Dr Richard Blanchard


  • Reader in Renewable Energy


Richard is a Reader in Renewable Energy, specialising in energy systems. Richard joined Loughborough University in 2002 and is based in the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST). His research encompasses the role of renewable energy in development and climate change mitigation, photovoltaic and bioenergy systems (hybrid and microgeneration), resources, monitoring and sustainability topics such as lifecycle and environmental impact assessment. 

Richard is the Head of Energy and Power Engineering Research in the Wolfson School where there is a strong focus on Net Zero technologies, systems and their interaction with society that alignwith one of the main university research strategies.

Qualifications and Awards

  • Senior Member of Institution of Electronic and Electrical Engineers 
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 
  • BSc, PhD (University of Wales) 
  • PGCE (University of East Anglia)  

In 2011 he was the 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 his work on remote laboratories. 



Outline of main research and interests 

As well as being the Head of Energy and Power Engineering Research, Richard leads the Renewable Energy for Development Research (RE4D) Group at CREST. Activities here are investigating practical solutions to help contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 7 to ensure universal affordable energy access. Projects and activities have taken place across the Global South in South America, Africa, The Middle East, South and Southeast Asia.  

The RE4D group at CREST has established laboratory facilities to research, develop, design and test components, equipment, systems and appliances to help improve energy access and improve livelihoods and well-being in developing countries and other locations. The focus is on low energy, high efficiency and low power (LEHELP) solutions. 

 Current PhDs 

  • Muhammad Yadudu – Increased revenue generation for distribution companies in Nigeria through the application of renewable energy 
  • Ali Alarbi – Renewable energy and demand side management for the Libyan power network 
  • Francis Mujjuni - Pathways to Transitioning to Low Carbon Resilient Electricity Energy Systems in Uganda 
  • Joyce Chivunga Making the Malawi Electricity grid more resilient 
  • Chukwudi Ogunna - Understanding the Impact and Applicability of Renewable Energy Technologies in Energy Resilience–Malawi and Nepal as Case Studies
  • Mulako Mukelabai - Renewable hydrogen production to transition to clean cooking
  • Mahzar Uddin – Sustainable energy policies in Pakistan 

Past PhDs supervised 

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


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

Current teaching responsibilities

  • WSB013 Robotics Project Management 
  • WSP031 Renewable Energy Technology Economics and Policy 
  • WSP036 Bioenergy 
  • WSP042 Renewable Energy for Development 
  • WSP501Project 
  • WSP502 Project 

Current administrative responsibilities

  • Head of Energy and Power Engineering Research