Our Partners

Liverpool John Moores University

  • Faculty of Engineering and Technology
  • James Parsons Building
  • Byrom Street
  • Liverpool
  • L3 3AF

LJMU and specifically the BEST Research Institute are interested in being a project partner as this will be used as a pivotal impact case study for the next REF (Research Excellence Framework) and also act as part of a case study in the research informed teaching strategy for the University. It also allows the technology developed within the University to be exploited and produce revenue back to the university enabling further research to be undertaken. Finally this project will create 2 jobs in the first instance (2 Post-Doctoral researchers) whilst the project is underway and may lead to further PhD studentships.


Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is one of the leading research-active contemporary universities in UK, combining areas of world-leading, international and national excellence in research. The Institution's research profile and reputation have developed rapidly over recent years as evidenced by the sustained rise our external research income (more than trebling since 2000). The Institution's current Strategic Plan highlights research as one of our core key processes and it is implicit in our mission statement: "…advancement through education, training, research and the transfer of knowledge". At LJMU research is pivotal in knowledge transfer engagement with key stakeholders in industry, commerce and throughout the public sector.

Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute at LJMU is a multidisciplinary Research Institute with an international reputation in various applications including water and wastewater treatment. It specialises in the use of electromagnetic radiation in industrial manufacturing and medicine where it has been responsible for the development and implementation of a number of “world-first” or “state-of-the art” solutions and the in the latest research assessment (Research Excellence Framework 2014), 52% of BEST’s output was classified as world leading or internationally excellent. The Institute also secured £7,100,000 in research funding during the Research Excellence Framework 2014 census period. The institute consists of 24 academic staff, 70 PhD students, 14 post docs and two technicians. The research Institute has established a solid foundation and a strong link with over 100 industries nationally and internationally and has well-equipped laboratories having a floor space of 500 m2. It has a complete range of RF and Microwaves sources, signal generators, Vector Network Analysers, a wide range of instrumentation and diagnostic equipment as well as hydraulics, biological, chemical and sensor labs. The Research Institute has also successfully organised a number of International Conferences, workshops and meetings.

Role in project

LJMU have two roles within the BioDie2020 project. Firstly they will bring their knowledge and experience of developing microwave industrial systems into the consortium as a means of improving the pre-esterification process, this work will be based on the experience of a funded UK TSB project listed below. Secondly they will be working with Stagecoach to undertake dynamic vehicle exhaust emission testing utilising the biodiesel produced by the plant being developed. This also stems from work previously carried out by LJMU for Merseytravel and Stagecoach investigating the effect of vehicle emissions with biodiesel.

During the project, The Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation team will be involved via Andy Shaw. This is a dedicated team operating as ‘gateway’ to identify, secure and broker routes of engagement between stakeholders. The primary aim of the team is promote, encourage and facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer activities and maximise the return of this engagement whether reputational, financial or social. The demonstration of LJMU technology in this project will be subject to analysis, and look to capitalize on this via investment in the technology by Argent Energy.

Get in touch

  • Andy Shaw
  • Director of the Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Research Institute. Dr Andy Shaw graduated from Liverpool University with a BEng Hons in Electrical and Electronic engineering, MSc (Eng) in Materials science and a Ph.D. titled "the realisation of an industrial free electron laser", completed in 1995. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the university for 8 years working on industrial microwave applications for both material processing and sensor technologies. In 2003 he became a lecturer at Liverpool University within the electrical engineering department whilst researching the use of RF communications for subsea communications as part of an MoD funded project and later as an EU funded project. In 2005 he joined Liverpool John Moores University, at first with the General Engineering Research Institute as a Senior Lecturer and then as Head of the Electrical Engineering department within the School of Engineering. He is now a Reader in Environmental and Sustainable Technologies, head of the BEST Research Institute and head of the RF and Microwave research group. He has over 20 years of expertise in developing industrial advanced microwave technologies. These include microwave induced plasma for industrial applications, such as material cutting, vitrification, exhaust gas conditioning for vehicles, pyrolysis, torrefaction and gasification, microwave chemistry and microwave biodiesel production. These projects were all funded by either the TSB (Innovate UK now) , EU, Carbon Trust and DEFRA or direct industrial contribution were Dr Shaw played an active part as either a WP leader, collaborator or coordinating partner. He has published 48 Journal papers, 55 conference series publications 3 book chapters and 1 patent published and 3 are patent pending and a google scholar h index of 11.
  • 0151 231 2420
  • a.shaw@ljmu.ac.uk
  • Stephen Wylie
  • Co-Investigator. Dr Steve Wylie graduated from the University of Liverpool with a 1st class degree in Electrical Engineering and Electronics in 1992. He received a Ph.D. from the same university in 1996 with a thesis entitled “An Underwater Ultrasonic Imaging System”. He began postdoctoral research the Free Electron Laser and Microwave group, where he initially worked on a microwave vitrification project, before conducting research on microwave induced plasmas for metal cutting and other material processing applications. He also researched the plasma treatment of vehicle exhaust gases, and worked on microwave spectroscopy, primarily for three phase measurement in oil and gas pipelines. In 2005 he joined LJMU as a founding member of the RF and Microwave group, which later became part of the BEST (Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies) Research Institute. Other research projects conducted at LJMU have included the design of systems for continuous flow microwave chemistry, and the pyrolysis and gasification of commercial waste using microwave plasma technology.
  • 0151 231 2420
  • S.R.Wylie@ljmu.ac.uk