• School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Bioenergy, climate change, waste, sustainability, techno-economics

    Personal profile

    Teaching Activity

    Undergraduate Modules

    • CE3001 -  Process economics and Loss Prevention
    • CE3104 - Process and Pollution Control
    • CE3003 - Advanced Design Project (Project Supervisor)
    • CE4011 - Research Projecr (MEng Project Supervisor)

    Research Interests

    Katie has a particular interest in the thermochemical conversion of biomass and wastes, biorefinery process synthesis and techno-economic evaluation. In particular Katie likes to make techno-economic and environmental assessment data more accessible for the non-expert. Katie has 17 years’ experience in the commercial and academic sectors working on bioenergy and process optimisation.

    Katie has significant industrial experience, having worked in the paper industry and as a bioenergy consultant. Since returning to academia Katie has successfully won and completed a number of BBSRC and EPSCRC projects in bioenergy. 

    Katie is involved in several research consortia and is currently working on a GCRF project working with Stellenbosch University developing a techno-economic model for the evaluation of a paper mill based biorefinery and a DFID project on sustainable energy access for sub-Saharan Africa.  

    Katie is currently a Topic Group Representative for Conversion within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Regional Chair for the biomass and wastes special interest group of the Fuel and Energy Research Forum and is a committee member of the IChemE Clean Energy Special Interest Group.


    August 2019 - present EBRI Director of Research Outputs Aston University, Birmingham, UK

    March 2016 - present Lecturer in Chemical Engineering Aston University, Birmingham, UK

    September 2014 - February 2016 Research Associate Aston University, Birmingham, UK

    December 2013 - August 2014 Process Engineer WSP CEL, Coventry, UK

    March 2011 - November 2013 Bioenergy Consultant CARE LTD, UK

    June 2007 - February 2011 Research Assistant / PhD candidate Aston University, Birmingham, UK

    September 2002 - June 2007 Process Development Engineer Smurfit Kappa SSK, Birmingham, UK

    June 2001 - September 2001 Placement Engineer Smurfit Kappa SSK, Birmingham, UK

    September 200 - May 2001 Placement Engineer Specialty Minerals, Birmingham, UK


    Membership of Professional Bodies

    • Topic Group Representative for Conversion within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub
    • Regional Chair for the biomass and wastes special interest group of the Fuel and Energy Research Forum
    • Committee member of the IChemE Clean Energy Special Interest Group.


    January 2015 – January 2016

    Aston University

    PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

    • Modules on: Evolving your teaching practice, becoming a designer of academic programmes, becoming a research-led innovator in Higher Education


    September 2014 – December 2014


    Aston University

    Aston Modular Award – Introduction to Learning and Teaching Practice

    • Mark awarded 75%


    June 2007 – June 2011


    Aston University


    • The creation of a methodology for the identification of the most promising biorefineries for the EU


    September 1998 – June 2002


    Aston University

    BEng Chemical Engineering (with sandwich year)

    • 1st Class honours degree
    • Chemical Engineering Prize awarded, for achieving the highest results in the year group
    • Final year project on the Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass, including the design of a fluidized bed reactor.

    Funding Applications and Awards

    Winning bids:

    • BBSRC NIBB Proof of Concept – Biorefinery Advisory Model. Project partners Aston Uni, BCU, Croda, ReBio, ZuvaSyntha. [Total budget £55,000]
    • School of Engineering and Applied Science PhD Studentship - Development of a techno-economic model to identify the optimum stage for biomass fractionation within European biorefineries [Fully funded PhD]
    • BBSRC NIBB IB Catalyst Seed Funding – Techno-economics of spent grain biorefinery. Project partners Aston Uni, Exergy, The Austin Company. [Total budget £13,000]
    • EPSRC - Process Development and Integration for Sustainable Bio-Jet Fuel Production. Project partners University of Manchester, Aston Uni. [Total budget £15,000]
    • EPSRC – Supergen Bioenergy – Topic Representative for Pretreatment and conversion theme [£53,000, Total budget £6,000,000]

    Contact Details

    Phone number: 0121 204 4088
    Email: [email protected]
    Room number: MB110A

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    • SDG 15 - Life on Land

    Education/Academic qualification

    PG Cert, Learning and teaching in higher education

    Jan 2015Jan 2016

    Award Date: 1 Jan 2016

    Aston Modular Award - Introduction to learning and teaching practice

    Sept 2014Dec 2014

    Award Date: 30 Dec 2014

    PhD, Methodology for the identification of the most promising biorefineries for the European Union

    Jun 2007Jun 2011

    Award Date: 24 Jul 2011


    • TP Chemical technology
    • Bioenergy
    • techno-economic assessment
    • Life Cycle Assessment
    • Pyrolysis
    • Modelling


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