School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


Dr Richard Blanchard PhD, PGCE, FHEA

Photo of Dr Richard Blanchard

Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy

Richard is a Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy specialising in bioenergy and energy for development. His energy research encompasses bioenergy systems (hybrid and microgeneration), the role of renewable energy in development and sustainability topics such as lifecycle and environmental impact assessment e.g. ocean energy systems. In addition, Richard has a long commitment to education research, focusing on distance and e-learning including ways to engage students through enquiry-based learning and the development of remote laboratories.

Richard teaches bioenergy and sustainability on the MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology. He is the Programme Director for the European Master's in Renewable Energy

External Profile

Fellow of Higher Education Academy.
Member of Institution of Electronic and Electrical Engineers
Member of the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies
Member of Engineers Without Borders
Examiner for the European Master's in Renewable Energy
External Examiner University of Nottingham
Reviewer for Elsevier, UKIERI, BBSRC, Wiley
International Scientific Committee for conferences including IconSWM, WESII

Richard was awarded his PhD in Strategic Environmental Assessment of Renewable Energy Policy in 1998 by Aberystwyth University. By this time, he lectured on BSc and MSc programmes with a focus on environmental technologies at Suffolk College, Ipswich. In December 2002 he joined Loughborough University as Flexible and Distance Learning Coordinator to develop the distance learning version of the MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Renewable Energy.

Richard is also an examiner on the European Master's in Renewable Energy and is an external examiner at the University of Nottingham. He has been involved in numerous projects funded by EPSRC, British Council and the European Commission.

With colleagues he is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Institution of Civil Engineers Baker Medal for work on microgeneration technology. In 2015, with colleagues he won the ACPI European e-learning prize, and in 2016 was a finalist for the Times Higher Education Awards, for work on remote laboratories.

Research interests are in bioenergy systems, energy for development, sustainability (including life-cycle assessment), and e-learning. Between 2008-2010 Richard was part of EPSRC project UK-India Energy Technologies Network. Subsequently this consortium successfully bid to the Bridging the Urban Rural Divide programme jointly funded by RCUK and DST India with a project called Rural Hybrid Energy and Enterprise Systems worth £2.5million EP/J000361/1. He is part of the £400k Solar Nano-Grids: An appropriate solution for meeting community needs? Project EP/L002612/1. In addition, Richard has recently received UKIERI and Newton funding from the British Council for biogas production from market / food waste in India, and also Thailand.

Current PhDs

Ricardo Narvaez – Advanced thermo-conversion of municipal solid waste in Ecuador
Farhad Anvari Azar - Evaluating domestic energy consumption for district energy solutions
Nutchapon Chiarasumuran - LCA of energy production from municipal solid waste
Joe Calverley – Process intensification of bioethanol purification
Chrispin Mbewe – Micro-grid battery performance in tropical environments

Past PhDs supervised

Dr Esther Phiri -Role of renewable energy in providing water services in rural Malawi
Dr Abdul Muhaimin Mahmud - Evaluation of school solar micro-grids in Malaysia
Dr Collen Zalengera – The role of renewable energy in sustainable livelihoods, Malawi.
Dr Mahmoud Abdulwahed - Pedagogy of remote labs
Dr Subhashish Banerjee - Ocean energy assessment

A former MSc student Ken Aldonza scooped the $200,000 IDEAS Award prize for work based on his research project on ethanol production from banana waste for St Lucia.

