, 8 from the ACT, 10 from SA, 10 from TAS and 7 from the NT.
It is 54 years since the first Churchill Fellowships were awarded in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, however the projects that will be aided by his legacy are still, as he intended, firmly focussed on the future.
“While the award we offer may be steeped in history, we are proud that it still remains extraordinarily relevant. Churchill Fellows are up for a challenge, they are people who can foresee an opportunity, know how to address it and will use this experience to work with and learn from their international peers and some outstanding thought leaders.
“Each and every one of the 115 Churchill Fellows will return to Australia armed with the practical knowledge and experience needed to advance their projects and create new opportunities in Australia,” added Mr Davey.
Churchill Fellowship applications open again on 1 February 2020.
The full list of 2019 Churchill Fellows and their projects can be viewed at

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