Daniel Taylor

Final year PhD student - Systems Research Group, Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

Discover Dan's inspiring journey, from staff member to pursuing his own research striving for net-zero, all while working remotely.


 Tackling the climate crisis

Dan’s research delves into the interplay of social, political, and economic factors influencing policy design for renewable organic materials (like wood, crops, and farm waste) known as biomass. His goal is to construct a robust framework that incentivises sustainable biomass use, paving the way to net zero. With a focus on maximising benefits for both people and the planet, Dan's research is a crucial step in combating the climate crisis.

First in his family to embark on a PhD

I’m proud to be the first person to take up a PhD in my family. I couldn’t have afforded to complete a PhD without funding so the studentship I am in receipt of has enabled me to do what I do.

His unconventional journey began with a Higher Degree Apprenticeship at a multinational aviation company. Transitioning from this to a postgraduate MSc, Dan redirected his career towards climate change. As a staff member within the Supergen Bioenergy Hub (based at Aston University) prior to starting his PhD, Dan had a strong relationship with his supervisors who motivated him to pursue original research. 

Inspired by research expertise and impact 

As a non-academic member of staff, Dan witnessed the expertise of EBRI and Aston University, prompting his desire to contribute. He was drawn to the university's unique approach of integrating research into the real world, connecting it with industry and society, and prioritising tangible impact. 

I am proud to be researching at an institute that is world-leading in its field, and it’s the people that make it so.

Support of supervisors and the postgraduate research (PGR) community

The expertise and support of Dan’s supervisors is invaluable to his PhD.

As I don’t live locally, my supervisors have supported me in working from home most of the time. This means much of my engagement with the university is through a screen. Despite this, when I am on campus, I still feel a part of Aston. Within EBRI, we have a great group of PGRs and post-docs in the office. Because of this, I have friends that have come from all over the world! 

A recognised qualification in teaching in a higher education setting 

Aston university offers the opportunity for PhDs to take up the Introduction to Learning and Teaching Practice Programme (ILTP) alongside their research so they can gain a formal qualification in higher education.

I really enjoyed lecturing on an MSc course and for a little bit of extra work I was able to get an additional qualification!