Tunley Engineering on decarbonisation in manufacturing

Tunley Engineering has cut carbon emissions by 10,000,000 kg of CO2e. They work with companies to assess their Carbon Footprint & develop net zero roadmaps

Tunley Engineering is a science-based firm that is decarbonising the world one organisation and product at a time. Delivered by PhD level Scientists, Tunley Engineering provides 4 primary solutions:

1. Business Carbon Assessments, the assessment of the current Carbon Footprint and the development of a net zero strategy

2. Embodied Carbon Assessments, whereby they determine the kg CO2e emissions in the manufactured products

3. The Carbon Consortium, a monthly programme developing the internal competency of cohorts of organisations

4. The Carbon Think Tank, a service which identifies alternative materials which reduce embodied carbon emissions for clients seeking low-carbon alternatives

Aaron Yeardley, Carbon Reduction Engineer at Tunley Engineering

Aaron works as a Carbon Reduction Engineer for Tunley Engineering.  He combines his role with completing his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield.  Aaron specialises in gathering data from clients and performing carbon calculations to present carbon footprints.  He then works with the client providing solutions to help reduce their carbon footprint. He utilises his expertise in data analytics, machine learning and python coding to achieve these goals.

“I remember choosing Chemical Engineering at University because of my passion for Mathematics, but lack of understanding for what can be achieved from taking the pure subject at university. So, I chose Chemical Engineering because I was promised I’d be doing a lot of maths for engineering purposes, perfect doing maths for a reason. 

“Since then, I excelled in data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence. My own passion in artificial intelligence involves applying machine learning for data analysis (not developing code). Once I’d finished my degree I knew that I wanted to analyse data for a reason, I wanted to use my skills to make a difference. In the current climate, what could benefit from pure data analysis skills more than reducing GHG emissions? Therefore, working on projects that gather raw data from business activities, processes and products, cleaning the data and applying mathematical methodologies to calculate carbon emissions is exactly what I want to do.”

Dr Torill Bigg, Chief Carbon Reduction Engineer at Tunley Engineering

Dr Bigg (Torill) is a Chartered Chemical Engineer with 20 years’ experience in the water industry and a passion for environmental protection. Her work is published in Environmental Technology Journal and she is the recipient of a range of awards from Groundwater Quality at Sheffield University, to the prestigious Water Award from the Institute of Chemical Engineers. Torill spearheads Tunley Engineering’s work in reducing Carbon Emissions across the globe, utilising her academic, professional and industry experience in finding grounded and cost-effective solutions to the Climate Crisis.

“I enjoy practical problem solving, devising creative and innovative solutions to problems that can be applied in real life. I began my career in industry, quickly moving into management, research and development. I found I had a passion for innovation and environmental protection, which led to my PhD designing a treatment process to remediate industrial effluent. I continued in innovation and process optimisation, effectively reducing operational carbon until a significant role in capital asset investment planning afforded me the opportunity to implement carbon reduction at the embodied carbon stage too. These skills and a passion for environmental protection, led to my current role leading an amazing team of carbon reduction engineers.”

Here, Dr Torill Bigg and Aaron Yeardley discuss smart manufacturing, decarbonisation and the future of Tunley Engineering.


Tell us about decarbonisation in the manufacturing sector…

“It is very exciting to see so many manufacturing businesses embrace decarbonisation. To date we have reduced carbon emissions by 10,000,000 kg CO2e. This figure doesn’t include offsets – it only includes carbon reduction from actions, a change in business activity. 

“These changes are brought about by understanding and measurement. Once a business is able to visualise the carbon emissions, where they come from and which activities or materials contribute the most carbon, and which offer the greatest opportunity for reducing then they are able to implement change. It is thrilling to see so many do so.”


How can the use of smart manufacturing benefit the environment and reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

“Efforts to improve asset efficiency, and to move to renewable energy sources, reduce the use of fossil fuels and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Smart manufacturing includes making greater use of data to optimise operating efficiencies of equipment as well as the timeliness and effectiveness of maintenance interventions. 

“The latter reduces travel, and so fossil fuel use (even in electric vehicles), as data driven interventions improve scheduling; it also reduces the use, and so manufacture and transport, of spares that would otherwise be needed where a breakdown has been prevented by data driven intervention. 

“Reducing usage is arguably more important than replacing business activities with net zero carbon alternative solutions. For example, it is essential UK business reduce energy usage to the energy performance target to ensure the UK can generate enough renewable energy to decarbonise the national grid. This is because it is not feasible to produce enough renewable energy to cover the current consumption. Thus, smart manufacturing is required to reduce usage and improve efficiency.”

What is the future of smart manufacturing?

“Digital twins to allow virtual visibility of operating conditions, planning of efficiency and preventative maintenance interventions. Digital twin, or data digital twins to allow modelling of the outcome of one version of data intervention over another – allowing for example a run to fail scenario to be compared to a preventative intervention based on machine learning informed by operational data from telemetry and programmed to give carbon outputs for the different scenarios in addition to the capitals of time, money and resource.”


What do the next 12 months hold for you and Tunley Engineering?

“Tunley Engineering’s Carbon Reduction Service is rapidly expanding, with a growing team encompassing ever more skill and expertise. We have a mission to Engineer a Decarbonised Future and we will deliver decarbonisation to a broad range of industries, working collaboratively to maximise the reach and magnitude of that decarbonisation.”


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