Early career bioenergy research network - SHARE

The SHARE Network has been set up to provide an informal but professional interdisciplinary network of peers who are engaged in bioenergy research.  We run workshops and seminars to support knowledge exchange, promote mobility of early career researchers and interdisciplinary collaboration.

The SHARE Network is open to all bioenergy PhDs, post-doctoral researchers and research fellows, or those of equivalent professional standing, belonging to formal partners of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub. If you aren't sure then just email hub project manager Laura.Okeefe@manchester.ac.uk to find out more.

Mailing List

There is a mailing list for the SHARE Network based at JISCmail (SHARE-NETWORK@jiscmail.ac.uk) for communication amongst members. If you wish to join this list please send an email to: listserv@jiscmail.ac.uk with the body text SUBSCRIBE SHARE-NETWORK [your forename] [your surname]. This will be forwarded to the moderators for approval.

SHARE news

Do you have colleagues that would benefit from SHARE?

If the answer’s yes, then please tell them about us!  We’re open to all early career researchers at Supergen Bioenergy Hub partner institutions.  To join the mailing list please visit www.jiscmail.ac.uk/share-network and click subscribe. 

Some of our members...

Dr Jon McCalmont

Jon is a Post Doc researcher at the Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Science (IBERS) within Aberystwyth University. His research is aimed at a better understanding of the environmental impacts (positive and negative) of land-use changes to bioenergy feedstock production; particularly GHG and nutrient cycling, carbon dynamics and soil characterisation. Primary research effort is based around commercial scale Miscanthus production using cutting edge monitoring equipment (eddy covariance) to monitor carbon and water exchange over annual timescales. This study is complemented by plot scale replicated trials to further understand these dynamics. 

Research Interests:

  • Atmosphere/ecosystem gas exchange (eddy covariance)
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Biomass crop production (land-use conversion and reversion)
  • Soil physical and chemical processes
  • Economic modelling

Dr Scott Banks

Scott is a Research Fellow for the EPSRC funded SUPERGEN Bioenergy Challenge Project, based in the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University.

He joined EBRI as a doctoral student in 2009. His research project was about Ash control methods to limit biomass inorganic content and its effect on fast pyrolysis bio-oil stability. He completed his PhD in 2014. Since 2014 he has been a research fellow focussing on catalytic fast pyrolysis, ash control, bio-oil characterisation and bio-oil stability.  

Research interests lie in the following areas:

  • Catalytic pyrolysis of biomass
  • Fast pyrolysis bio-oil stability
  • Ash control methods to limit biomass inorganic content

Web page: http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/staff/a-z/scott-banks/

Dr Paula Blanco - University of Aston 

Paula is a Research Fellow or the EPSRC funded SUPERGEN Bioenergy Challenge II, based at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) in Aston University, Birmingham. Her current research is based in biomass gasification.

Paula did her PhD at the Energy Research Institute (ERI), at the University of Leeds. Her research was focused on the hydrogen production during the pyrolysis-gasification of refuse derived fuel, using diverse metal-based catalysts. During her PhD she carried out a research stay at the University of Sydney in Australia, and carried out some research work at the Energy research centre (ECN) in the Netherlands as part of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology/Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge (BRISK). She also participated in 4 International conferences and published 5 papers in International Journals, 4 of them as 1st author.

In recognition for her research she was awarded the Foxwell Memorial Prize as best student of the year in energy research, by the Energy Institute Yorkshire region (2014). She also obtained a PhD research excellence from the Graduate Board’s Examinations Group and Acting Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies at the University of Leeds.  


Research interests:

  • Pyrolysis
  • Gasification
  • Biomass & RDF
  • Metal-based catalysts
  • H2 production
  • Tar analysis

Webpage: http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/staff/a-z/dr-paula-h-blanco/

Dr Isabela Butnar – Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London

Isabela is a researcher in bioenergy modelling at ISR – UCL. Her current research focuses on the modelling of GHG emissions from Land Use and Land Use Change (LULUC) associated with global bioenergy value chains within TIAM-UCL, a global energy system model. She also has an established expertise in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), mainly focusing on agricultural systems. 

