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Meet the team

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Darren Budd

Commercial Director

UK/Ireland BASF Plc

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Darren Budd was born in Taplow, United Kingdom, in 1967. Darren studied Chemistry at Kingston University, United Kingdom, and then went on to do his doctorate on Transition Metal Complexation of Conducting Polymers. Darren has worked for BASF for the last 24 years and has held a number of positions within the company including having worked in Germany for BASF’s Venture Capital Business for 5 years. Since 1st Jan 2016, Darren has been Commercial Director for BASF Plc. This role is responsible for the Chemical Sales activities of BASF in the UK as well as the Commercial activities of BASF… [Read more]

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Raymond Hadden

Business Development Manager

Johnson Matthey

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Raymond’s PhD was in catalysis (at the University of Glasgow) and he undertook additional post-doctoral research in surface science (at the University of California, Berkeley) before joining ICI on Teesside. Raymond worked on a variety of classical heterogeneous catalysis topics (including steam reforming, water gas shift and methanol synthesis) before spending several years working on palladium catalysed, homogeneous, carbonylation chemistry. Raymond then worked in a variety of techno-commercial and business acquisition roles within Johnson Matthey. Raymond completed a MBA (at the University of Durham) during this time. Raymond then moved to work as a Technology Manager (specialising in process catalysis)… [Read more]

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Adam Herriott

Sector Specialist


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Sector Specialist at WRAP and technical lead on several projects within the world-leading UK Plastics Pact including creating a circular economy for flexible plastic packaging; non-mechanical recycling and the recyclability of black plastic packaging. Experience in both public and private sector sides of the waste industry. Have a proven track record of successfully delivering projects having gained industry recognition. A member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management with a strong working knowledge of local authority procedures and practices as well as waste legislation. [Read more]

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Dr Sheena Hindocha

Knowledge Transfer Manager


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I graduated from Imperial College London in 2013 with a PhD in radioactive medical imaging tracers. In 2014 I moved into industry as a research scientist at Johnson Matthey where I worked on metal organic frameworks, developing their research in this areas and growing the team. In 2017 I took on a project management role deploying a project and portfolio management system across the R&D function to enable new product introduction (NPI). Working across JM to develop their NPI and portfolio management processes. In 2019 I joined KTN as a Knowledge Transfer Manager in materials chemistry working in the chemistry… [Read more]

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Prof Peter Hopkinson

Professor of Circular Economy and Co-Director of the Exeter Centre for the Circular Economy

University of Exeter

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I joined Exeter University Business School in 2018. Together with Professor Fiona Charnley Peter is Co-Director of the UKRI National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Research Hub, part of a £30M investment to accelerate Circular Economy Research and Innovation across the UK. Peter has a background in environmental science and economics and is widely known for his work in the Circular Economy, systems thinking and the implementation challenge. Peter leads a number of interdisciplinary research projects investigating the technical challenge of legacy materials such as construction materials, plastics and critical materials and the requirement for the design, financing and enablers for new… [Read more]

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Dr Ian Howell

HomeCare R&D Director


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I have worked for Unilever for 28 years, across the full breadth of the Home and Personal Care business. I have delivered new science, new technology, new patented inventions, and provided detailed technical advice and support for late-stage product development projects. I am an experienced R&D leader able to integrate and develop capabilities in devices, product appraisal, consumer science, physical & chemical sciences, measurement science, marketing, safety, regulatory, patents and Open Innovation with academics, business & government, for successful delivery. My focus is on technology delivery from brilliant science. I am passionate about the development of new R&D ways of… [Read more]

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Prof Andrea Ramírez Ramírez

Professor at Delft University of Technology


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I hold a bachelor in chemical engineering (Colombia), a master in Human Ecology (Belgium) and a PhD in the field of industrial energy efficiency from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After my PhD I stayed at Utrecht University, first as assistant professor and then as associate professor at the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development. My research focused on the assessment of carbon capture and storage and biorefineries. Four years ago I joint Delft University of Technology where I was appointed as full professor of Low Carbon Systems and Technologies in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. I am one… [Read more]

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I have spent most of my career at the ‘bleeding edge’ of innovation in market-making companies; starting in tech (Cisco, Check Point) and then launching and scaling purposeful consumer brands and pioneering B Corps (method, gDiapers), and have been at the forefront of building circular economy business models.   Since taking on the role of CEO at Volans, the renowned think-tank and strategic advisory firm, I have reshaped Volans, launching thought leadership Initiatives such as Tomorrow’s Capitalism Inquiry, the Green Swans Observatory, Regenerative Transformation Architecture and the Bankers For NetZero Initiative, whilst continuing to advise a select group of leading… [Read more]

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Prof Jeremy Shears

Chief Scientist


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Jeremy leads Shell’s strategic thinking and innovation agenda to enable the company to thrive through the energy transition. He is a member of the Shell Science Council, which comes together with leading external technology experts from top universities around the world to help Shell stay at the forefront of energy technology innovation. Prior to this, Jeremy was General Manager in Shell’s Projects & Technology division where he was responsible for R&D on advanced biofuels and hydrogen at Shell’s technology centres in Netherlands, USA, UK and India. Jeremy joined Shell in 1986 and has held various commercial and technology leadership positions… [Read more]

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Ryan Siddall

Head of Technical


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My role as Head of Technical at NEPIC is to help drive forward innovation in decarbonisation, fuel switching, industrial symbiosis and circular economy within the North East. I have a masters in Chemistry from Newcastle University and have worked with NEPIC since January 2020, supporting the region with innovation and the journey to Net Zero. NEPIC are a cluster organisation with over 340 members, and I work to encourage collaboration and best practice sharing within the network. [Read more]

