Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Our Research

A key research area for LIAT is energy efficiency and sustainability of food production systems. Solutions include wireless communications, extended data networks, and sustainable energy innovation. We have specialisms in soil and water and value chain sustainability also.

Research Projects

Robot Highways

This project aims to develop a knowledge exchange platform to empower transformation across UK and global supply chains.  These technologies underpin industry sustainability by reducing sector reliance on low skilled labour, whilst upskilling the existing workforce.

Project Lead: Professor Marc Hanheide

Funder: UK Research and Innovation – Innovate UK


Hubl's solution to multi temperature last mile delivery - phase 2

Development of a Cool Run Pod for last mile delivery. Aiming to reduce the harmful non-tail-pipe emissions from transport refrigeration. A simple solution, which supports both Clean Air Strategy and UK Industrial Strategy.

Project Lead: David May

Funder: Department for the Economy – Small Business Research Initiative


Smartgreen Interreg project

SMARTGREEN project aims to use novel Big Data analysis of climate and production data to pinpoint unnecessary energy use in horticultural production and to improve climate control in commercial greenhouses.

Project Lead: Professor Simon Pearson

Funder: Interreg NW Europe


Digitising Cacao production in Colombia

This project aims to deploy a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) to monitor the cocoa plantations in Colombia. Exploring data collection using low cost sensor nodes (SN) connected to a cloud server for online real-time predictive analytics anywhere in the world.

Project Lead: Professor Simon Pearson

Funder: UK Research and Innovation – Innovate UK


Development of novel greenhouse cladding materials to optimise crop growth and quality

This project aims focuses on the development of enhanced greenhouse cladding materials to improve crop growth and quality. The light scattering properties of the materials will be optimised. This provides an opportunity to maximise photosynthesis, by distributing light more evenly through a canopy.

Project Lead: Professor Simon Pearson

Funder: UK Research and Innovation – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences


The development of novel plastic film cladding materials for polytunnels

Exploring soft fruit advanced production systems. Working with leading plastic film manufacturers to produce polyethylene films with significantly improved characteristics for growing protected crops using spectral filtering and wavelength related light scattering; aiming to support sustainable intensification of worldwide agriculture.

Project Lead: Professor Simon Pearson

Funder: UK Research and Innovation – Research England Connecting Capability