Energy from Waste and the Circular Economy Policy Commission – the Commissioners

The Commissioners of the Energy from Waste and the Circular Economy Policy Commission are examining the state of play, barriers, challenges, and opportunities for Energy from Waste (EfW) to form part of the regional energy circular economy in the Midlands.


Lord Robin Teverson - House of Lords Energy and Environment EU Select Committee

Lord Teverson was Member of the European Parliament for Cornwall and West Plymouth between 1994 and 1999, becoming one of the first two Liberal Democrats elected to the European Parliament.

He was Chief Whip of the European Liberal Democrat Group from 1997 to 1999. In Europe he spoke on marine, transport and regional policy issues, and was previously spokesperson in the Lords for Environment, Food and Rural affairs.

He joined the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords in 2006, speaking on climate change and energy issues. He is a trustee of the Green Purposes Company which holds the ‘green share’ in the Green Investment Bank’, and a trustee of the North Devon Biosphere Foundation.

Before entering parliament Robin had a twenty year career in the freight industry.

On June 1, 2006 he was created a life peer as Baron Teverson of Tregony in the County of Cornwall

David Boardman - Deputy Director, Birmingham Energy Institute 

Dr David Boardman is a Fellow of the Institute for Knowledge Transfer, Head of Strategic Projects for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Deputy Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI).

Whilst  developing his career at Birmingham he led the Birmingham team that helped to deliver the national Mini-Waste Faraday Partnership, the national Waste Minimisation Knowledge Transfer Network and the national Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network. Over the last 6 years he has supported the development of the BEI and its strategic innovation translation ambitions including the Midlands Energy Consortium, the Energy Research Accelerator, Energy Capital and Sustainable Clean Cold.  David’s current mission is to support BEI to deliver a new Energy Innovation Hub within the City’s Energy Innovation Zone.

Adam Chase - Director, E4tech

Adam Chase has overall responsibility for E4tech’s work on low carbon transport and on energy innovation and policy. He has been a director of E4tech since joining in 2001 and he plays a role in many of the firm’s projects where strategy, policy or stakeholder engagement – in combination with technology – are key. Adam’s project work often relates to corporate or national strategy and involves an understanding of how energy systems operate, rather than technologies in isolation. Adam’s particular interest is low carbon innovation in the energy and automotive sectors. He also has operational responsibility for the London office.

Adam was previously a manager with the global management consulting firm A.T.Kearney, where he took part in and led teams engaged in a wide range of strategic and operational projects across the international energy and chemicals sectors. Prior to this, Adam worked for seven years in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry and also spent time as a journalist with the Financial Times organisation focusing on energy, environment and automotive issues. He has degrees in Economics, Engineering (University of Birmingham), Energy & Environmental Technology (Imperial College). He speaks English, French and conversational Italian.

Matthias Franke - Head of the Department of Recycling Management, Fraunhofer UMSICHT

Dr Matthias Franke is the Head of the Department of Recycling Management, Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Germany.

Matthias Franke graduated from the Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Protection Engineering Program at the University of Rostock. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the German Society for Waste Management (DGAW) and a member of the scientific advisory board of the Circular Economy Coalition for Europe (CEC4Europe) and the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE). Since 2009, he has been teaching at the Technical University of Munich, where he teaches waste management in the international study program Sustainable Resource Management.

Martin Freer - Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute and the Energy Research Accelerator 

Professor Freer is Director of both the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA). He is former Director of the Birmingham Centre for Nuclear Education and Research, which he established in 2010. His background is in Nuclear Physics for which he was awarded the Rutherford Medal for his contributions to the subject. He has overseen the development of the BEI, helped establish Energy Capital and has co-led the establishment of the joint University of Birmingham–Fraunhofer Germany research platform.

To date, Professor Freer has supported three policy commissions for the University of Birmingham, the first on the ‘Future of Nuclear Energy in the UK,’ the second on ‘Doing Cold Smarter’, an examination of the global demand for clean cooling technologies and the potential for UK leadership and the third on 'Powering West Midlands Growth: A Regional Approach to Clean Energy Innovation.'

Andreas Hornung - Director/Chair in Bioenergy, Fraunhofer UMSICHT/University of Birmingham

Professor Andreas Hornung (CEng FIChemE FRSC) did his studies at the TU Darmstadt in Germany where he graduated as Engineer in Chemistry in 1991, he did his PhD at the TU Kaiserslautern in Germany. From 2000 to 2002 Hornung was working for companies in Austria and Italy for the development of the first prototypes. Such units have been used from 2002 on at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology where he worked until 2007 as head of the pyrolysis and gas treatment division. In 2007 he took over the chair in chemical engineering and applied chemistry at Aston University in Birmingham, UK. 2008 he founded the European Bioenergy Research Institute EBRI, which he was leading as Director until end of 2013. In the beginning of 2013, he became the director of the Institute branch Sulzbach-Rosenberg of Fraunhofer UMSICHT. Andreas is a member of the board of the International Biochar Initiative IBI and holds a Contract Professorship at the University of Bologna.

Andreas Hornung holds 19 patents and has published over 150 scientific publications to date. In 2014 his institute’s employed an estimated 120 staff members who are doing applied research in various sustainable topics.

The main strategic topic of Hornung’s work today is the development of decentralized power providing units combined with pyrolysis, gasification and digestion units – called the Biobattery.

Peter Jones - Director, Ecolateral

Peter Jones has 30 years’ experience in the UK waste material sector, 20 as Director of Biffa where he was responsible for logistics, sales & marketing and business development strategy. He expounded and delivered the concept of the circular economy via the £10 million Biffaward Mass Balance Programme from 1997 to 2008. His career has covered industrial gases , “just in time” parcels logistics, pallet hiring and welding products distribution with a focus on innovation in handling systems, marketing and information technology. Now retired he operates in  support roles for advanced thermal conversion technology companies as well as pro bono work for  environmental NGOs, Chartered bodies and a social Co-operative not for profit. 

