Celtic Renewables Ltd is an innovative start-up company formed to commercialise a process for producing a superior next generation biofuel and other high value sustainable products, from the by-products of biological industries.
An international award winning innovator, Professor Martin Tangney OBE established the first biofuel centre in the UK and made global headlines for his process for producing biobutanol, a sustainable advanced biofuel and renewable chemical, from the by-products of the malt Whisky industry – a process he is commercialising as the Founder of Celtic Renewables. A microbiologist by training, Martin brings decades of experience to the company as an expert in biotechnology and sustainability. As a recognised thought leader in his field (and a TEDx speaker in Hong Kong), Martin has featured on TV stations all over the world and in publications from National Geographic to Time Magazine, focusing worldwide media attention onto innovation in sustainability in Scotland. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded an honorary OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list – one of the very few Irish citizens to receive the accolade.
Mark is an entrepreneurial leader and commercialisation specialist with almost 30 years of international experience in sales, marketing and business development. Mark graduated from Bristol University in Economics and Accounting and started out his career with the IMG in London commercialising and managing global professional golf events. In 2011 Mark graduated from the highly prestigious Saltire Foundation Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship Programme, which included a fast-track MBA programme at Babson College, Boston, USA. Mark helped to co-found Celtic Renewables in late 2011, and has been the company’s CEO since its inception leading the growth of the company and securing over £30m of investment finance to fund that growth and the construction of the company’s first bio-refinery. Mark has won numerous investment pitching and business presentation awards on behalf of Celtic Renewables, and has built a strong and dynamic team at the company.
John is a Chartered Project Professional with over 30 years of international experience leading the design, development and delivery of major capital process and construction projects. He has completed an impressive portfolio of projects across a number of sectors including the petrochemical, water, energy and whisk(e)y sectors, including leading the delivery of the ground- breaking and iconic Tullamore Distillery in Ireland. John has used this experience to lead the scale-up of our novel process from its origins in the lab to deliver our first bio-refinery at Caledon Green in Grangemouth and assumed the role of Managing Director in early 2020.
Jim is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience operating at board level in senior finance roles. Prior to joining Celtic Renewables he was finance head at Argent Energy, the multi-site international biofuels division of John Swire & Sons. Jim assisted Swire in secondment roles at Swire Oilfield Services in Aberdeen and was finance lead on the Swire team to acquire Biodiesel Amsterdam. Jim also served on the boards of a number of Swire’s US operations as a non-exec director.
Jim has 30 years of international experience in operations and engineering management working for small, innovative companies bringing new technologies to market. An engineer by training, he has developed products, built manufacturing facilities and managed operations in the UK, USA and SE Asia. Jim directed operations for a leading commercial laboratory in the USA and more recently managed university-based innovation programmes providing applied research, technology development and commercialisation services, before joining Celtic Renewables. Jim leads the Compliance and Operations team at Celtic Renewables, delivering the shared systems and processes required for effective operations and ensuring the company meets its commitment to environmental sustainability, protecting health and safety and compliance with legal and statutory obligations.
Denise joined Celtic Renewables in Sept 2018. She is a production leader with almost 20 years of practical operational experience. Her previous experience is mainly within the Scotch and Irish whisk(e)y distilling industry where she covered all aspects of this process across a number of different sites. A scientist by background, she is a practical leader who also has a strong background in compliance and management systems. She has previous experience of transforming a greenfield site into a fully operational manufacturing site. Denise has a personal interest in, and experience of, developing and continually improving a desired culture within a new site and the ongoing development of a newly formed team.
Dr Eve Bird is an industrial biotechnologist who heads up research and innovation at Celtic Renewables. Eve has worked in the Biobased Chemicals Industry for over a decade and is an international expert in the industrial ABE fermentation process, where her work ranges from genomes to bioreactors. Eve has risen to the top of her field and leads a highly skilled multi-disciplinary innovation team behind the world’s first ABE facility run on sustainable distillery by-products. An award winning and passionate scientist, Eve has been invited to present her research and share her expertise on the global stage, from Helsinki to Hong Kong.
Jim has gained more than 30 years of engineering management experience. He has a strong practical knowledge and has professional recognition as a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Having started his career within an operational and production background, he developed into the field of Project Management delivering key projects for Public and Private Sector Clients. Spending the last 10 years leading a national Design and Project Management Consultancy, his role as the Senior Project Manager within Celtic Renewables will be key to the construction and development of the site operations.
