Event speakers

ADBA R&D Forum 2015:

Will R&D double or quadruple the potential of the AD industry?

Event Speakers


Dr Paul Adams, University of Bath

Research Officer, EPSRC’s Supergen Bioenergy Hub – University of Bath

Dr Paul Adams is a specialist in the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from biogas and biomethane facilities. He graduated with a PhD from the University of Bath in 2011 focusing on the use of life cycle assessment in analysing different bioenergy systems. Paul works as a post-doc researcher in the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and project manages the work package assessing different biomethane options. He also works for Synertree working with several AD facilities to comply with biomass sustainability criteria. Paul is collaborating with SP Technical from Sweden on a research project assessing methane losses from biogas facilities. 


Alexandra Amey, Biorenewables & Health, BBSRC

Associate Head of Business Interaction – Biorenewables & Health, BBSRC

As the Associate Head of Business Interaction at BBSRC, Alex is responsible for driving forward collaboration between BBSRC and its research community within the biorenewables, pharma and biotech industry sectors. Alex has particular responsibility for Industrial Biotechnology developing an understanding of the needs of the numerous industry sectors that use IB technologies. Working with colleagues across BBSRC Alex develops BBSRC’s strategy for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy and is responsible for the delivery of activities that support industrially-relevant research. These include the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst, working with Innovate UK and EPSRC, the Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB), the Bioprocessing and Biorefining Clubs BRIC and IBTI.

Alex has worked at BBSRC since 2005. She has an honours degree in Biology and a PhD in veterinary parasitology from the University of Bristol.


Professor Charles Banks, University of Southampton

Department of Engineering and Environment – University of Southampton

Professional interests include: Innovative technology for environmental protection and resource management; Renewable energy from biomass, wastes and wastewater; and Waste management and resource recovery.

Prof Banks is head of the Bioenergy and Biomass Resources Research Group which is internationally recognised for its work on anaerobic digestion. He has led and participated in a number of EU projects including: CROPGEN; VALORGAS, All-Gas and AmbiGAS aimed at second generation biofuel production.  He is currently project coordinator for the UK Research Council’s Network in Anaerobic Digestion (ADnet) as well as running nationally support research projects in his area of specialist interest. 


Steve Broome, Centre for Process Innovation

Head of Business and Projects, AD – Centre for Process Innovation

Steven is responsible for generating and over-seeing delivery of new projects at CPI – with a focus on AD and algae biotechnology innovation. CPI is a key partner in the UK's national 'Catapult' for High Value Manufacturing – working to de-risk the steps between invention and commercialisation through access to lab and pilot scale testing infrastructure – alongside teams of scientists and engineers.



Angela Bywater, BBSRC NIBB

Network Manager, BBSRC NIBB

After a career in IT project management, Angela has spent more than a decade in AD, with involvement in a number of projects and publications for the Welsh government, the Royal Agricultural Society of England, the International Energy Agency and others. She is part time joint Network Manager for the BBSRC funded Anaerobic Digestion Network based at the University of Southampton and Director of Methanogen UK Ltd who build small and micro-AD systems.


Dr Nick Cheffins, Peakhill Associates Ltd

Managing Director –​ Peakhill Associates Ltd

After 23 years working the Agricultural College  and University sectors Dr Nick Cheffins formed Peakhill Associates Ltd in 2002, working as an independent consultant with significant economic development experience particularly in horticultural, environmental and sustainability projects. Current activities include work on the potential for using AD fibre as a peat replacement growing media and the development of new biomass supply chains with specific focus on Low Input High Diversity biomass for use in Anaerobic Digestion and the production of biomass fuels.

