Faculty of Engineering

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Richard Smith

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering



Richard is a graduate of the University of Lancaster (BSc Hons Geography with biological science and mathematics), University of Sunderland (MSc Wastes Management) and Cranfield University (PhD Towards landfill sustainability). He is a Chartered Waste Manager with experience gained since 1991 in industry (landfill operations), local government (waste regulation), Environment Agency (R&D Programme), independent consulting and academia. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and he holds roles as a Visiting Professor (Padova University, Italy), Visiting Research Fellow (Open University and De Montfort University) and Visiting Lecturer at Imperial College London. Richard joined the University of Nottingham in 2012 to develop waste and resource management capability and he is module convenor for hazardous waste management and waste management within the Departmental Engineering programmes.

Richard is a member of the Food, Water and Waste research group

Expertise Summary

Richard is a specialist in sustainable and renewable resource and waste management, encompassing technology selection and performance (particularly mechanical biological treatment and anaerobic digestion), resource characterisation and recovery, health and amenity impacts, risk assessment and landfill science (particularly landfill gas) Richard was a member of the Environment Agency's National Landfill Gas Group 1996-2002 and is a recognised expert in landfill gas.

Teaching Summary

Undergraduate courses:

J13HWM (Level 3) Hazardous Waste Management and ​J12WMA (Level 2) Waste Management taught programmes in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering.

Guest lecturing at Imperial College London, University of Southampton and Padova University on process technology, sustainable resource efficiency, designing out waste, emissions, health impacts, landfill emissions, planning, permitting and design.

Research Summary

Richard is research active in the areas of biowaste and renewable energy:

Options for the use of quality digestate in horticulture and other new markets (WRAP Project OMK006, Principal Investigator). By utilising anaerobic digestate as a liquid fertiliser for hydroponic cultivation there is a compelling industrial symbiosis opportunity and an exciting prospect for the horticultural future. WRAP project OMK006-07.

Sustainable energy from dairy farm wastes using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and pyrolysis. Xiaonan Zhang PhD project.

Recent Publications

Past Research

Fate of Clostridium botulinum during composting and anaerobic digestion. WRAP project OAV035 in collaboration with AEA Technology, (2010-11).

Independent review of anaerobic digestion technology. Confidential bank. Focus on aspects of financial and risk appraisal and management, (2010).

Waterbeach mechanical biological treatment plant commissioning: Resource analysis. For Donarbon in collaboration with the Open University (2009-10).

PFI Technical advisor and bid team peer reviewer to Shanks and Scottish & Southern Energy. Focus on industrial symbiosis between the waste and energy sectors (2009).

Framework contractor for Defra's Sustainable Consumption and Production group. This has included providing general advice and support and estimating national landfill methane emissions (2009 ongoing).

Technical competence for inert landfills. Preparation of learning outcomes, assessment criteria and syllabus for a VRQ qualification under a joint initiative for CIWM and WAMITAB (2009).

The health effects of waste management: A review of recent developments in this field to inform the Merseyside waste development plan document (Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service, 2008). An update of the scientific evidence published since the Defra/Enviros study in 2004.

Advice on procurement of waste treatment facilities (Leicestershire County Council, 2008). Provision of technical evidence on specific technologies (short listed options including energy from waste) and their bankability to a Scrutiny Review Panel.

MBT process science and MBT residues for anaerobic digestion and solid recovered fuel. Grantscape consortium including local authorities and private sector waste companies (2007-10).

Waste characterisation and biodegradability testing. Environment Agency and Defra project WR0110 (2005-08).

Expert mentoring and training in landfill gas. Environment Agency (2007-08).

Amenity impact assessment for waste management. Environment Agency (2005-08).

Development of a risk-based framework for controlling gaseous emissions from closed landfills. Defra (2007-08).

Aerobic landfill. EPSRC and Rockbourne Environmental (2006-08).

Landfill leachate treatment. EPSRC and Waste Recycling Group (2006-08).

Odour monitoring and modelling impact assessment. Donarbon (2006).

Detailed quantitative risk assessment for human health and contaminated land. Environment Agency (2005).

Estimating biodegradable municipal solid waste diversion from landfill. Environment Agency (2003-04).

Definition of environmental equilibrium status for landfill Environment Agency (2003-04).

Intergas: Decentralised power generation using biomass, syngas, biogas and landfill gas. Environment Agency (2002-03).

Assessing the impact of landfill on private water supplies. Environment Agency (2002-03).

Guidance on risk assessment for landfill sites. Environment Agency (2002-03).

Risk assessment and audit of CSG waste transfer & treatment site (2002).

Microbial risk assessment review. Environment Agency (2002).

Landfill exposure assessment for human health. Environment Agency (1999-2003).

Health review of incineration and combustion techniques. Environment Agency (1999-2003).

Health impact assessment of the Landfill Directive and Waste Strategy. Environment Agency (2002).

Minimising methane emissions from landfill. Environment Agency (2002-04).

Monitoring accelerated stabilisation at Brogborough landifll. Environment Agency (2002-04).

Brogborough landfill test cells: final storage quality and final characterisation. Environment Agency collaboration with ESART (2002-04).

Field trials of accelerated stabilisation at Mucking landfill. Environment Agency (2002).

Accelerated stabilisation at the Mid-Auchancarroch landfill test cells. Environment Agency (2001-03).

Ammonia fluxes and nitrogen balances in landfill. Environment Agency (2000-03).

Measurement of gas potential for landfilled material. Environment Agency (2000-02).

Health impacts of materials recovery facilities (EU Biomed Project). Environment Agency (2000-04).

Health impacts of waste transfer stations (2003-04).

Project Board member for many waste and human health research projects (1996-2003) including GasSim landfill gas risk assessment model, methane oxidation field trials, review of landfill gas clean-up technologies and public acceptability of waste incineration (FP5).

Future Research

Pathogen risk assessment from biowastes.

Landfill mining.

Landfill gas emissions.

Landfill aftercare.

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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