Main areas of interest:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) methods, application, and teaching
  • Bioenergy value chains
  • Whole system analysis


Webpage: https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=IABUT20


Dr Marion Carrier - Aston University

Marion Carrier is an Honory research fellow at Aston University, Birmingham (UK). She obtained degrees in Chemical engineering from CPE Lyon (MEng), in Analytical Science (MSc) and in Chemistry (PhD) from Claude Bernard University in Lyon (France). Trained as an interdisciplinary researcher, she has been applying her current skills and knowledge in the field of pyrolysis for the last 8 years at leading research organisations in France, South Africa, Chile and England. Her research contributed to a wide range of research fields such as chemical mechanistic, pyrolysis chemical analysis, bioprocessing, thermochemical processing and soil sciences. Since October 2015, she joined Prof. Bridgwater’s team to pursue her research on molecular mapping of fast pyrolysis using fractionation and isotopic characterisation techniques along with molecular dynamics calculations.


  • Pyrolysis
  • Liquefaction
  • Advanced Oxidation
  • Biomass
  • Wood chemistry
  • Kinetic

Dr Lais Galileu Speranza - University of Birmingham

Lais is a Research Fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering at University of Birmingham since 2017. Currently, she is working in the H2020 flexJET project that aims to produce jet fuel from food waste and used cooking oil by SABR-TCR technology at pre commercial scale. She obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering at UoB and graduated in Environmental and Urban Engineering and Science and Technology’s Bachelor at Federal University of ABC (Universidade Federal do ABC – UFABC), Brazil. She has experience with biofuels policies, environmental analysis and the use of thermo-catalytic reforming, pyrolysis and supercritical fluids for the production of biofuels.


Samira Garcia Freites - University of Manchester

Samira is a PhD researcher at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Aston University. Her research focusses on evaluating, from a technical, economic and environmental perspective, the integration of biomass gasification systems with carbon capture technologies along the whole process chain. As part of her research aim, she will investigate the potential and feasibility of using agricultural residues as feedstock; considering Colombia’s context as a study case. Her bachelor and MSc. studies are in Mechanical Engineering. She has worked as a research assistant studying the hydrodynamics of multiphase flows inside bioreactors for microalgae cultivation, using modelling and CFD simulation techniques. She also has experience in research project management.


Main areas of interests: 

  • Climate change mitigation
  • Bioenergy technologies
  • Process modelling
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Sustainable development 

Dr Miao Guo - Imperial College London

Miao Guo is a EPSRC Research Fellow hosted at CPSE, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London. She has a multi-disciplinary background, holds a PhD from Department of Life Sciences Imperial College London and a BSc from Renmin University of China. Her transition from Natural Sciences to Chemical Engineering has led to a unique academic path at the engineering-science interface. Her research interests include whole systems modelling and optimization, process-based agro-ecosystem modelling of food/non-food biomass and the environmental modelling of the biomaterials/biofuel/bioenergy from renewable resources. Her EPSRC Fellowship research project Resilient and Sustainable Biorenewable Systems Engineering Model (ReSBio) focuses on developing an open-source biorenewable system model from user-perspectives and providing insights into sustainable design of the future biorenewable systems, which best adapt to and mitigate future changes, contribute to UK sustainability and resilience agenda and support UK bioeconomy evolution.

Biorenewables (bioenergy, biofuel, biochemical) system modellingResearch Interests:

  • Multi-objective optimisation of resource-competition systems
  • Integration of ecosystem services with bioenergy/biorenewable system optimisation
  • Whole systems modelling of circular bioeconomic sectors
  • Game theory based model to understand the policy implications for innovation market or low-carbon technology deployment
  • Biorenewable systems analyses and design under emerging economy context
  • Process-based biogeochemical modelling
  • Life cycle sustainability of biorenewables processes and supply chains
  • Optimisation for resource-efficient urbanisation system

Website https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/miao.guo

Dr Zoe Harris - Imperial College London


Dr Zoe M Harris is a NERC Industrial Innovation Research Fellow in the in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. Her fellowship is on the impacts of land use change, bioenergy and how we can use agri-innovation to help address some of these issues. She is currently looking at the relationship between vertical farming for food and energy, and the implications this may have on land use, ecosystem services and BECCS.

