Current team > Research Staff


Phil Sheppard

Research Associate


Phone: 01509 225401

Expertise: Cleantech Innovation, Systematic Innovation, Biomimetics, Cradle to Cradle® Assessment, Patent Analysis, Lifecycle Analysis, Techno-Economic Modelling


Phil has an eclectic background.  After a first career which included a Bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology and 12 years in local government, eight at national policy level in food hygiene science, law and enforcement, he switched to a career focused on the sustainable use of resources.
He managed a cluster of environmentally valuable businesses in the Peterborough, UK, area during which he co-founded and worked for the Centre for Sustainable Engineering, with a mission to ‘accelerate the development and market adoption of more sustainable technologies.’ The Centre engaged with over 100 companies seeking to develop and/or commercialise their clean and cleaner technologies, and developed its own low carbon material IP.
At the same time, Phil co-founded the UK Biomimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability with Reading & Bath Universities and wrote the Lifecycle Guidelines for BS 8887 (Design for Manufacture, Assembly, Disassembly and End-of-Life Processing).
Phil moved to Pera Technology in 2009, becoming CleanTech and Innovation Analyst as well as advising on the company’s environmental management.  He generated extensive experience in state of the art research, horizon scanning, patent analysis, concept generation and business planning and modelling for manufacturing clients, startups, potential funders and investors, as well as techno-economic reports for policymakers.  
The subjects were mainly a wide range of clean and cleaner technologies, including a range of renewable energy forms, carbon capture, storage & utilisation (CCS&U), energy and materials efficiency, biorefining, as well as lifecycle analyses.
Good examples of over 100 publications for clients were a comprehensive briefing on UK hydrogen innovation and supply chains, identification and detailing of high value (non-fuel) conversion paths for lignocellulosic by-products from a tropical farm, and analysis of innovation opportunities in energy efficiency for an advanced aerospace components manufacturer.
Phil also trained as an Assessor for the Cradle to Cradle Certified Standard™ and promoted assessment services. He has been a judge for the UK’s Rushlight CleanTech Awards since 2008.
Phil came to the Centre for SMART in January 2017 to research energy efficiency tools and innovations in food manufacturing and to support the Centre’s contributions to the sustainability of manufacturing and the Circular Economy.



Broad Interests & Expertise

Phil’s approach to sustainability in engineering is influenced by the Natural Capitalism approach of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Janine Benyus’s Biomimicry and the Cradle to Cradle Standard developed by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart.  His broad interests and expertise cover:
• All forms of sustainable manufacturing, with a particular focus at present on energy minimisation and efficiency.
• Closing the carbon cycle, particularly through atmospheric carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).
• Designing materials for cradle to cradle cycles.
• TRIZ-based innovation techniques.
• Biomimicry.


Research Interests & Activities

Phil is currently researching the unmet needs of food processors and manufacturers with respect to energy efficiency, and developing potential solutions.
Phil is also interested in sustainable materials and their lifecycles, and contributes to the Centre’s concepts and proposals in this field.

External Activities

Outside work, Phil enjoys running, cycling and taking part in activities at his local church.  His interest in sustainability also stimulates writing of concept notes for research projects and ventures in the social, commercial and technical spaces, although work on these is very slow!