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Dr Richard Lord

Senior Lecturer

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

I joined the University in 2012 as Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geoscience, at title reflecting my broad interests in the application of engineering to societal challenges.  My research and professional interests include the remediation of contaminated land, identifying sustainable sources of renewable energy and other ecosystem services, and the exploration for, exploitation and environmental impacts of geological resources.  I am currently Director of Knowledge Exchange, providing a focus for the Department's external activities, including continuing professional development, consultancy and knowledge transfer.  I am also the Faculty of Engineering champion for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, probably the best known of all University knowledge exchange activities (see

My teaching duties include leading the "Energy Design Projects" for MEng & MSc Civil Engineering students and the "Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry (including Carbon Trusts SME Carbon Audit)" module for Enironmental masters students.  I am Course Director for the MRes programmes in Climate Change Adaptation, Geo-Environmental Engineering and Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC).



Can brownfield land be reused for ground source heating to alleviate fuel poverty?
Donaldson Ross, Lord Richard
Renewable Energy Vol 116, pp. 344-355, (2018)
Repeated reactivation of clogged permeable pathways in epithermal gold deposits : Kestanelik epithermal vein system, NW Turkey
Gülyuz Nilay, Shipton Zoe K., Kuşcu Ilkay, Lord Richard A., Kaymakcı Nuretdin, Gülyüz Ethan, Gladwell David R.
Journal of the Geological Society, (2018)
Reed canary grass : from production to end use
Jensen Elaine, Casler Michael, Farrar Kerry, Finnan John, Lord Richard, Palmborg Celia, Donnison Iain
Perennial Grasses for Bioenergy and BioproductsPerennial Grasses for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, (2018)
Comprehensive database of Manufactured Gas Plant tars – Part C Heterocyclic and hydroxylated PAHs
Gallacher Christopher, Thomas Russell, Lord Richard, Kalin Robert M., Taylor Chris
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Vol 31, pp. 1250-1260, (2017)
Comprehensive database of Manufactured Gas Plant tars – Part B Aliphatic and aromatic compounds
Gallacher Christopher, Thomas Russell, Lord Richard, Kalin Robert M., Taylor Chris
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Vol 31, pp. 1239-1249, (2017)
Comprehensive database of Manufactured Gas Plant tars – Part A Database
Gallacher Christopher, Thomas Russell, Lord Richard, Kalin Robert M., Taylor Chris
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Vol 31, pp. 1231-1238, (2017)

more publications

Professional activities

NERC CDT proposal assessment panel (Event)
Peer reviewer
Land Remediation using Energy Crops : Opportunities and Challenges”
Invited speaker
10th International SedNet Conference
Keynote/plenary speaker
Avoiding the food-fuel-water-land nexus
Fostering collaboration and innovation to drive the circular economy in the Scottish bio-economy
Scottish Technosols Research Network inaugural meeting, SAC Consulting, Perth

more professional activities


10-year carbon storage & nutrient status of compost-amended brownfield soils: BLRS Legacy BioReGen
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2017 - 31-Jul-2018
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Wind & Marine Energy Systems | Andrews, Billy
Shipton, Zoe (Principal Investigator) Lord, Richard (Co-investigator) Andrews, Billy (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2016 - 01-Apr-2020
Energy fields Impact assessment (CARES)
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator)
The Energyfields project will assess the impact of reusing derelict land for renewable heat and /or power to benefit neighbouring communities whilst, at the same time using environmentally sound remediation techniques to bring the land into productive use.

This approach has the potential to deliver a step change in Scotland’s low carbon heat trajectory by unlocking the development of energy that is secure, local, low carbon and community based providing opportunities to reduce fuel poverty, provide local employment and community ownership within some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities.

Cities such as Glasgow and Dundee have already recognised the potential of reusing vacant and derelict land for renewable generation purposes to good effect. However, whilst individual technology deployment will undoubtedly provide a contribution to carbon reduction and renewable generation targets, a more integrated system approach is required if the full potential of the derelict sites are to be realized.

The Energyfields project will adopt an innovative cross-sectoral approach to land reuse bringing together specialists from renewable energy, environmental services and civil engineering disciplines with the aim of developing a methodology that can provide a step change in the speed of renewables deployment within Scotland.

The project will:
•use GIS-based energy masterplanning techniques to classify and prioritise site deployment
•work with landowners to develop beneficial business models that encourage investment
•combine energy generation and storage with smart grid techniques to develop a local energy economy
•work with local communities to provide innovative, replicable, engagement models
•develop a zoned approach to planting schemes
•Improve both the land value and visual amenity to deliver significant socio-economic benefit within some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas.

The team includes leading land restoration experts who will advise and direct remediation activities to ensure that the land is restored effectively within the life of the generation equipment.
Period 01-Sep-2016 - 31-Mar-2017
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTA - University of Strathclyde) | Stillings, Mark
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator) Shipton, Zoe (Co-investigator) Stillings, Mark (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2015 - 01-Feb-2019
Robust Decentralised Low Energy Faecal Sludge Dewatering leading to Sanitation, Clean Water and Sustainable Energy Resource - Natural Synergies
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator) Joao, Elsa (Co-investigator) Knapp, Charles (Co-investigator)
"The project concerns dewatering/treatment of faecal sludge (black waters). Natural Synergies Ltd's (NS) aims are to develop a stand-alone dewatering process for rural areas of the UK/EU, reducing transport costs and carbon footprint and in developing countries as a low cost decentralised/localised sanitation system. The developed system can be also be used as a pre/post-cursor to a small scale anaerobic digestion (a follow-on proposal) or thermal unit, leading to closed loop decentralised, localised sanitation and off-grid energy generation. The dewatering process being developed will incorporate ultrasound to make available free, interstitial and cell water, together with electrokinetics to drive/separate water from faecal sludge via filter mesh. Preliminary work has shown potential for high levels of dewatering (15 - 40 % DM) and pathogen reduction (incl. helminths) at low energy inputs. System design will aim at non-specialised component manufacture, where possible, using local industries.

Our vision is to develop an entire new system of treating pit latrine wastes in developing countries, which not only generates renewable energy, but also a safe, useable fertilizer. In theory, this could be achieved now using conventional process technology. What is lacking, however, is a small scale robust system at relatively lower cost that can be operated with ease in remote areas. Our research contribution to delivering this is focussing on two specific challenges: Firstly, how to destroy human parasitic worms or their eggs, so as to allow safe reuse of the solidified material for agricultural fertilizer; Secondly, can we use locally available plant material to simultaneously increase the amount of energy, as biogas, which can be produced. The systems that Natural Synergies Ltd have been developing are highly effective but also highly innovative. We need to be sure of the overall environmental performance and social benefits of any new system, as well as its cost effectiveness. If successful this technology could also offer significant cost-savings and environmental benefits in developed countries at small-scale wastewater treatment plants in remote locations (e.g. Scottish Highlands), reducing road-tanker traffic, transport fuels and carbon emissions."
Period 01-Jan-2017 - 31-Mar-2018
The commercial viability of reed canary grass for anaerobic digestion feedstocks
Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator)
Externally funded (SFC Innovation Voucher) for SCCM Ltd (now Organic Innovative Solutions Ltd)
Period 01-Dec-2012 - 30-Jul-2013

more projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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