Peter Jones qualified as an Industrial Economist from Nottingham University  in 1969 , holds an Honorary Degree from the University of Southampton and is a  Fellow of CIM, CIWEM, CIWM , CILT. He was awarded an OBE for services to the environment in 2007.

He Chaired a WRAP sponsored Gas to Grid study Group and the groundbreaking West Midlands study into co- location of renewable energy and recovery processes in 2009. He has also Chaired  a Multi Academy Trust .

Daniel Mee - Systems Architect, Energy Systems Catapult

Daniel Mee joined the Energy Systems Catapult in August 2016 as their Energy Systems Architect initially to explore whole system approaches to the challenge of decarbonising domestic heat and also to bring a systems of systems engineering approach to energy system design.  Prior to that he was the Chief Engineer on a number of Electrical Power Systems in the aviation industry responsible for both “clean sheet” system development and multi-party integration, leading multi-disciplinary teams of engineers to deliver smart electrical distribution system solutions for some of the world’s most successful aircraft manufacturers.  Daniel holds an MEng from the University of Birmingham.

Matthew Rhodes - Chair, Energy Capital

Matthew Rhodes is a Board member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of Energy Capital in the West Midlands. He’s worked in the energy industry for over 20 years, initially with international companies including RWE and BP. Prior to this he worked in manufacturing and management consultancy. From 2003 to 2017 he founded and ran an independent engineering and building physics consultancy specialising in low-carbon innovation, developing and delivering collaborative projects at the leading edge of the energy system transition.

Adrian Smith - Corporate Director, Place, Nottinghamshire County Council

Adrian Joined Nottinghamshire County Council in 2016 as Corporate Director of Place and became the County Council’s Deputy Chief Executive in January 2019.

Adrian leads many of the Council’s most visible frontline services used by our 800,000 residents and 31,000 businesses including highways, transport, waste and recycling as well as the catering, cleaning and landscaping services that the Council provides to many local schools. The Department also provides important place based services such as planning and economic development and community services such as trading standards, community safety and support for the voluntary and community sector.

A strong Place Department will help sustain what local residents value about Nottinghamshire, whilst ensuring the County Council achieves its ambition for inclusive growth and prosperity. There are many significant opportunities for growth in the County, not least our important role in the Midlands Engine. Adrian has a key role for Nottinghamshire in the Midlands Engine Development Corporation bringing forward the plans for HS2 and the ambitious developments at Toton, East Midlands Airport and the Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station. These opportunities will bring new jobs, better housing, more connectivity and more prosperity to our County’s residents and businesses, but only if we have a Place Department with the right capacity and resources, aligned to our vision.

Patricia Thornley - Director, European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), Aston University

Patricia Thornley is director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University. She is a chartered physicist with over 25 years’ experience working on bioenergy energy projects in industry and academia. She has been director of the UK’s Supergen Bioenergy Hub since 2012, which is funded by EPSRC and BBSRC to bring together academia, industry and other stakeholders to focus on sustainable bioenergy development.  Her main research interests are in whole systems analysis of bioenergy, greenhouse gas balances and feedstock sustainability.

She has particular interests in combustion, gasification and synthesis of alternative fuel vectors from renewable resources and in evaluating the sustainability of such low carbon alternatives and has worked on several commercial biomass and waste plants.

Stuart Wagland - Senior Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Chemistry, Centre for Climate and Environmental Protection, Cranfield University

Dr Wagland is a Senior Lecturer in Energy & Environmental Chemistry and the Deputy Director of Research in the School of Water, Energy and Environment at Cranfield University.  He has expertise in the properties of solid waste materials, the recovery of resources, the energy potential of UK waste streams and enhanced landfill mining.  His expertise spans waste and fuel characterisation techniques, waste treatment technologies and energy recovery processes (including anaerobic digestion, incineration, gasification and pyrolysis). Dr Wagland’s work on UK-wide assessment of waste contributed to substantial government investment in a demonstrator advanced thermal treatment facility aimed at accelerating the development of the UK capability in advanced thermal conversion.

He has over 10-years’ experience in the waste sector.  Current projects include those funded by EU Horizon 2020, Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and private waste companies. Dr Wagland’s research applies the concept of waste characterisation to develop town-scale advanced thermal treatment of wastes. This work extends to developing countries and is included in a recent Innovate UK project to derive liquid fuels from the pyrolysis of wastes. Dr Wagland is currently working to develop real-time image analysis techniques to be applied to mixed wastes to assess fuel properties and to optimise energy from waste processes.  Combining expertise in waste chemistry, characterisation techniques and conversion processes, Dr Wagland is also working on critical resource recovery from enhanced landfill mining.

Helen Turner - Director, Midlands Innovation

In 2015, Dr Helen Turner was appointed Director of the Midlands Innovation group, which includes the universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick.

She has significant experience of managing strategic collaborations having spent the last seven years as Director of the Midlands Energy Consortium, where most recently, Dr Turner played a key role in the successful £60m bid to establish the Midlands Energy Research Accelerator.

Prior to working in the Midlands, Dr Turner spent time working at the University of Sheffield managing a major research collaboration and their portfolio of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.  Dr Turner also spent time working for the Royal Society of Chemistry in academic publishing.  A materials scientist by background Dr Turner has a degree and PhD in materials science from the University of Leeds.


Policy Commission Author: David Strahan 

Policy Commission Coordinator: Dr Emily Prestwood