Prior to work on her fellowship, Zoe worked on the MAGLUE and Asess-BECCS projects at Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. She spent time working at DEFRA, BEIS and DfT. Zoe completed her PhD at the University of Southampton in 2015, as part of the ELUM project,  on the impacts of land use change to bioenergy on GHG and soil carbon balance.Dr Zoe M Harris is a NERC Industrial Innovation Research Fellow in the in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. Her fellowship is on the impacts of land use change, bioenergy and how we can use agri-innovation to help address some of these issues. She is currently looking at the relationship between vertical farming for food and energy, and the implications this may have on land use, ecosystem services and BECCS.

Zoe is also interested in how we can use theatre to communicate complex scientific issues. She has her own theatre company, Nexus, which works at the interface of science and the arts. If you are interested to find out more, or collaborating on a communications project please get in touch.


Amanda Holder - Aberystwyth University

Amanda is a PhD student at Aberystwyth University researching the environmental impact of grassland conversion to Miscanthus. In particular Amanda is investigating changes to greenhouse gas fluxes and soil hydrology. 
Research Interests:

Research Interests:

  • Land use change and biomass crop production
  • Soil processes
  • Climate change mitigation

Dr Ying Jiang

Ying is a Lecturer in Bioenergy within the Centre for Bioenergy & Resource Management, Cranfield University. His research focuses on renewable energy production through biological as well as thermochemical processes. He is an internationally recognized expert on renewable energy production using anaerobic digestion (AD) technology and has an in-depth understanding of the biochemical pathways of methane formation. His expertise includes research into the symbiotic relationship between microorganisms involved in organic matter degradation under anoxic and anaerobic condition. Additionally, he is currently developing studies integrating renewable energy production with plant based land remediation (phytoremediation) method to achieve low carbon and low cost remediation.

Research interests

1. Energy potential of organic matters and optimization of the overall energy balance of AD process;

2. Trace element requirements for sustaining efficient AD processes;

3. Impact of environmental factors to methanogen population and methanogenesis pathways;

4. Fate of heavy metal elements in contaminated land derived biomass during thermochemical processes;

5. Economic and feasibility analysis of biomass production from contaminated and non-agriculture land.


Web Page: https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/people/dr-ying-jiang-704315

Shiyun Liu - University of Liverpool

Shiyun is a PhD candidate at the University of Liverpool. Her research mainly focuses on the development of plasma-catalytic systems to convert tars and deliver high quality syngas from the biomass gasification process in an energy efficient and sustainable way.


Main areas of interest:

  • Plasma-Catalytic reforming of biomass tar for production of value-added chemicals.
  • Process development and optimization of plasma-catalytic systems.
  • Syngas production

Dr Fanran Meng

Fanran Meng is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering since 2017. His current research focuses on life cycle environmental sustainability of waste valorisation opportunities, with specific focus on carbon fibre composite materials and municipal solid waste. He obtained his PhD degree in Materials Engineering and Materials Design at University of Nottingham UK in 2017.

His expertise is in the application of systems analysis approaches (technical, environmental, and economic analysis with optimization algorithm) to materials and biomass. This research involves the integration of a number of analytical methodologies and the impact assessment of resources, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, cost, and other impact factors.

 Angela Mae Minas - University of Manchester

Angela is a PhD Researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Aston University. Her research focuses on identifying communication and capacity building pathways to engage farmers in rice straw bioenergy development in Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining Tyndall Centre, Angela worked in international agricultural research and development organisations as knowledge management and communication specialist.

Main areas of interest:

  • Agricultural innovation systems
  • Social innovation for rural development
  • Qualitative network research
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Translating research to practice 

Dr Patrick Mason - Leeds University

Patrick is part-time Bioenergy Research Fellow in the biomass combustion research group in Leeds. His research has focused on combustion behaviour of pulverised biomass fuel and the fate of potassium during combustion but has also included studies on thermal properties including thermal conductivity of biomass and emissivity of high temperature materials. He is also a Chartered Electrical Engineer and works part-time as free-lance consultant with experience in areas diverse as data centres, railways and, more recently, large scale biomass combustion plant. He is a member of Council of The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Research interests:

  • solid biomass fuels: handling, storage, combustion, ash behaviour 
  • thermal properties: thermal conductivity of biomass, emissivity of high temperature materials
  • electrical power generation technologies

Dr Mohamad Anas Nahil - University of Leeds

Anas is a research fellow at the University of Leeds.

