Management of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub is undertaken by the Project Management Group (PMG), comprising all project leads, along with representatives from the funders, a representative from the Supergen Bioenergy Hub Early Career Researcher Network (SHARE Network), the Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Policy Fellow and Project Manager.


PMG membership

Patricia Thornley, Aston University
Jason Hallett, Imperial
Helen Sneddon, University of York
Michael Short, University of Surrey
Paula Blanco-Sanchez, Aston University
Jun Li, Strathclyde University
Manosh Paul, University of Glasgow
Ruoyang Yuan, University of Sheffield
Spiridon Siouris, University of Sheffield
Rob Holland, University of Southampton
Ian Watson, University of Glasgow
Mirjam Roeder, Aston University

Secretary: Project Manager, Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Aston University

In attendance: Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Aston University; Policy Fellow, Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Aston University; representatives from BBSRC and EPSRC; representative from SHARE Network for early career researchers.

Meet the PMG

Katie Chong
EBRI/Aston University Project lead scientific content and video

Katie Chong is a lecturer in chemical engineering at Aston University. She 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 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 a number of research consortia and is currently working on a GCRF project relating to the use of rice straw in India and Vietnam, and is also working with Stellenbosch University developing a techno-economic model for the evaluation of a paper mill based biorefinery.

Katie is currently a 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.

Katie is Topic Group Representative for Pre-treatment and Conversion, and Vectors.

Ian Watson
University of Glasgow

Ian is a Reader in Applied Energy at the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow.

With a background in laser physics and engineering, his current research encompasses improving thermochemical processing of microalgae, including growth, dewatering and extraction for high value products, nutrition, biofuel and novel forms of decontamination.

On thermochemical work, his focus is on delivering improved system performance and addressing multilevel systems integration from, for example, automated Miscanthus farming through to gasification and pyrolysis with enhanced detection and control strategies, and integrated biorefinery strategies.

Work with the Supergen Bioenergy Hub will focus on developing strategies for scaling biorefineries and enabling rapid deployment from laboratory to commercial scale utilising machine learning and AI approaches.

Ian leads the bioenergy theme for the Energy Technology Partnership in Scotland, where academics work closely with Scottish Government and national and international companies, and he leads the regional development and collaboration activity for the hub.


Michael Short
University of Surrey

Michael Short is a Senior Lecturer in Process Systems Engineering at the University of Surrey and Fellow in the Surrey Institute for Sustainability.

He is an expert in process modelling, optimisation and control, with a track-record of developing open-source code and algorithms for decision-making across system scales for policy, design and operation in the energy and chemicals sectors.

His work has received funding from the British Council, EPSRC, BBSRC, CAPES (Brazil), NRF (South Africa) and industry. He currently leads a £1.7m AI for Net-Zero project on using AI to increase flexibility of biogas (EP/Y005600/1).

He received his BSc (2011) and PhD (2017) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa before spending two years as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University with Prof. Larry Biegler. Their work focused on developing an open-source software package, KIPET, for chemists at Eli Lilly and Company for kinetic parameter estimation from spectra for use in drug development.

Michael has worked on projects involving companies such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Dow, DIREK, Future Biogas, and Siemens-PSE, and leads a group of eight PhD students and two postdocs.


Spiridon Siouris
University of Sheffield

Dr. Spiridon Siouris is a Research Fellow in Aviation Fuels at The University of Sheffield and a Chartered Engineer.

Since his PhD at The University Sheffield, Spiridon has worked extensively in the areas of aviation fuels, lubricants, elastomers, numerical modelling and computational fluid dynamics. Spiridon has carried out a wide range of experimental testing from TRL1, and up to TRL5 where he designed all aspects of a large-scale test facility and successfully completed testing for aviation fuel thermal stability and fuel system design. His numerical work involves developing theoretical models and high performance computing software for aero engine fuel systems such as deposition modelling, filtration modelling, as well as modelling thermal management and fuel stressing.

Spiridon also has expertise in computational fluid dynamics modelling aerodynamics active flow control devices and developing in-house CFD codes. He has been part of several UK, EU and international projects related to aero engines and aircraft design with industrial partners such as Rolls Royce and Airbus, as well as numerous suppliers to aerospace OEMs.

Since 2017, Dr Siouris has attracted funding as a primary and co-investigator to the level of £1.5M from industry and public funding.



Jun Li
University of Strathclyde

Jun Li is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and serves as Deputy Theme Lead (Bioenergy) at ETP Scotland.

His research particularly focuses on innovative routes to enable the cost-effective use of biomass waste as a sustainable source to produce energy and fuels, ultimately achieving a low-carbon circular economy.