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Prof Jin Xuan

PI and Director of the Centre

University of Surrey

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I graduated with a PhD degree from The University of Hong Kong in 2012, with the research topic in electrochemical engineering. My academic career in the UK started in 2014, when I took up a Lectureship in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. I was appointed as the Associate Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt in 2017. I joined Loughborough University in 2018 as a Senior Lecturer, was promoted to Professor/Personal Chair in Low Carbon Processes in 2019 and became the Head of Department of Chemical Engineering in 2020. In 2022,… [Read more]

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Prof Benoit Chachuat

Theme 2 Lead and Project Co-I

Imperial College London

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The overall goal of our research is to develop safe, economically and environmentally sustainable chemical and biological processes through the synergistic use of advanced computational modelling and optimisation methods and process data. Our vision of process systems engineering has a strong focus on rigorous computation to predict the performance at scale of both existing and novel technology and empower decision-making, and we work in close collaboration with experimentalists. We furthermore develop software tools that implement these methods to ensure their dissemination ( [Read more]

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Prof Alex Cowan

Theme 1 Lead and Project Co-I

University of Liverpool

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I lead a research team that develops and studies catalysts for the sustainable production of fuels. Recent work has focused on the chemistry of carbon dioxide utilisation with programmes exploring how solar energy can be used to drive the production of useful fuels from only carbon dioxide and water. I completed my PhD in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham (2007) on the study of inorganic reaction mechanisms with transient spectroscopy and postdoctoral positions at Nottingham developing catalysts for the reduction of carbon dioxide and Imperial College London to study photoelectrochemical water splitting. I was appointed to a Lectureship in… [Read more]

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Shadine Duquemin

Centre Administrator

Loughborough University

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I joined the Centre in 2021 as Centre Administrator. I have worked within a Higher Education setting since 2017 and had previously worked as a Student Support Administrator at Loughborough University. I assist in the day-to-day operational aspects of the Centre, liaising with the project team to co-ordinate research and outreach events. [Read more]


Telephone: 01509 227337

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Prof Elizabeth (Libby) Gibson

Engagement Lead and Project Co-I

Newcastle University

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Libby is a Professor of Energy Materials at Newcastle University. Research in the Energy Materials group focuses on developing materials and devices for sustainable power, fuel and feedstocks. This includes solar cell and solar fuel devices that function at a molecular level and challenge the conventional solid-state photovoltaic technologies. It also involves extracting value from waste. Her team's research involves materials development, device assembly and characterization of the underpinning photophysics and electrochemistry. Her current roles include being the academic lead for the Northern Net Zero Accelerator PB-IAA, the  EPSRC Northeast Transient Absorption Spectroscopy & Microscopy Facility, Institution Director of the… [Read more]

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Dr Alberto Roldan

Early Career Research Lead and Project Co-I

Cardiff University

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In 2010 the physical-chemistry department at the University Rovira i Virgili awarded me with a PhD which received the recognition of the Best Thesis in Computational Chemistry in 2011. I moved to University College London as the computational lead in EPSRC funded programmes investigating carbon dioxide reduction catalysed by iron sulfides and oxide surfaces in direct collaboration with experimental groups. This successful research activity was recognised in 2012 when I was awarded the Ramsay Memorial Fellowship Trust allowing me to develop further in the field of materials and catalytic chemistry. I was appointed a University Research Fellow (URF) in 2015,… [Read more]

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Prof Peter Styring

Policy Lead and Project Co-I

University of Sheffield

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Peter is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer. He is also a former Head of Department of Chemistry at Sheffield. Peter’s research considers a wholistic approach to the circular economy, drawing on catalysis, synthesis, reactor and process design as well as life cycle analysis (LCA) and techno-economic analysis (TEA) together with policy development and social justice. This covers waste management, carbon dioxide utilisation and air quality improvement. Peter is involved in a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups in Westminster and was a recipient of a Royal… [Read more]

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Dr Jonathan Wagner

Academic Programme Lead

Loughborough University

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I joined Loughborough as Lecturer in Chemical Engineering in 2018, with a background in thermochemical biomass conversion, catalytic bio-oil upgrading and algae process development and scale-up. My current research is focused on the production of sustainable chemicals and fuels from biomass and wastes, by combining and integrating biological, thermochemical and catalytic processes to develop optimal conversion pathways. [Read more]

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Prof Bing Xu

Theme 3 Lead and Project Co-I

Heriot-Watt University

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I hold a MA(Hons) in Business Studies & Accounting and a PhD in Management both from the University of Edinburgh. I am an Associate Professor of Finance in the Edinburgh Business School at the Heriot-Watt University. My research focuses on banking and investment analytics by modelling the impact of uncertainty (e.g., macroeconomic and policy uncertainties, climate-risks) on banks’/firms’ performance, lending/investment and risk-taking behaviours. I am also interested in the design of multidimensional frameworks (e.g., DEA, multi-criteria decision-making analysis-based approaches) to evaluate energy strategies and prediction models. She also has works related to energy economics around modelling/forecasting oil prices, and studying the dynamic impact of energy market uncertainty on the economy. I am… [Read more]

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Prof Eileen Yu

Project Co-I

Loughborough University

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Eileen joined Loughborough in 2020 from Newcastle University and she holds a Chair of Electrochemical Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering. After obtaining her PhD from Newcastle University pioneering the development of direct methanol alkaline fuel cells, she worked as a research fellow at Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Germany, before returning to Newcastle University to take a prestigious EPSRC Research Fellowship (Life Science Interface). She has a wide range of experience and interests in various fields in electrochemical and bioelectrochemical systems for energy, carbon dioxide utilization, environmental and biomedical applications. [Read more]