Keywords: Activated carbon, Catalysis, Pyrolysis, Gasification, Hydrogen, Bio-fuels.

For more information, please visit his University profile:


Kiran Parmar - University of Leeds

Kiran is a postgraduate researcher at the Energy Research Institute (ERI) at the University of Leeds.

His PhD project focuses on the opportunities to valorise digestate and other organic waste materials through integration of anaerobic digestion (AD) and hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC). With this approach there is potential to convert digestate in to a safer, higher quality product with multiple uses, whilst increasing AD efficiency and operator revenue by increasing biogas yields. This approach also has environmental benefits and mitigates fugitive methane emissions (by reducing disposal of digestate to land) whilst providing additional supply chains for solid fuels.

As well as enhanced biogas generation via anaerobic digestion, treatment of HTC process water via mesophilic and thermophilic degradation maybe a direct route for production of biofuels and fine chemicals. New research links developed through this project with the University of Akureyri in Iceland are developing the production of biofuels and fine chemicals via thermophilic microbes. Next steps include investigating microbial inhibitory mechanisms and extending the focus towards treatment of a wider range of feedstocks such as algae.

Webpage: ORCiD


Research Interests:

  • Organic wastes
  • Hydrothermal carbonisation
  • Agronomics and combustion
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Microbial inhibition


Will Rolls - University of Leeds

Will's background is in the UK forestry industry where he worked for a number of years for both the Forestry Commission and Forest Research, mainly looking at the development and support of the UK biomass sector. In 2013 he began work as a self-employed consultant supporting clients with biomass and forestry work, he continued this while working part time on an MSc until 2017 when he began his PhD studies. Will is working on the links between forest management, biomass fuel, carbon emissions and climate change.



  • carbon
  • forests
  • biomass

You can find out more about what Will is up to, on twitter (@w_rolls) or via his website (wrolls.co.uk/about/)


Jennifer Spragg - University of Leeds

Jeni is completing her PhD at the CDT in Bioenergy at the University of Leeds. Her research is exploring advanced reforming methods for the conversion of bio-compounds into hydrogen. This involves modelling the sorption-enhanced chemical looping steam reforming (SE-CLSR) process, which aims to combine more efficient hydrogen production with integrated carbon capture, using the compounds within bio-oil as a feedstock.


Hydrogen production, Sorption-Enhanced Chemical Looping Steam Reforming, process modelling, bio-oils


Dr Li Wang - University of Liverpool

Li is currently a post doc at University of Liverpool. Her research mainly focuses on the development of novel low energy plasma/catalytic gas cleaning process to deliver high quality syngas from the gasification of waste biomass technology funded by the EPSRC. Li has also worked on the development of plasma/catalytic as an alternative technology for green C1 chemistry in the COutilization, CH4 conversion and the CH3OH decomposition. Her PhD research focused on the COx-free H2 production from NH3 decomposition for fuel cell devices.

Main areas of interest:

  • Biomass upgrading
  • H2 production
  • CO2 utilization
  • CH4 conversion
  • Carbon material

Dr Andrew Welfle - Aston University

Andrew is a researcher at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at Aston University. His research focuses on biomass resource modelling, bioenergy scenarios, the global trade of biomass trade for energy end uses, and the wider benefits and impacts of bioenergy pathways. Andrew also has experience of lifecycle assessment and analysis of bioenergy policy. Prior to joining the Tyndall Centre, Andrew worked for an engineering consultancy specialising in sustainability and energy of the built environment.

Main areas of interest:

  • Biomass resources
  • Resource modelling
  • Bioenergy scenarios
  • Lifecycle assessment
  • Biomass Trade

Robert White – University of Leeds

Robert is a postgraduate researcher at the Energy Research Institute (ERI) at the University of Leeds under the centre for doctoral training.

His PhD focuses on gasification of biodiesel waste glycerol to methane. Aspen Plus© process modelling software is used to design and optimise a low temperature glycerol steam reforming (LT-GSR) process, with a focus on heat integration, steam recuperation and gas upgrading. Future work includes a life cycle and technoeconomic analysis to determine the feasibility of a plant based on the different product use scenarios and comparison against competing technologies.


