With passion for Art and technology

copyright: Olivia Harris

What started out as a sabbatical for a newly qualified PhD student became a life in the theatre. Dr Ben Todd made the huge leap from academic to theatre technician in just one small step, ‘And I haven’t regretted a single day.’ When Ben finished his PhD on solid oxide fuel cells at Cambridge University he decided to take a complete break. So he volunteered to help out at Arcola Theatre, a small Off-Westend theatre company.

‘The frustrating thing is that scientists and engineers can create wonderful things but people don’t use them. A theatre is good place to demonstrate technology because it’s not life-dependent but it is hugely demanding and also very public.’ So instead of going back to engineering as he had planned, Ben devoted his time to technology demonstration projects at the Arcola.

‘We did lots of work around low energy. From the beginning we’ve been interested in driving down carbon emissions. Over the years we have honed our understanding of where big energy savings come from matching the right power generating and power-consuming technologies to make it easy for users to do the right thing. All of our work builds from that principle.

 

The frustrating thing is that scientists and engineers can create wonderful things but people don’t use them
— Dr Ben Todd

Those early efforts have grown into Arcola Energy, a company that develops, manufactures and sells low carbon energy solutions based on fuel cells.