Simon Rowland

Simon Rowland, BSc, PhD, CEng, FHEA, FIET, FIEEE


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Personal profile



I am Professor of Electrical Materials, and was Head of School from 2015-19. I joined Manchester University in 2003 having started my career in industrial Research and Development of materials and reliability assessment. Working for STC, BICC, and Corning Cables, I progressed through the management of R&D and moved into manufacturing and general management before joining academia.

My industrial and academic careers have mainly been focused on the development and application of electrical insulating materials and systems. One particular area of interest has been outdoor insulation. I have also worked in the area of asset management techniques for power system assets. I have 13 patents, most of which are focused on overhead line technology, and over 100 refereed Journal or Conference publications (link). Present work is focused on understanding the role of interfaces in solid insulation systems. This work takes place in The National Grid HV Laboratory at the University of Manchester which is the UK’s largest HV laboratory (link). Much of my work is funded by UK Utilities such as National Grid and SSE, and by EPSRC. I am also Director of the award winning spinout company Arago Technology.

I am a Fellow of the IEEE and a past President of the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society. I am also a Fellow of the IET.



Research interests

My group works on the design of electrical insulation materials and systems, and their reliability. I am particularly active in developing an understanding of DC insulation reliability. We also work on AC insulation systems for overhead lines and cables, working closely with UK utilities and a number of industrial collaborators.

Particular areas of focus are:

  • Reliability of dielectric materials
  • Polymeric insulation systems
  • Asset Management
  • Low current arcs
  • Overhead line design and cable insulation


My group

  • I belong to the Power and Energy Research Division in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • I work closely with colleagues in the School of Materials


I welcome applications from prospective students in the areas of:

  • Reliability of dielectric materials
  • Polymeric insulation systems, especially composites and highly structured materials

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester


  • Arc
  • Asset management
  • composite
  • Dielectric
  • Discharge
  • Failure
  • Insulation
  • Overhead line
  • Reliability


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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