Geothermal drilling | what it means for you

We’re getting in touch to let you know about an exciting geothermal drilling project on campus that’s part of our ongoing commitment to achieving net zero status by 2030.

The work will explore the potential of geothermal energy as a sustainable fossil fuel-free way of heating our University buildings, and could provide important insights for similar initiatives across the city. 

Project overview: What’s happening and when?

  • What: We’ll be drilling a number of narrow, deep holes across campus. 
  • Why: To explore whether geothermal energy could be an option for heating University buildings. 
  • When: Set up will start on Monday 29 January. Drilling will take place from Monday 5 February until Friday 12 April between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Sites will remain in place until Friday 31 May for monitoring. 
  • Where: Near Henry Price hall of residence, the Mechanical Engineering building, Maurice Keyworth building and Charles Morris hall of residence.

What does it mean for me?

While we’re doing everything we can to minimise disruption, we appreciate that the work may affect you if you are close to the drilling sites. If you live in Henry Price or Charles Morris, we’ve worked with contractors to make sure that drilling won’t start before 10am and will finish by 5pm during the working week.  
Drilling will begin on Monday 5 February and is due to be completed by Friday 12 April. The project sites will still be in place until Friday 31 May for long-term use of the boreholes.

What can I do if the drilling is affecting me?

 If you’re struggling to concentrate because of the drilling, use the Space Finder tool to find the nearest, quiet study spot on campus. The friendly team in the Student Information Service is also available if you need to chat or need any further support during the project. 

What happens next?

Set up of the drilling sites starts on Monday 29 January at Henry Price with equipment drop-offs and fencing being put up. Other locations including the Mechanical Engineering building, Maurice Keyworth building and Charles Morris will have minimal set up start a couple of days before drilling. 

Where can I go for more information? 

For ongoing updates and information about the project, visit the dedicated geothermal drilling page on our Climate Plan Sharepoint Hub using your University login. 
You can also find a message from Ann Allen, our Director of Campus Innovation & Development, on the project’s aims and the potential to create research and teaching opportunities for you. 
If you have any concerns or questions about the work and local disruption, please contact the Estates Helpdesk at or 0113 343 5555
We appreciate your understanding during this exciting phase of our sustainability journey, and we hope we can work together to achieve our climate action goals. 
Best regards, 
Student communications