Dr James Colwill

BSc (Hons)

  • Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Manufacturing

Research groups and centres


James obtained a BSc in Innovation and Design Management from the Open University whilst working full-time at the London Stock Exchange in the Software Development Group (Automated Dealing Systems).

He then spent 20 years in industry working primarily as a consultant in technology based design and innovation, across a wide range of manufacturing sectors from food and drink, to pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronic consumer goods, chemicals and heavy engineering.

Whilst head of Design and Innovation at Pira International, James developed and ran a Technology Scouting and Innovation service for a number of multi-national companies that included Reckitt Benckiser, Tesco’s, Heinz, Alcan, Mondi Packaging and Young’s Seafoods.

In addition to his broad industrial experience, James has firsthand experience of enterprise, establishing and running international start-up companies including James Ross Consulting Ltd and CBS Media Ltd, both of which continue to successfully trade today.

In 2009 James began a two year research project at Loughborough University on the sustainable industrial applications of biopolymers, alongside a full-time PhD, and in April 2012, was appointed as a lecturer in Sustainable Design and Manufacturing at Loughborough University.

Main research interests

  • Sustainable Use of Renewable Materials in Manufacturing
  • Renewable Resources: Management and Strategy
  • Resource Efficient Manufacturing
  • Recycling: Sensing, Sorting and Separation Technologies and Processes
  • Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Management Systems

Research groups

  • Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technologies (SMART)
  • EPSRC Centre of Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability

External activities

  • Guest Editor for International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. Special Issue on “Renewable Materials and Manufacturing”.
  • Chaired international conferences on innovation and design including Technology, Innovation and Design Trends, France, 2008;  Packaging Summit Europe, Amsterdam, 2007;  Packaging Design for Global Brands, UK, 2007;  LuxPack 2005, UK, 2005; Biodegradable Plastics in Packaging Applications, UK, 2005.