Contact Professor Philip Longhurst

Areas of expertise

  • Biomass and Waste
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Energy Policy & Regulation
  • Environmental Policy


Phil is the Director of Partnerships in the School of Water, Energy & Environment, and Professor of Environment & Energy Technology. He has a PhD in Innovation & Technology Assessment, and a degree in Design and Technology and B.Ed. (Hons).

Phil's initial research background was in developing a programme of research assessing the impact of waste management on air quality and neighbouring communities. Adapting measurement and assessment methods from meteorology and agriculture he used these methods to predict the impact of landfill operations on households. Information from these methods were used to inform operators on options for improvement, advise on the potential impacts and opportunities for the control of operations for planning applications, and assess the potential for new methods of operational control and regulation.

Prior to his research career, Phil completed his initial studies at the London College of Furniture and then worked in the furniture industry and associated trades. He trained as a teacher of Design and Technology gaining sponsorship for the development of demonstrator wind tunnels for use in education, then joined Cranfield University to further develop his research and industry interests.

Research opportunities

Applications from postgraduates having developed research questions related to regional and transition of energy systems to net zero, and/or waste & resource management systems for net zero are welcome.

If you are in the process of applying for external funding then you are invited to contact to correspond on your application to complete your research at Cranfield University as you develop your research proposal.

Current activities

Phil holds the Chair of Environment and Energy Technology and is based in the Energy Theme. His research investigates the way that materials can be recovered or diverted from waste streams including landfill to improve resource use and reduce environmental pollution.

This research includes the application of energy from waste to district heating, as well as the diversion of materials, energy from waste, pollution prevention and reducing green-house gas emissions. His work contributes to the activity in the energy theme as well as in water and the environment. His portfolio of projects includes recovering material value from trace metals in contaminated land, nutrient recovery from wastes, risk assessment for PAS100 compost for use in agriculture, and risk assessment for PAS110 Anaerobic Digestion (AD) residues in agriculture. Work related to waste management includes developing benchmarking methods for better environmental regulation, establishing opportunities for SMEs to develop AD infrastructure capacity, and systems modelling for waste minimisation and policy appraisal.

His published outputs include research into: the mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) of solid waste; the production and quality of solid recovered fuels (SRF); bioaerosol emissions from in-vessel and open-windrow composting; and the risk assessment of wastes, including animal carcasses; and a systems analysis of disease incursion networks.

He has developed short courses including training for improved biowaste regulation, training for odour control and measurement as well as advised site operators on methods to reduce the impact of operations and evaluated levels of compliance with site emission measurements and dispersion modelling methods.

Phil contributed to HM Treasury's Infrastructure study by the Engineering Interdependencies Expert Group (EIEG) and provides teaching and research supervision to three teaching themes in: Energy; Environment and Agrifood, as well as supervising doctoral researchers.


Current and previous clients include research councils, government departments, NGOs, and commercial and industrial sponsors.

Collaborating partners and clients include the following: EPSRC, NERC, ESRC, Innovate UK, Defra, BEIS (DECC), Association for London Government, GLA, WRAP, Sniffer, Environment Agency, SEPA, UK Water Industry Research, WRG, Shanks/Renewi, Biffa, Viridor, SITA, Grantscape (Shanks First, EB Nationwide Ltd.) Boeing, ADAS, Jacobs, James Hutton Institute, British Sugar, Anglian Water, Lafarge, London Remade, MJ Carter Associates, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent Water, South West Water, Thames Water, United Utilities, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions - Wood PLC, Viridor, and Yorkshire Water.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers