TownRock Energy

For renewable heat, look beneath your feet™

Artwork by Studio Echt

Founded in 2013 by David Townsend, TownRock Energy Limited is an award-winning geothermal energy consultancy based in Edinburgh, Scotland and is the leading specialist in all aspects of the UK’s geothermal resources. The Company’s mission is to access the abundant geothermal energy of the earth’s subsurface to provide zero-carbon, 24-hour renewable heating and cooling to industrial, commercial and domestic energy users.

We are a passionate, innovative and diverse company that strives to minimise the energy industry’s negative impact on the environment. We support all sustainable and safe methods of non-fossil low carbon energy generation to help mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change.

Geothermal energy technology is a relatively new path to unlocking clean energy and is often poorly appreciated or understood. Our small dedicated team prides itself in taking a clear and strategic approach to assisting clients and partners realise the value of the geological asset beneath their site.

TownRock Team

Facilitating Geothermal Energy from Scotland

Company Directors

David Townsend
Founder & CEO

With nearly a decade of geothermal energy leadership experience, working at the interface between the private, public and academic sectors, David brings extensive understanding of the technical, financial, political, and environmental aspects of the global geothermal energy sector. He has managed numerous geothermal and ground-source energy projects from pre-feasibility stage through to drilling and testing. He draws on his practical experience to help clients unlock the valuable geological assets beneath their sites, to eliminate waste and carbon emissions.

John Naismith
Engineering Director

John's experience includes open- and closed-loop ground and water heat pump systems, and deeper geothermal systems. This follows on from over 30 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry where he held senior technical, asset management, operations and project roles. This allows him to offer specialised advice on geothermal afterlife for oil and gas wells. His technical focus areas include reservoir engineering, thermal reservoir and well modelling, and integration of TownRock's subsurface work to above ground solutions.

Phil Townsend
Subsurface Director

After 30 years’ in the oil and gas industry Phil joined TownRock Energy in 2013 to bring his skills to geothermal heat exploration and development. His prior experience covers a broad spectrum from technical and leadership roles in frontier exploration geology around the globe; to North Sea asset management of fields at peak production and in development. He brings significant expertise in subsurface opportunity evaluation, describing and managing uncertainty and risk, drilling options, and project and venture management.

Claire MacLeod
Non-Executive Director

Following a long and varied career in corporate and energy law Claire was a co-founder and legal director for the innovative oil and gas energy services company ADIL for 10 years. She provides support and business experience to young entrepreneurial companies, in particular with corporate governance and contractual issues. She has been involved with TownRock Energy since the company's inception in 2013.

Technical Team

Hester Claridge
Geothermal Geologist
After working for a geothermal lithium mining company in Cornwall, Hester has recently completed a MSc in Subsurface Energy Systems at Heriot Watt University. Her MSc Thesis titled ‘Decarbonisation of the Scotch Whisky Industry: Deep Geothermal Potential of Speyside, Scotland’ has shaped her role at TownRock Energy to be the companies UK deep geothermal energy project lead. Hester is also a Women In Geothermal (WING) UK Committee Member.
Jake Diamond
Geothermal Engineer
Since obtaining a first class MEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering degree from Heriot-Watt University in 2020 and joining TownRock that same year, Jake has worked on a variety of geothermal projects as a geothermal engineer. A major area of his expertise is process engineering work for the surface design of geothermal heat pump systems. Currently, Jake provides his engineering services to TownRock’s ongoing flagship, operational minewater energy project, gaining invaluable knowledge and understanding of how such systems operate above ground and how they can be optimised. Jake also utilises his versatile skillset to help with aspects of TownRock’s business development.
Barbora Hovorkova
Finance and HR Manager

Barbora is a qualified accountant with over 7 years of experience in operations and accounts management in various industries. She purposefully chooses to support and work with companies with strong missions and impact on people's lives. Barbora holds qualifications in financial accounting and project management; she's also pursuing a certificate in management accounting. Her favourite work tasks are management reporting, project admin and team support. When not at work, she is often seen with a barbell in her hands or taking long walks with her dog. 

Hannah Jukes
Geothermal Geologist

Hannah graduated from the University of Leeds with MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics in 2020. As part of her thesis, Hannah undertook pre-drilling structural and heat source modelling and power capacity estimates of the Corbetti geothermal reservoir, Ethiopia. She went on to present this research at the WGC2020+1 in Iceland. Hannah has a years’ experience as a GIS Analyst in the Policing sector, is also a member of the Women In Geothermal (WING) UK Committee, and contributes her skills to a variety of projects at TownRock Energy.


Michael Schiltz
Geothermal Geologist

Michael has had a diverse geological background that has taken him to several places around the world.  Whether it was assisting palaeontologists in search of dinosaur bones in the Utah desert or studying at Europe’s premier carbon capture and storage facility in Spain, his enthusiasm for the earth sciences and renewable energy is palpable.  Michael is currently finishing a PhD at the University of Strathclyde researching fracture mediated fluid flow in heterogeneous rock types.  These experiences have primed him to be TownRock Energy’s lead structural geologist, helping the team characterise geothermal reservoir mechanics and improve overall well design. 

Emmet Strachan
Graduate Geothermal Engineer

After a season as a snowboard instructor in Verbier, Emmet studied at Robert Gordon University; graduating with a first-class MEng Mechanical Engineering degree in 2021. His dissertation compared the performance of different drill-string configurations as part of a company-based project. After that, he gained invaluable experience within a process control systems company, handling various procurement and project engineering demands. During this, he completed a further master's module at Aberdeen University in Geothermal and Hydro Energy, furthering his knowledge in renewable sources, which he looks to utilise and contribute to the various projects at TownRock!

David Walls
Geothermal Geologist
After obtaining a first class honours degree in Earth Science from University of Glasgow in 2017, David joined TownRock Energy as a geothermal geologist. Since then, David has undertaken a PhD researcher role at the University of Strathclyde, specialising in minewater geothermal energy in Scotland, whilst identifying and quantifying minewater resources across the country. Between his research and continued collaboration with TownRock Energy, David has gained rare experience in geothermal project planning and execution, resource characterisation, risk mitigation and maintenance.
Dr Sean Watson
Senior Geothermal Engineer
Dr Sean Watson is a civil engineer who has researched deep geothermal energy projects across the UK, and Europe, since 2014. Sean is particularly experienced in investigating geothermal resources in hot sedimentary aquifer (HSA) settings. His PhD thesis investigated the potential geothermal resource in Upper Devonian aged sandstones beneath Glasgow and he has published research on topics related to UK HSA resource assessment, such as geophysical surveying of target aquifers, modelling of aquifer temperatures, and analysis of hydraulic properties of reservoir rocks. Sean also has experience of mapping heat network opportunities, having worked as an energy analyst for the Scottish Government.

Company Associates

Richard Bates
Geophysics Associate

Richard is an applied geophysicist with a very extensive and wide array of projects in his portfolio. He specialises in the application of high resolution geophysical survey techniques for near surface investigations and the use of geophysics in a multi-disciplinary team approach to environmental problem solving. His main focus is in the field of near surface, high resolution terrestrial geophysics, which include, but are certainly not limited to, groundwater investigations, climate change impact and the evaluation of near surface bedrock and sediments for both closed and open loop ground source heat pump systems. He has a particular interest in the utilisation of geological structures for the storage of energy which he predicts will have an important role to play in the future renewable energy mix. The wide array of geophysical tools he is so familiar applying is invaluable to understanding the energy potential of shallow geothermal resources as well as the feasibility of geological storage sites.

Johnathan Bellarby
Geothermal Well Design Associate

Jonathan has over 25 years of technical experience with the emphasis on well and completion design – initially associated with oil and gas production. Jonathan also started up his own renewable energy company, focussing on groundloop heatpump consulting and installation – ICE Energy. The combination of oilfield and heatpump modelling and installation experience provides the technical background and insight into heat transfer and associated completion designs for geothermal and heatpump wells – both shallow and deep. Jonathan is passionate about promoting low carbon energy and also consults and teaches in activities such as deep geothermal wells for electricity power generation and carbon capture and storage well design.

Dr Steve Cuddy
Petrophysics Associate

Steve is a highly sought after petrophysicist who has had a long and prosperous career in the oil and gas industry. He has worked extensively for Schlumberger, BP and Baker Hughes and is also director of a small consultancy Petro-Innovations Ltd. Steve is an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer and is the inventor of the FOIL Function on how to use Fractals to understand the fluid distribution within hydrocarbon reservoirs. His areas of expertise include the quality control and repair of wireline and LWD electrical logs, saturation-height (FOIL) modelling, electro-facies modelling (Fuzzy Logic) and permeability prediction. He enjoys new and challenging geological energy projects and is excited to apply his knowledge and experience to the prospecting of deep aquifers for geothermal energy.