Professor Sandra Esteves, University of South Wales

Director, Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion – University of South Wales

Sandra Esteves is a Professor in Bioprocess Technology for Resource Recovery at the Sustainable Environment Research Centre, University of South wales (formerly University of Glamorgan). Sandra has a BSc (Hons) Energy and Environmental Technology and a PhD in the Monitoring and Control of Anaerobic and Aerobic Treatment Processes. Sandra has delivered R&D in anaerobic processes for the last 20 years funded by EPSRC, Welsh Government, EU-FP (4, 6, 7), IEE, Carbon Trust, NERC, ERDF and numerous companies for over £9M. Her research has focused on design, monitoring, modelling, control and optimisation of anaerobic and aerobic processes, sensor development, microbial ecology and profiling, feedstocks and digestates characterisation, pre and post processing, power to gas conversions and biological biogas upgrading, carboxylic acids and polyhydroxyalkanoates production and systems LCA/economics benchmarking. Current interests extend to a wide remit namely the integration of anaerobic bioprocesses in biorefining as well as with a number of other industrial processes and energy systems.


Chris Goodall, Author and Editor of Carbon Commentary, part of the Guardian Environment Network

Chris Goodall is a writer, investor and consultant in clean technologies.




Richard Gueterbock, Clearfleau

Marketing Director – Clearfleau

Richard is a Director and founder shareholder of Clearfleau, one of the leading and most innovative British Anaerobic Digestion (AD) companies, supplying the emerging market for on-site industrial plants – converting production residues into valuable renewable energy.  Clearfleau has AD plants in the food, beverage and biofuel sectors and is the market leader in the UK for the on-site industrial market.

Richard has championed the potential for smaller scale on-site anaerobic digestion solutions for industry, farm and community sites, and initiated Clearfleau’s focus on digestion of food and beverage processing residues.  As a Trustee of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), he commissioned two influential reports on farm-scale AD and development of low carbon transport for rural areas.


Dr Phil Hobbs, New Generation Biogas

Founder / Director – New Generation Biogas

Phil was formerly the Leader of Bioenergy at Rothamsted Research, North Wyke. He has written over 70 published peer-reviewed papers in the field of AD and ancillary disciplines of microbial ecology, waste treatment, odour control and waste processes. He has also contributed chapters on AD to a number of books covering the sector, played a lead role in various conference proceedings and contributed to numerous reports on AD for the UK government and the EU.

He is a leading international expert in biogas research and has a broad-ranging research portfolio, having secured over £1.25m in funding during the last four years, supporting projects relating to optimising bioenergy productivity; the development of advanced and real time analytical approaches; microbial and biochemical profiling of soils; and composting and fermentation systems.


Ian Holmes, H2020 National Contact Point

Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine and Maritime and the Bioeconomy – H2020 National Contact Point

Ian Holmes is part of the Innovate UK, NCP Team, supporting the “Societal Challenge Two” area of Horizon 2020. He has been involved with innovation support and knowledge transfer for over a decade. Ian has advised applicants and evaluated proposals for various funding bodies. 

Ian began his career as a Marine Engineer in the Royal Navy before studying Engineering & Environmental Studies in the UK and Finland. He has delivered International Technology Transfer, regional support to SMEs for accessing European Funding and innovation support and training.

Ian was part of the Resource Efficiency KTN team and has also managed and written a number of bids for UK funding as well as FP7 and Life+ applications. He evaluated bids for UK Agencies and the European Commission Eco-Innovation Programme. In his spare time he runs through mud and practices martial arts.


Colin Keyse, CWM Harry

Project Manager of Organic Conversions – CWM Harry

Manager Biocycle: Organic Conversions, Cwm Harry Land Trust. Based in Bethesda, North Wales in Cwm Harry’s small R & D unit, Colin is currently managing CHLT’s involvement in the COMBINE Interreg IVb project. The unit is developing a number of micro and small scale processes to convert a range of biomass to energy and nutrient concentrates using AD, aerobic IVC with heat recovery and IFBB.  The focus is on developing robust, affordable community-scale solutions for farm clusters, SME’s and community partnerships, with a zero-waste and low redundancy approach, supporting a business model designed to create sustainable local economic benefit. 


