The MECS partnership draws on the knowledge and experience of partners from around the world, led by a core project management team at Loughborough University.
The management team
MECS Research Director
Ed Brown is the MECS Research Director. He is a Professor of Global Energy Challenges at Loughborough University with research interests in the fields of governance and international development issues with current research outputs focusing upon: questions of transparency and corruption; financial globalization and the financial needs of the poor; and energy access and low carbon energy transitions. Ed has also long had a particular interest in the Central American region where he has explored the political economy of state reforms as well as the broader impacts of neoliberal globalization. As well as being the MECS PI, Ed is the Co-Coordinator of the UK Low Carbon Energy for Development Network through which we are building bridges between the divergent branches of academia working on energy and international development issues. Through this he also leads the LCEDN’s involvement in DFID’s Transforming Energy Access initiative. He is (or has recently been) PI on three EPSRC/DFID-funded projects in this field. One involved networking the projects funded under the RCUK Understanding Sustainable Energy Solutions (USES Network) programme, whilst the other two were research projects, one exploring the implications of political decentralization for energy governance in Africa (READ) and the other exploring the potential of solar nano-grids in the contexts of Kenya and Bangladesh (SONG).
UK Research and Innovation Co-ordinator
Simon is the UK research and innovation co-ordinator. He has over 30 years’ experience in development. Starting in agriculture and water provision in the 80’s, he focused on Wind and Solar energy, contributing to the early development of renewable energy in Africa and Asia. In the 90’s, he designed and implemented an innovative programme of social mobilisation in Cambodia – which saw considerable impact over a ten year period. This experience influenced his interest in the importance of social factors in technology adoption, and led to stream of participatory research focused on the role of energy in development. In 2002, based on research in Africa, Simon began to Champion the potential of using Mobile Phones for banking the unbanked and lowering remittance costs. From 2010 onwards he has returned to his clean energy roots, and is currently part of a number of research teams on low carbon programmes. A practitioner at heart, he is currently Director of Gamos Ltd, which undertakes action research and learning on the social factors influencing development programmes.
Louise has worked in international development for 10 years in a range of roles that have taken her all over the world. Having originally intended to specialise in renewable energies, she ended up becoming a water, sanitation and health (WASH) specialist for 10 years and even did a PhD focusing on toilets. She’s now managing the MECS programme and is based at Loughborough University.
ESMAP Senior Energy Specialist
Yabei leads the Efficient and Clean Cooking and Heating initiative, focusing her support on cooking programs in Africa and South Asia. Since she joined the World Bank as a Young Professional in 2008, Yabei has managed energy projects in the East Asia and Pacific, Europe, and Central Asia regions, with a focus on household energy and energy efficiency. She led the regional flagship program the East Asia and Pacific Clean Stove Initiative with country programs in China, Mongolia, Indonesia and Lao PDR; and co-ordinated efficient and clean heating projects in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Prior to joining the World Bank Yabei worked at the Joint Global Change Research Institute .She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland and a MA in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Challenge Fund Manager
Jane Spencer joined the MECS team in March 2019 and is responsible for the coordination of the MECS Challenge Fund. She is the first point of contact for all Challenge related enquiries and is based at Loughborough University. Following two years setting up and establishing a Doctoral Training Programme for the Energy Research Accelerator, Jane has experience of working in multi-partner collaborative projects. Jane has a broad range of experience encompassing university administration, event management and facilitating links between industrial and academic partners to increase research and development within the field of renewable energy.
MECS Comms Lead, Research Administrator
Joni joined the world of energy in 2017. An ecologist by training she now works within the MECS team and is responsible for leading internal and external communications for the MECS programme and the LCEDN. Joni has a broad range of experience in maximising the impacts of communication plans and driving engagement and participation across programme agendas.
Research Support Team Leader
Michael joined the MECS team in December 2019 and provides broad spectrum research support for the MECS program. He is the first point of contact for legal enquiries, due diligence, ensuring financial compliance and is based at Loughborough University. Michael has a varied experience of U.K. Higher Education administration. In recent years Michael has focused on activities centering on research and impact involving both industrial and academic partners.
International Liaison Manager
Anh is one of the MECS International Liaison Managers and her focus is on humanitarian and displacement context in both urban and rural settings, gender and institutional cooking services. Before joining MECS, she was a Senior Lecturer in Humanitarian Engineering at Coventry University and the former head of research for UNESCO UNITWIN Network in Humanitarian Engineering. She has successfully secured over £1.5 million dollars in research funding from EPSRC, RAEng, Innovate UK, British Council and private businesses. Her research interests are in the area of Appropriate and Humanitarian Technology, with a focus on renewable energy, water and sanitation, sustainable waste management, humanitarian applications of 3D printing and drones, social entrepreneurship and engineering education. She has over 10 years’ experience on international development engineering projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, South America and Australian Indigenous communities.
A daughter of refugees, she is passionate about empowering refugee and local communities to access modern energy cooking services and to enable them to thrive and not just survive. Anh has a Bachelor (Honours) and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland, Australia.
International Liaison Manager
Nick has over 20 years of experience of working in UK Government – his final role was Head of International Innovation Strategy at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Nick led the innovation strand of the Newton programme and Government to Government policy dialogues. Nick’s consultancy, Unconventional Connections, focuses on innovation collaboration included work funded by DfID on harnessing the UK’s strengths in clean energy technology to increase access to clean energy in Africa and SE Asia. Nick has a personal interest in sustainable solutions to local and global food-related challenges – in 2015 he set up the Woven Network – UK-based network for those working on insect protein.
Nick holds BA, MSc and PhD degrees in psychology from the universities of Cambridge, Loughborough and Sheffield with a focus on psychology and user-centred system design. Within the MECS project, Nick is one of the International Liaison Managers with a focus on driving growth in availability of modern energy cooking devices within the developing world.
International Liaison Manager
Malcolm Bricknell worked for many years at the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) where he was involved in structuring and managing financings of private sector developmental projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. He has broad experience with energy projects, but has been increasingly involved with developmental initiatives linked to energy access and clean energy including social impact funds and minigrid projects for base of the pyramid social and economic development. Malcolm was also actively involved in developmental projects in the financial sector. These typically involved lines of credit channeling funds through established institutions to SMEs and micro entrepreneurs and supporting new institutions through founder equity investments such as for leasing companies, microfinance and housing finance companies aimed at deepening and broadening local capital markets.
In his earlier career Malcolm worked in corporate finance arranging and executing different types of debt and equity transactions particularly international bond issues. Malcolm has a degree in Government from the London School of Economics and a Masters of Business Administration from Manchester Business School. He is an International Liaison Manager for MECS mainly focusing on international development issues.
Challenge Fund Business Administrator
Tereza Lingard joined Loughborough University in 2013 and has a wealth of experience working within a Higher Education setting. Tereza enjoys working within a Business Administration role and has previously worked within Facilities Management, as Finance Officer within the School of the Arts and as Finance Administrator within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.
Tereza is responsible for dealing with expense claims, monitoring budgets using the Agresso system, providing budget reports, and assisting the lead academic.