Meet the team
Guy Blanch BEng - Lead Engineer
Guy has 20-years experience developing equipment in agricultural and waste sectors and collaborating with AD operators to produce integrated systems. He has many research trial platforms for UK and overseas clients, with commercialisation and production development the key drivers. His main focus is on R&D engineering for LEAP, Loowatt and Alvan Blanch, designing and fabricating AD technologies including micro digesters, maceration, pre-feed, pasteurisation and biomethane upgrading equipment. He is passionate about bringing the benefits of micro AD to communities in the UK and other cold climates as well as to developing countries.
Diego Vega - Technical coordinator
Diego worked as a sustainability consultant and process manager with Arup for LEED, AQUA HQE, and Living Building certification. He is an experienced Building Physics Analyst, Facade Designer and Parametric Designer and has also worked as a Buildings System Manager and Commissioning Agent for HVAC, coordinating electrical and automation installations required to meet sustainability certification requirements. Diego uses his extensive experience to manage and troubleshoot the technical aspects of LEAP’s demonstration sites including the electrical and electronics systems as well as the AD and hydroponic systems.
Marco Fanasca BSc - Control Technician
Marco is an energy engineer with hands-on electrical and heating expertise. He teaches electrical power systems for leading Italian learning provider. Specialised in design and implementation of robust, low-cost control systems for off-grid, hybrid renewable technologies (solar PV, solar thermal, AD and wind), Marco has a passion for distributed renewable systems (microgrids), computer science and automation. He works with LEAP as an R&D engineer with a focus on micro biogas applications and the development of online digital control and monitoring systems designed for remote technical support and optimisation.
Katalin Patonay MSc - Training Coordinator
Katalin holds four MScs and is committed to the prevention of waste and the development of sustainable solutions for the future. Her role involves coordinating the training and volunteer programme and monitoring the closed-loop model as well as managing the digestate and food growing trials. She is in her element working with people and believes in life-long learning, recently discovering that she loves to teach, 20 years after receiving a teaching degree! Katalin is also a part time news editor and translator for HuMuSz Waste Prevention - a Hungarian waste prevention alliance.
Rokiah Yaman MA – Project Manager
Rokiah’s coordinates the LEAP demonstration sites, oversees fundraising and planning activities, and manages infrastructure and operational logistics. She is keen to bring micro AD technology and the closed-loop ethos into public spaces where people can see and understand the concept and its benefits. Her approach to working with the community has evolved through projects focused on community health and wellbeing, public engagement, community arts, environmental education and micro AD technology development. She has successfully managed collaborative projects for Innovate UK, WRAP, LB Camden, Camden NHS, LSX, the Arts Council and SUGI.
Angela Bywater - Senior AD consultant
Angela has a background in IT and project management, having worked for a number of well-known UK companies, including House of Fraser and Sun Life of Canada. Since 2001, she has since been involved in a number of AD reports and projects; notably for the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), which attracted significant worldwide interest; for Glasu (Welsh Government) on Farm AD & chicken manure; for the International Energy Agency Task 37 on small-scale AD; and RE-fuelling the Countryside for the RASE. A mine of useful information, Angie is currently working on setting up the UK’s AD Network and coordinates ADnet, a BBSRC funded initiative aimed at furthering innovation and promoting cutting-edge AD research.
James Murcott – Senior AD engineer
James is the founder and director of Methanogen UK Ltd, a British company, built on 40 years’ experience of designing, manufacturing and building anaerobic digesters for farms, sewage treatment, food waste and abattoirs. He also founded Farmgas, the UK’s largest AD company in 1974. His UK farm digesters alone have a combined operating time of more than 400 years and his company WRI created a market for their award-winning AD compost. His latest designs include a range of micro-scale digesters and full-scale automatic de-gritting digesters, the latter a major AD innovation, allowing gritty feedstocks such as unwashed sugar beet and slurry from cows bedded on sand to be fed directly to the digester. A well respected in the UK’s AD sector, James brings a wealth of expertise to LEAP’ team.