Dr Robert Lovitt, Swansea University

Reader in Biochemical Engineering – Swansea University

Robert Lovitt is a Reader in Biochemical engineer who obtained a PhD in Microbiology and has over 25 year experience in biochemical engineering at Swansea University.  He has published 105 refereed papers and he has a broad interest in microbial process technology, membrane bioreactors (MBR) and membrane separations, metal recovery and the use of AFM to investigate process engineering problems. Recently, the focus of his work has been on the fundamental and practical problems associated with large scale production of biomass and chemicals from algae and anaerobic bacteria. He has been a participant in several European Union funded microalgae projects which have concentrated on the design and operation photobioreactors and the use of membrane technology in algae bioremediation processes and biorefinaries. 


Sally Mills, RSPB

Reserves Bioenergy Project Manager – RSPB

Sally has worked for the RSPB since 1989. Up until November 2012, when she took on her current role, she worked for the reserves department. This enabled her to work on and manage a number of the reserves, including leading on the creation of the very successful wetland reserve in the Somerset Levels and Moors. She is now responsible for running the Wetland Biomass to Bioenergy Project with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, through which the RSPB is looking at the conversion of biomass resulting from habitat management works into energy. This project involves working with contractors in the development of new innovative end-to-end conversion systems; liaising with DECC over project delivery and carbon efficiencies and ensuring the experience and knowledge gained from the project are used to maximise the benefit to the future delivery of land management and nature conservation.

In conjunction with the DECC work, Sally is running a DEFRA Pilot Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Project, which is looking at the delivery of the biomass to bioenergy approach as a PES scheme. This work involves working with the RSPB’s economists to understand markets and business models, liaising with local and national stakeholders, and the development of a Conservation Biomass Calculator to assist land managers to realise the potential of their land management operations.

Ollie More, ADBA

Market Analyst – ADBA

I joined ADBA as Market Analyst in January last year after working for five years at the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on bioenergy policy and implementation of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Renewables Obligation (RO). Here at ADBA I measure the progress of the AD industry and assess the costs of the technology at different scales and different feedstocks, as well as advising members on market developments. I am also now working on research on development, with the goals of ensuring that research undertaken by the academic base is disseminated to the industry and that Government bodies recognise the importance of funding research in the AD sector.

Before joining Ofgem I worked for a number of environmental charities on tree planting and recycling projects. 

Dr Michelle Morrison, Centre for Process Innovation

Principal AD Scientist & Group Leader – Centre for Process Innovation

Michelle has a background in biogeochemistry, gaining her PhD from Newcastle University in 2005, in the field of passive remediation of mine waters using compost-based treatment systems. There is a significant cross-over in knowledge between biogeochemical processes which occur in compost-based wetlands and those which take place in anaerobic digesters. Hence, following a period of 7 years in Environmental Consultancy, working for Wardell Armstrong LLP, Michelle took up a position with CPI at Wilton in 2012, as an AD Scientist.

Michelle now heads up the AD Group at CPI. The group’s projects have included work with energy crops, food waste, agricultural wastes, distillery wastes, sewage sludge and seaweed. The team have worked for SMEs, consultants and large companies but also government bodies and NGOs, across different scales of experimental work. The AD facility at CPI is independent, technology agnostic and open access.


Charlotte Morton, ADBA

Chief Executive –  ADBA

A law graduate from LSE, Charlotte practised commercial, shipping and aircraft finance law for 10 years before studying for her MBA at London Business School. She then set up WhizzGo, which became the UK's largest pay by the hour car club business. Asked by the founder chairman to help with setting up the business side of ADBA in 2009, she saw the potential of an industry which can deliver huge value to the UK, and has been working hard to ensure ADBA supports the industry ever since. She is also on the board of Green Gas Trading Limited


Dr Dhivya Puri, Fiberight

Research and Development Engineer – Fiberight

Dr Dhivya Puri is a Research and Development Engineer for Fiberight Ltd and has eight years experience working in R&D. Dhivya obtained her MEng (Chemical) and BSc (Genetics) at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Since then she has worked in range of areas including; biomaterials, the sugar industry and anaerobic digestion. In 2014 Dhivya completed her PhD for Fiberight Ltd, at the University of Southampton with a project which investigated process improvements for the production of platform sugars from MSW. 