Richard has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2001 and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

In 2009 he was awarded a Loughborough University Academic Practice Award to develop enquiry-based learning in online tutorials to support the distance learning MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technology. In 2011 he was successful in a bid to the university Distance Learning Enhancement Fund to develop a remotely controlled laboratory experiment in photovoltaic module characterisation. In 2014 with Dr Sheryl Williams he was awarded a Loughborough University Teaching Innovation Award to evaluate student experiences in the use of the remote laboratory. 
Current teaching includes:


  • ELB013 Project Management
  • ELC003 Renewable Energy Sources
  • ELD531 Sustainability and Energy Systems
  • ELD536 Biomass
  • Part C/D projects


  • ELP031/ELP631 Sustainability and Energy Systems
  • ELP036/ELP636 Biomass
  • ELP045/ELP645 MSc Projects

Selected Publications

Hamid, R and Blanchard, RE (2018) An Assessment of Biogas as a Domestic Energy Source in Rural Kenya: Developing a Sustainable Business Model, Renewable Energy, 121C, pp.368-376, ISSN: 0960-1481. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2018.01.032.

Narvaez-Cueva, R, Blanchard, RE, Dixon, R, Ramirez, V, Chulde, D (2018) Low-Cost Syngas Shifting for Remote Gasifiers: Combination of CO2 Adsorption and Catalyst Addition in a Novel and Simplified Packed Structure, Energies, ISSN: 1996-1073. DOI: 10.3390/en11020311.

Roche, O and Blanchard, RE (2017) Design of a solar energy centre for providing lighting and income-generating activities for off-grid rural communities in Kenya, Renewable Energy, 118, pp.684-694, ISSN: 0960-1481. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2017.11.053.

Ganguly, A, Blanchard, RE, Wheatley, A, Chatterjee, P (2016) Optimization of Process Parameters for Catalytic Conversion of Solid Bio-waste during Thermophilic Anaerobic Digestion, Procedia Environmental Sciences, 35, pp.763-770, ISSN: 1878-0296. DOI: 10.1016/j.proenv.2016.07.091.

Blanchard, RE and Taillon, J (2015) Exergy Efficiency Graphs for Thermal Power Plants, Energy, 88, pp.57-66, ISSN: 0360-5442. DOI: 10.1016/

Banerjee, S, Duckers, L, Blanchard, RE (2015) A case study of a hypothetical 100 MW OTEC plant analyzing the prospects of OTEC technology, OTEC Matters, 29(1), pp.98-129, ISSN: 1654-6520.

Radu, T, Blanchard, RE, Smedley, V, Theaker, H, Wheatley, AD (2014) Monitoring anaerobic digestion: a 2-year brewery case study, Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science, 9(4), pp.207-213, ISSN: 1496-2551. DOI: 10.1680/jees.14.00008.

Zalengera, C, Blanchard, RE, Eames, PC, Juma, AM, Chitawo, ML, Gondwe, KT (2014) Overview of the Malawi energy situation and A PESTLE analysis for sustainable development of renewable energy, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 38, pp.335-347, DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.05.050.

Banerjee, S, Duckers, L, Blanchard, RE (2013) An overview on green house gas emission characteristics and energy evaluation of ocean energy systems from life cycle assessment and energy accounting studies, Journal of Applied and Natural Sciences, 5(2), pp.535-540, ISSN: 0974-9411.

Navarez, R, Blanchard, RE, Mena, A (2013) Use of Rice Crops Waste for Energy Production in Ecuador, Energy and Power, 3(3), pp.27-36, ISSN: 2163-159X. DOI: 10.5923/j.ep.20130303.01.

Aldonza, K and Blanchard, RE (2012) Optimizing the Use of Musa spp. Waste in the Design of an Ethanol Production Plant, Energy and Power, 2(5), pp.81-88, ISSN: 2163-159X. DOI: 10.5923/j.ep.20120205.01.

Staffell, I, Baker, P, Barton, JP, Bergman, N, Blanchard, RE, Brandon, NP, Brett, DJL, Hawkes, A, Infield, DG, Jardine, CN, Kelly, N, Leach, M, Matian, M, Peacock, AD, Sudtharalingham, S, Woodman, B (2010) UK Microgeneration. Part II: Technology Overviews, Proceedings of Institute of Civil Engineers, Energy, 163(4), pp.143-165, ISSN: 1751-4223. DOI: 10.1680/ener.2010.163.4.143.