Privilege support for student award winner

Following on from having her research recognised in the Privilege Finance student award prizegiving earlier this year, Miranda Mirzad has visited Willand Biogas in Devon, to see an operating AD plant first-hand.

Winston Reed, a director of the AD plant, led a tour of the site, explaining everything from the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) monitoring system to how the plant is trying new feedstock options to enhance biogas production.

“It was fascinating to hear about what the team are doing, especially how they are planning to source different feedstocks from local industries, such as waste from a chicken processing plant,” says Miranda.

“I also learnt about how the AD process is based on the natural digestion of a cow. It’s an innovative way of producing renewable energy, the inspiration for which has come from nature,” she adds.

Now working in nuclear energy, which like AD, has a role to play in decarbonisation of the UK energy system, Miranda brought her own perspective to the discussion about the wider UK energy system.

“It was interesting to compare what I learnt about the AD industry to the nuclear industry. For example, both are heavily regulated, and it’s good to know that safety is considered paramount in both sectors, as at the end of the day, they are high-risk technologies,” she says.

“It’s vital to expose people to different industries. Being from a chemical engineering background, I haven’t had much exposure to renewables, so it was eye-opening to see how AD fits into the UK energy structure,” she concludes.

Miranda is one of the three students who won prizes for their research on solutions to climate change and carbon reduction. The Privilege Finance thought leadership award for students is running again this year, with the winners due to be announced in January.