Dr Tanja Radu, Loughborough University

Research Associate, School of Civil and Building Engineering – Loughborough University

Dr Tanja Radu studied Environmental Engineering at Belgrade University, Serbia and she obtained her BSc in 2000. She then started her postgraduate studies at Auburn University, USA and obtained PhD degree in 2007. Following her studies, she joined the National Centre for Sensor Research at Dublin City University, Ireland as a postdoctoral researcher. She remained there for 4 years, working on several environmental projects, both national and international. She joined Loughborough University as Research Associate in May 2012 where she is a member of the Water Engineering group. Her work at Loughborough includes studying anaerobic digestion process and finding solutions for energy shortage of rural communities in India.


Lois Ricketts, Stopford Energy & Environment

 Senior Research Consultant – Stopford Energy & Environment

Lois is a Senior Consultant with Stopford Energy & Environment in the Research and Environment team. Lois’ work focuses on waste recovery processes, and incorporates characterisation, evaluation and development of treatment processes, and early stage feasibility studies for waste treatment plants. She has considerable project experience working with various waste streams including MSW and commercial waste through to niche wastes such as paint sludge, sewage screenings, and energy conversion by-products. Lois’ background is in Environmental Sciences; she enjoys the technical aspects of the projects she works on and she has been a Member of the CIWM since 2013.

Dr Mirjam Roeder, University of Manchester

Research Associate, Tyndall Centre – University of Manchester

Mirjam Roeder is a researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at The University of Manchester. Her research interests focus on climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation options in the fields of agriculture, bioenergy and food systems, implications of land use change, as well as food/livelihood security and sustainability. Currently she is working on the projects Carbon uncertainties in bioenergy supply chains and Energy from Rice Straw of the EPSRC funded SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub. Latter is in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines.

In her research Mirjam strongly follows interdisciplinary and whole system approaches and has a strong expertise in life cycle assessment. Mirjam holds a degree in agricultural sciences from Humboldt University, Berlin. In her PhD research at Humboldt University, she examined meal security in urban areas in Central Sudan using a cultural ecological approach. In the past Mirjam worked in Hamburg and Berlin as a project manager and consultant in advertising and PR. Her customers were internationally leading companies of the agro-chemistry and logistics sectors.


Aniruddha Sharma, Carbon Clean Solutions Ltd

CEO – Carbon Clean Solutions Ltd

An engineer by practice, Aniruddha Sharma is responsible for all day-to-day operations and leads Carbon Clean Solutions Limited’s as CEO. He is responsible for customer development and commercialization strategy. While pursuing his Masters Degree in Statistics at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, Aniruddha co-founded Carbon Clean Solutions in the year 2009.

Selected as one of the Top 50 Brightest Young Climate Leaders, he was a part of the youth delegation to COP15 and COP/MOP5 (Kyoto Protocol), held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the fall of 2009 (December 7th to 18th). He has also been selected as one of the top 27 entrepreneurs working on accelerated commercialization of Technology & Innovation by Accelerator India. Currently working towards tying partnerships for ‘Carbon capture and reuse/sequestration’, he was invited to the esteemed World Economic Forum’s India summit in 2011.

Aniruddha works closely on all policy issues related to CCS and also looks into hiring talent for the company.


Dr David Styles, Bangor University

Lecturer, Life Cycle Assessment – Bangor University

David Styles is a lecturer in life cycle assessment (LCA) at Bangor University where he delivers a BBSRC-funded Advanced Training Partnership distance-learning MSc on sustainable food production. David has over ten years of research experience in LCA and techno-economic assessment of agricultural and industrial systems, including bioenergy production (Trinity College Dublin, 2005-6; Bangor University, 2012-present), industrial manufacturing (Irish Environmental Protection Agency, 2006-2009) and food supply chains (European Commission Joint Research Centre, 2010-2012).