Anne-Marie is a Chartered Accountant and member of ICAS, having joined in 2008 after completing training with a mid-tier Scottish firm working across both audit and corporation tax. After qualifying she moved into financial services with a number of FTSE 250 companies. During her 10 years in FS she worked in a variety of roles both within finance and the wider business, before moving into industry and joining a multinational company working in the payments industry. Anne-Marie’s experience with both statutory accounting requirements and commercial focus supporting the business in all financial matters fits well on the journey Celtic Renewables is currently on.
Daniel is a Process Engineer with 12 years’ experience working in the sustainable development and energy sectors. A passionate believer in low carbon development he has worked in a broad range of roles including project delivery, process design, technical team leader, technical development support and policy development. The experience he has gained has provided him with a detailed understanding of the requirements for successful delivery at each stage of the project development cycle.
A microbiologist by training, Julie is an expert in bacteria known as solventogenic clostridia – the organisms that underpin Celtic Renewables’ process. Before joining Celtic Renewables Julie spent her career working in an academic institution, but her focus has always been business-led with an emphasis on sustainability. Julie carried out her PhD in an industrial programme with biobutanol pioneers Green Biologics and she was part of the team that established the first centre in the UK to develop sustainable biofuel – the Biofuel Research Centre (BfRC). As the senior scientist in the BfRC Julie has supported hundreds of companies across Scotland, including Celtic Renewables, to develop innovative ways of converting wastes and residues into higher value products through a variety of collaborative R&D programmes. Julie brings a unique combination of industry knowledge and scientific expertise to the Celtic Renewables research and innovation team.
Kenneth is a biochemist with over 20 years’ experience of research, development and quality control in the brewing, distilling and renewable chemicals sectors. Kenneth was a researcher on the whisky co-products to biofuel Proof of Concept project at Edinburgh Napier that led to the establishment of Celtic Renewables. His current role is to lead laboratory and pilot-scale work covering optimisation of the ABE fermentation process as the company moves towards full-scale production. The main areas of focus in this role are the assessment of novel raw materials, testing of enzymes, monitoring of fermentation performance, production of animal feed and the responsible disposal of effluent. Kenneth is a keen scientific writer and has published several original research papers and book chapters.
Lee-Anne is an experienced Project Controls Specialist from the Oil & Gas and Ship Building industries and has worked on projects ranging from the installation of wellheads on the ocean floor to construction of the two largest ships ever built in the UK. She adds financial and analytical skills from early career experience in Financial Services to provide a unique skillset that enables her to drive the project controls function whilst maintaining relationships with the various stakeholders both internal and external to the business. Lee-Anne is a key part of the Compliance and Operations Team at Celtic Renewables leading and supporting various functions such as Project Controls, Procurement, Compliance, Information Management and IT.
Brodie joined Celtic Renewables immediately after finishing his Master’s in Chemical Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Brodie received several awards in engineering design and techno-economics. While at Celtic Renewables, Brodie has undertaken the development, design, and delivery of various work packages; particularly solvent recovery and fermentation scale-up. Brodie works closely with senior members of our team to identify value engineering improvement opportunities and this key integration in the senior team has ensured that the inevitable growth in experience and knowledge will remain within the company, breeding the kind of valuable expertise that only develops over time.
Sarah is experienced in the financial services sector. During her 35 years in FS she worked with a Blue Chip company for 24 years in the Distribution industry and latterly, a multinational company in the payments industry. During this time she has worked in a variety of roles within finance. Sarah’s experience with both finance and administration will compliment the Celtic Renewables journey.
Anna was involved in the founding team and has been with Celtic Renewables since it began back in 2011, serving a diversity of roles as the company evolved. Along with providing part-time general administrative and development support, Anna organises networking and conference events for Celtic Renewables. Anna has hosted visiting international media and trade missions, as well as Government Ministerial delegations from across Europe, the US, China, Japan and India. A trademark and highly popular feature at these events is her whisky tastings, which she has also held in countries across Europe, as well as in the US and Canada, promoting Celtic Renewables as a global brand.
Ekko started out as a street dog in Romania and moved to Scotland in 2017 where he studied Obedience. Ekko went on to advanced training and obtained his qualifications to become a registered Medical Alert Dog specialised in narcolepsy sleep attack detection. Ekko is a valued member of Celtic Renewables and has participated in many international conference appearances.