His research interests include fundamentals of biomass reacting/conversion process, advanced CFD modelling and plant-wise process simulations, predominantly focusing on clean bioenergy technologies, eg, biomass electrolysis for hydrogen production, supercritical water gasification, and syngas/biogas reforming and CO2 hydrogenation supported by carbon-based catalysts.


Paula Blanco Sanchez
Aston University

Paula Blanco is a Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Aston University.

Her main research work is focused on biomass and bioenergy to yield high-value fuels and chemicals and is undertaken at the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University.

Paula has been Principal investigator (PI) in an RAEng (£70k) and IDRIC-UKRI (£100k) funded projects, looking at paddy straw conversion and carbon dioxide (CO2) streams with impurities, respectively. She is Co-I in the HyDEX project for hydrogen production and utilisation in the West Midlands. She is co-leading the implementation of the Wolfson Centre for Low-Carbon Hydrogen (~£1m).

She is the UK representative in the International Energy Agency (IEA) BioEnergy Agreement Task 33: Gasification of biomass and waste and she is part of the editorial board of the Journal of Carbon Capture Science and Technology. In this new Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Paula will be leading the technology development project on gasification of biomass for negative emissions.


Manosh Paul
University of Glasgow

Manosh C. Paul is Professor of Thermofluids in the James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow, specialising in thermo-chemical processes such as gasification, pyrolysis and combustion.

His main research interests include the production and utilisation (combustion) of bio-hydrogen and hydrogen-enriched biosyngas from biomass and municipal solid waste (MSW), as well as the application of biochar in thermal storage. Much of his primary research is focused on the development and application of robust thermochemical kinetics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling for process and reactor optimisation. His lab is equipped with several reactor rigs, enabling model validation and further process design and optimisation.

Within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, he leads a project on negative emission hydrogen-BECCUS (bioenergy with carbon capture, utilisation and storage) technology. He is also the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) champion for the hub.


Ruoyang Yuan
University of Sheffield

Ruoyang Yuan is a Lecturer in Fuels and Combustion and the Sustainability Champion in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield. Her research interests are in advanced optical diagnostics, turbulent combustion, heat transfer and low-carbon energy systems and their industrial applications. Previously an EPSRC David Clarke Fellow, her research work focuses on low-carbon energy conversion and propulsion technologies through utilisation of biofuels.


Patricia Thornley
Aston University

Patricia Thornley is director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University. She is a chartered physicist with over 30 years’ experience of bioenergy in the commercial and academic sectors. Her main research interests are in engineering sustainable bioenergy systems that reconcile disparities between environmental, economic and social impacts of energy provision. Her particular expertise is in process design, modelling and life cycle evaluation.

Patricia is the Director of the Supergen Bioenergy Hub.


Jason Hallett
Imperial College London

Jason Hallett is Professor of Sustainable Chemical Technology within the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London and holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies.

His career has been dedicated to the development of emerging sustainable technologies and the translation of those into commercial practice. His research and translation efforts have been recognised with prizes from the Royal Society and IChemE and has been profiled by many noteworthy scientific magazines and journals, including the Washington Post, Scientific American, Chemical & Engineering News, Chemistry World and Science.

He has received more than £50M in research funding from different UKRI, industry and European programmes since 2013 and has leveraged these collaborations into 6 spin-out companies to act as vehicles for the translation of his research into practice.


Helen Sneddon
University of York

Helen Sneddon studied Natural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and obtained her PhD, on the application of b-keto dithianes in natural product synthesis from the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Steven V. Ley. Following postdoctoral studies on the catalytic asymmetric chemistry of palladium II at the University of California, Irvine with Professor Larry Overman, she joined GSK.

Whilst at GSK she has developed a particular interest in green chemistry as applied to the pharmaceutical industry, including solvent and reagent selection, metrics and the development of more efficient transformations. She is an author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

She took up the position of Professor in Sustainable Chemistry and Director of the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York in April 2022. The GCCE has close ties to the Biorenewables Development Centre, and has a particular interest in renewable feedstocks, green synthesis, sustainable technologies, and design for reuse, degradation and recovery.


Robert Holland
University of Southampton

As an ecologist and conservation scientist, Robert Holland is interested in understanding how the planet’s resources can be used sustainably. His current work focuses on the relationship between human demand for energy and the implications that this has for biodiversity, natural capital and ecosystem services. His research seeks to widen the debate around energy systems to think ‘beyond carbon’ and consider how society can make informed choices about desirable energy options based on a broader understanding of the environmental consequences.

Before taking up his current post as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton Robert worked for the IUCN as freshwater biodiversity programme, and for the British Science Association as a professional science communicator.

Within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub, Rob leads research on scaling up feedstock production.


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