Research at the Joint Research Centre involved close collaboration with industry “frontrunners” to develop sectorial technical guidance documents on environmental management and performance benchmarking. Since then, he has led preparation of a report for the JRC on environmental management in agriculture, and has led an LCA study of farm biogas for Defra. David’s current research involves application of farm models and LCA to explore the wider environmental impacts of bioenergy production, considering agronomic and indirect effects. 


Dr David Vaughan, Biorenewables Development Centre

Senior Technologist – Biorenewables Development Centre

David Vaughan has been working for the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) since its launch in 2012 and has been instrumental in setting up and expanding the BDC’s new anaerobic digestion (AD) facility.

With a background in plant biology David has worked for the University of York for 19 years in numerous research areas including microbiology, molecular biology, biomass analysis and biofuel production. This background brings a multidisciplinary approach to AD research and development and demonstration within the BDC.

On a day-to-day basis, David interacts closely with clients to ensure the research conducted at the BDC is targeted to industry needs. 


Dr Raffaella Villa, Cranfield University

Senior Lecturer in Biopress Technology, Bioenergy and Resource Management Centre, School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood (SEEA)

Dr Raffaella Villa, senior lecturer in Bioprocess Technology, has 20 years' experience in University research. Since 2012 she has been heading the Cranfield Centre for Anaerobic Science. She has worked on AD projects both with municipal sludge digestion and waste digestion and she has gained extensive knowledge in the area. Dr Villa is PI for the ERDF funding that will support the finalisation of a pilot AD plant on the Cranfield campus. The plant will support SMEs in the East of England region on renewable energy projects.  Once the EDRF funding has ceased, the pilot plant will provide a solid platform for training and consultancy work as well as near-market research.


Andreas Weger, Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Environmental Engineer – Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Andreas Weger has been a Research Assistant at Fraunhofer UMSICHT – Institute branch Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Department Biological Process Engineering since June 2005. His fields of specialisation include: Energy from Biomass and Waste, Anaerobic process technologies (Biogas, Bioethanol, Biohydrogen) and Pre-treatment of biomass.


John Williams, ADAS UK

Principal Soil Scientist – Soils and Nutrients Team, ADAS UK

John is a Principal Soil Scientist with ADAS. His work has focussed on research aimed at developing strategies to maximise the nutrient value of organic material applications by reducing nutrient losses to the air and water environments. John is FACTS qualified and has been involved in technology transfer through training, seminars, demonstration and publications. He is an Everton supporter, a Chartered Scientist and a Member of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists.


Peter Winter, Principal Research Engineer, Sludge & Energy Innovation, Thames Water 

Principal Research Engineer, Sludge & Energy Innovation – Thames Water

I am a Chartered Engineer in Thames Water Innovation with 19 years’ experience in the water industry. I have been leading R&D projects evaluating technical solutions to challenges faced by the water industry, to meet regulatory standards and to provide innovation to the business. I am a nationally recognised expert in anaerobic digestion with sound knowledge of sludge treatment processes and odour abatement. I also have experience in key disciplines such as carbon and H&S. In addition I have a MSc in Environmental Decision Making from the Open University and some experience in water supply in developing countries.


Dr Carly Whittaker, Rothamsted Research

Agriculture Systems Specialist – Rothamsted Research

Carly’s main research interests surround life cycle assessment (LCA) of biomass supply chains for heat, power and biofuel production.  She has gained a great deal of experience in performing LCAs on agricultural crops, perennial energy crops and forest products. At Rothamsted Research she is examining the dry matter, energy and quality losses that occur throughout biomass supply chains and is examining the potential for Miscanthus to be preserved in silage for use in anaerobic digestion. Her main skills include LCA, the agronomy of arable and energy crops, carbon accounting methodologies, biomass supply chain logistics and experimental design.