Research Interests

  • Biomass Gasification
  • Methanation
  • Gas Cleaning
  • Process Modelling
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Technoeconomic Analysis

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertwilliamwhite/

CDT Profile: https://cdt.engineering.leeds.ac.uk/bioenergy/student-profiles/RobertWhite-CentreforDoctoralTraininginBioenergy.shtml

Dr Chunfei Wu - University of Hull

Chunfei is a Lecturer at the School of Engineering at the University of Hull, UK. He has worked in the areas of converting renewable and waste resources to energy, fuel, and chemicals through catalytic thermo-chemical routes for more than 10 years. His research interests include biomass pyrolysis, biomass gasification, catalytic steam reforming, CO2 capture and utilisation, carbon nanotubes production from waste plastics, and the application of carbon nanotubes. He has been a principal investigator of several collaborative grants; White Rose Collaboration Fund, Royal Society International Exchange Scheme and Worldwide Universities Network. He has published more than 80 peer reviewed journal publications with >1400 citations with an ‘h factor’ of 23 (Google Scholar) in the areas of catalytic thermo-chemical conversion of wastes, and he is a Charted Scientist and a Member of Royal Society of Chemistry. Since 2014, he has published 45 journal papers, and he is currently PIs in Hull University for 4 research projects (including EU Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie actions staff exchange project, EPSRC and Royal Society projects). His research group has 3 full-time PhD students and two academic visitors (from Xi’an Jiaotong University).

Research interests:

  • Biomass pyrolysis
  • Biomass gasification
  • CO2 adsorption
  • CO2 utilisation
  • Plastic gasification

Website: http://www2.hull.ac.uk/science/engineering/our_staff/academic/chunfeiwu.aspx

Dr Yang Yang - Aston University

Yang is currently a Research Fellow for the EPSRC funded SUPERGEN Bioenergy Challenge Project 14, based in EBRI at Aston University.

He joined EBRI as a doctoral student in 2010. His research project was about intermediate pyrolysis of biomass/waste material and use of pyrolysis oils as diesel engine fuels for renewable energy production. He completed his PhD in 2014. Prior to that, he did a 14-month industrial secondment under an EC Marie Curie IAPP project at WEHRLE-WERK AG in Germany.

In recognition of his Ph.D study at EBRI, he was awarded the prestigious "Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad" by the Chinese Ministry of Education’s China Scholarship Council in 2014.

Main areas of interest:

  • Biomass/waste
  • Pyrolysis
  • Combined Heat and Power


Webpage: http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/staff/a-z/yyang/

Dr Xi Yu - Aston University

Dr. Xi Yu is a lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Aston and leading CFD modelling Unit in European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI). He has high-profile expertise in areas of bioenergy, particle technology and multiphysics modelling. In past five years, his research has results in 16 academics papers, 1 book chapters and over 18 presentations international conferences. Dr Yu has won 1 studentship and 3 travel grants (e.g. Newton fund). He was PDRA in one biomass gasification project (£1.25M, EPSRC, EP/M01343X/1) and one particle technology project (£175K, Leverhulme Trust, RPG-410).  Dr. Yu is serving as peer reviewer of 10+ academic journals and 2+ funding agencies. He is also serving as guest editor of Elsevier Journal: Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process intensification. He has/is supervising 4 PhD students and 6 masters.

Research interests  

  • Biomass
  • Pyrolysis
  • Gasification
  • Granulation
  • Crystallisation
  • Phase change materials
  • Modelling and optimisation  
  • CFD


Website: http://www.aston.ac.uk/eas/staff/a-z/yux/

Personal website: https://xyu384.wixsite.com/xiyu

Dr Kui Zhang – Newcastle University 

Kui is a Research Associate at School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Newcastle University. He has experience of working in industry, academic, and research institute. Currently, his research focuses on non-thermal plasma assisted chemical reactions with or without catalysts at low temperatures and ambient pressure. He is experienced in catalyst synthesis, characterization, and their application in VOCs remediation, value added chemical production under non-thermal plasma conditions. He is also experienced in plasma reactor and plasma power source unit design, scale-up, and the integration of non-thermal plasma technologies and process intensification.

Main areas of interests:

Biomass gasification

Non-thermal plasma,

Process intensification



Greenhouse gas

Value added chemicals

Hydrocarbon fuels,


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