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Dr Keiron Roberts

Research Fellow

Keiron Roberts
Relations

Summary

I am a Research Fellow in low/clean carbon technologies within the University of Portsmouth GreenTech South Innovation hub. In this role, I support SMEs and industry to move towards Net Zero.

I work within the Innovate UK funded Isle of Wight Energy Autonomous Community project; investigating disruptive markets and policies to enable the uptake of new renewables, energy storage and market pricing to improve the islands energy autonomy. Ideas from this have the potential to reduce bills by a third.

Within the UoP Revolution Plastics initiative, I am coordinating a marine plastic litter think piece for the G20 and UNEP IRP which aims to reduce the amount of plastic entering the ocean.

Ideas from this work and the impacts that COVID-19 are having on waste were published in The Conversation, with another recent piece on the scale and impacts of littered face masks and the need for connected global policies on plastic.

Research Interests

As a researcher with a degree in ocean sciences, a PhD in civil engineering and a PGCE in physcis, I have a broad interest in all physical sciences.

Through my work with GreenTech South on the Connecting Capabilities Research Fund (Clean Growth UK) I engage with SMEs and industry to support them with their move to Net Zero. This involves bid writting, research and development, and research consulting among other things.

I particularly focus on producing actionable solutions through research. Through the universities Revolution Plastics initiative I'm currently working on a G20 funded project with the UNEP and the International Resource Panel on a "think piece" to reduce the flow of marine plastics into the ocean through policy changes.

I have a strong background in solid waste management, having helped develop a modelling tool for the entire UK infrastruture within the EPSRC funded MISTRAL project. This project modelled the key infrastructure of the UK and was used to inform the Government several times within their National Needs Assessment of future infrastructure needs. Recently, alongside colleagues at the University of Southampton, I published an article in The Conversation on the impacts of COVID on waste managment, which went international, and helped persuade councils to re-open Household Waste Recycling Centres safely to the public.

Through my PhD work and first postdoc, I have a keen interest in wastewater engineering and management. During my PhD, I developed methods to treat marine algae for biofuel production, producing multiple publications in the area. Within my postdoc, I took this further in developing how the Circular Economy could be applied to all wastewater operations, with the outputs incorporated into Southern Water's business plan.

As sectors become interconnected, I have branched my interest into energy systems management. Working on the Innovate UK Prospering From The Energy Revolution Isle of Wight Energy Autonomous Community project, I lead the economic assessment of how disruptive energy technologies and systems could be utilised by all members of society.

Biography

I graduated from the University of Southampton in 2011 with a MSci (Hons) degree in Oceanography. After which I completed a PhD in Civil Engineering within the Bioenergy and Organic Resources Group, Southampton, where I grew marine microalgae and converted this into biofuels using wastewater technology. During the completion of my PhD I undertook a fully funded PGCE from the IOP in secondary and tertiary physics at Southampton, whilst working part-time for the OU on the CADWAGO project.

My Research career continued at Southampton, developing a whole system model of the waste management infrastructure of the UK, with the outputs used to direct the National Needs Assessment. Alongside this, I worked on projects utilising the circular economy for a large wastewater company. I also lectured on numerous civil engineering, environmental science and earth and ocean modules, as well as supporting tutees and project students.

In 2018, I joined the University of Portsmouth's GreenTech South, with the main goal of supporting SMEs and industry in reaching Net Zero. Within this role, I have worked on a large Innovate UK project on novel energy systems.

Within the universities Revolution Plastics initiative I am currently coordinating a research project for the G20 and the UNEP on reducing the flow of plastics into the ocean.

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please email keiron.roberts@port.ac.uk

Interested journalists can also contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.

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