Bevan Freake

Department:Department of Energy & Climate Change

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key priority

I first considered the idea of a career in government when it was mentioned in a university careers seminar. At the time I didn’t have a specific career path in mind but knew I wanted to apply some of the skills I had developed in my degree in a motivating environment. Curious, I went on line to find out more and quickly honed in on the analytical professions. I hadn’t really come across OR before but the description and subsequent introductory presentation really sold Operational Research in Government to me as a stimulating, varied and rewarding career.

I applied for a role in GORS during my final year at university and was accepted to start in the summer. I was allocated to the Department of Energy and Climate Change which was one of the preferences I had initially specified during the application process.

I am responsible for analysis with and development of long term energy system optimisation models in DECC. Whole energy system optimisation models calculate the least cost pathway (mix of technologies) to meeting decarbonisation and energy security targets while satisfying specified energy service demands.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with challenging international and domestic targets, while keeping costs to a minimum, is a key priority and high profile issue for the government. The modelling we are doing helps identify options to enable us to achieve these aims. So far I have worked on projects for our Heat Strategy, challenging proposed EU targets and assessing the level of carbon budgets.

There are 25 Operational Researchers in the OR community in DECC. We have regular departmental OR and modelling meetings highlighting interesting work and topics for discussion from around the department. There are also centrally arranged cross departmental events. These give you the opportunity to meet GORS analysts from other areas. The OR community in DECC is well integrated with the rest of the department. The atmosphere is one of a wider analytical community with statisticians, economists and social researchers working without boundaries and strictly defined roles.