Research areas

  • TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering - Waste water treatment, Analytical Chemistry, Biotechnology, Bioelectrochemsitry
  • QD Chemistry

Research interests

Professor Richard Dinsdale is the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies (Project value of £2.7 million lasting from Jan 2020-2029). This fellowship frees up Professor Dinsdale from all non-research activities in pursuit of developing his research topic of “Bio-Electrochemical Process Engineering for Carbon Reduction and Resource Recovery: E-Hance”.  A biologist by training, my first degree was in Applied Biology (Biotechnology) and I worked as a microbiologist in a pharmaceutical company before I started my academic career in the area of environmental biotechnology. My PhD research was in the field of anaerobic digestion from the Dept. of Production and Manufacturing Engineering, at the then University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales). My research activities are directed at optimizing microbial cultures for the production of energy either in the form of methane, hydrogen or as electricity directly from bioelectrochemical systems as well as other chemical products such as bioplastics, single cell protein and lipids from low grade biomass resources. This includes either liquid or solids wastes as well as from CO2, H2 and CO gases. I am also interested in the development of novel instrumentation and its implementation in control systems for bioprocess optimization. In recent years I have been concentrating on the development of biolectrochemical systems (BES). 


I have received funding either as principal investigator or co-investigator of over £6 million from the EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC, the European Framework research programs, European regional development funding or industry. I have been funded in 5 EPSRC SUPERGEN projects and was the scientist in charge of a FP6 Marie Curie TOK project. I have had two recent BBSRC POC concept projects from the Anaerobic Digestion and C1 NIBBS. My current funding also includes 4 TATA Steel and 2 Welsh Water supported studentships. I was also a co-investigator on a project investigating the use of an oscillatory baffled reactor for enhanced 1C gas bioconversion for energy production and storage funded by BBSRC/INOVATE UK, from the EPSRC: “Liquid Fuel and bioEnergy Supply from CO2 Reduction” (LifesCO2R) (EP/N009746/1), NERC: “Resource Recovery from Wastewater with Bioelectrochemical Systems” (METEORR) (NE/L014246/1) and BBSRC: ToOLTuBES: Toxicity & Organic Load Tracking using BioElectrochemical Systems (BBSRC/ BB/R005613/1). Recent grants include: £2.7 million from the Royal Academy of Engineering (Chair in Emerging Technologies), Jan 2020-2029 and £1,895,270 from WEFO ERDF (Project: RICE). This funding and sustained activity means that the University of South Wales is well equipped and is a world leading research group in the area of biolectrochemical systems and has world leading facilities in this area. I have supervised over 16 PhD students to completion and have acted as an external examiner for the award of PhD seven times, including internationally in Ireland, internally five times and acted an internal viva chair five times.  Currently, I am supervising 10 PhD students. 

As from January 2020 I have been awarded a Chair in Emerging Technologies by the Royal Academy of Engineering to support my research for up to 10 years. The Academy’s programme made awards totalling more than £22m in research funding to provide long-term support to nine world-leading engineers across the UK to advance emerging technologies.  Through this project I aim to develop and commercialise microbial bioelectrochemical systems for waste treatment and resource recovery and will work with key stakeholders to facilitate these developments. If elected to a Fellowship I will support the Society`s objectives by developing leading research in Wales and promoting this activity in bioelectrochemical systems globally.  I will engage in promoting and developing excellence in scholarship and engage in the commercialization of technologies for the benefit of Wales. 


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