My first degree was in Engineering Science at The University of Aberdeen and I studied mainly Civil Engineering options. I then took an MEng in Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. Because of a recession in the oil industry at the time of my graduation I worked as an IT programmer and project manager in financial services for many years. After a career break, I returned to the academic world doing a MSc in Engineering Project Management here at the University of Leeds.
My PhD is looking at the potential for using more locally sourced biomass to generate bioenergy in Yorkshire and Humberside. Having assessed the current use of biomass in the region I am now trying to understand how more wood fuel, poultry litter and energy crops could be produced and used. I will then assess the environmental, social and economic impact of increased use and consider how the findings in Yorkshire and Humberside could be applied to the rest of the UK.
I spent a month with BioVale in York working on their project to map food waste in Yorkshire and Humberside and identify innovative uses for the waste. My focus was on poultry litter.
In my first year in the CDT I worked on two group projects assessing the availability, suitability and practical viability of using road-verge grass as a feedstock for anaerobic digestion and the potential uses for the bio-methane produced.
Why I chose the CDT in Bioenergy
I have always been interested in the supply of energy, and I became interested in how we can change the sources of energy we use to cut greenhouse gas emissions. When I saw the CDT Bioenergy advertised I thought it sounded perfect for me. It covers a wide range of topics and the research is clearly of immediate relevance to the world and its environment. I enjoy being part of a group rather than working alone.