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Dr Stephen Burnley

Dr Stephen Burnley

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • stephen.burnley

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of Teaching in the Department of Engineering and Innovation. I studied Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University and am a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  I began my career at the Warren Spring Laboratory conducting research into the combustion of various waste materials before expanding my interests to the wider areas of wastes management and assessing the environmental impacts of different waste management options. I joined the OU on a full-time basis in 1999.

Research interests

My main research interests are the life cycle assessment of waste management processes and the integration of energy from waste systems with other waste recovery operations.  I am a Subject Editor for the Institution of Chemical Engineers journal Process Safety and Environmental Protection.

Teaching interests

Since joining the OU I have developed and delivered a range of engineering and environment-related modules and programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  I am currently a member of the Level One Engineering module teams, chairing one presentation a year and looking after two Residential School activities.  As Deputy Director of Teaching, I am responsible for the School’s postgraduate curriculum and a number of staff development areas.

Impact and engagement

I am active in several areas of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management's (CIWM) work.  I am an assessor for their MSc research project scholarships and in 2016 judged the Roger Perry award for the best student member research output of the year.  I served as a Director of the CIWM's Environmental Body during its operational years, 

I have acted as external examiner on several taught MSc programmes and have examined PhD candidates at many universities.

I am the treasurer of the Sponne and BIckerstaffe Charity established in 1440 to provide almshouses and fianancial support to those in need in the town of Towcester.

I worked with a number of colleagues to develop the OpenWASH training material in water, sanitation and health in Ethiopia.

I work with the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in Kenya to deliver the OU's Environmental Management programme through the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
SUSTECH: Integrated Waste Systems Research GroupGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology


Factors influencing the life cycle burdens of the recovery of energy from residual municipal waste (2015-05)
Burnley, Stephen; Coleman, Terry and Peirce, Adam
Waste Management, 39 (pp. 295-304)
A multi-criteria decision analysis assessment of waste paper management options (2013-03)
Hanan, Deirdre; Burnley, Stephen and Cooke, David
Waste Management, 33(3) (pp. 566-573)
Carbon and life cycle implications of thermal recovery from the organic fractions of municipal waste (2012-09)
Burnley, Stephen; Phillips, Rhiannon and Coleman, Terry
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 17(8) (pp. 1015-1027)
Energy implications of the thermal recovery of biodegradable municipal waste materials in the United Kingdom (2011)
Burnley, Stephen; Phillips, Rhiannon; Coleman, Terry and Rampling, Terence
Waste Management, 31(9-10) (pp. 1949-1959)
A life cycle assessment of the closed-loop recycling and thermal recovery of post-consumer PET (2010-10)
Chilton, Tom; Burnley, Stephen and Nesaratnam, Suresh
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(12) (pp. 1241-1249)
Satisfying sustainability skills at a distance (2008-10)
Burnley, Stephen
International Journal of Performability Engineering, 4(4) (pp. 371-384)
Assessing the composition of municipal solid waste in Wales (2007-01)
Burnley, S.J.; Ellis, J.C; Flowerdew, R.; Poll, A.J. and Prosser, H.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 49(3) (pp. 264-283)
The use of chemical composition data in waste management planning – A case study (2007)
Burnley, S. J.
Waste Management, 27(3) (pp. 327-336)
A review of municipal solid waste composition in the United Kingdom (2007)
Burnley, Stephen J.
Waste Management, 27(10) (pp. 1274-1285)
The use of virtual reality technology in teaching environmental engineering (2007)
Burnley, Stephen J
Engineering Education, 2(2) (pp. 2-15)
The analysis of flue gas treatment residues using non-destructive X-ray fluorescence as a regulatory compliance test (2005)
Robertson, D.; Barratt, R.S.; Burnley, S.J.; Webb, P. and Watson, J.S.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 7(5) (pp. 416-418)
The impact of the European landfill directive on waste management in the United Kingdom (2001-07)
Burnley, Stephen
Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 32(3-4) (pp. 349-358)
Environment management report. Focus on Waste Management (2006)
Yoxon, Mark; Burnley, Stephen and Gladding, Toni
ISBN : 0-580-48412-2 | Publisher : British Standards Institution | Published : London
Municipal waste management and the environmental health challenge: a tale of two cities (2009)
Burnley, Stephen; Kimbowa, Richard and Banadda Nswa, Isaac
In: Wilson, Gordon; Furniss, Pamela and Kimbowa, Richard eds. Environment, Development, and Sustainability: Perspectives and cases from around the world (pp. 139-148)
ISBN : 9780199560646 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford, UK
Towards Sustainable Operations Management Integrating Sustainability Management into Operations Management Strategies and Practices (2008-09)
Bettley, Alison and Burnley, Stephen
In: Misra, Krishna B. ed. Handbook on Performability Engineering (pp. 875-904)
ISBN : 978-1-84800-130-5 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : London, UK
The environmental and financial benefits of recovering plastics From residual municipal waste before energy recovery (2016-11-14)
Burnley, Stephen and Coleman, Terry
In : Venice2016, Sixth International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste (14-18 Nov 2016, Venice)
Greenhouse gas emissions from non-recyclable residual household waste within domestic wheeled bins (2015-10-05)
Boardman, C.; Burnley, S.; Gauci, V. and Gladding, T.
In : 15th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium (Sardinia 2015) (5-9 Oct 2015, S. Margherita di Pula, Sardinia, Italy)
Discovering waste management priorities using life cycle assessment and spreadsheet models in education (2013-10)
Burnley, Stephen; Wagland, Stuart and Longhurst, Phil
In : 14th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium (Sardinia 2013) (30 Sep - 4 Oct 2013, Cagliari, Italy)
Factors influencing the life cycle burdens of the recovery of energy from residual municipal waste (2012-11)
Burnley, Stephen and Coleman, Terry
In : Venice 2012, Fourth International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste (12-14 Nov 2012, Venice)
Evaluation of residential school activity ‘Product re-engineering for enhanced end-of-life performance (2012-09-19)
Endean, Mark; Clay, Kath and Burnley, Stephen
In : Engineering Education 2012 (18-20 Sep 2012, Coventry)
The use of multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) to determine community views on municipal waste management proposals (2011-10)
Hanan, D. B.; Burnley, S. J. and Cooke, D. F.
In : Thirteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium (3-7 Oct 2011, S. Margherita di Pula (Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy)
A life cycle assessment of recovering energy from the organic fractions of municipal waste (2011-10)
Burnley, S. J.; Phillips, R. and Coleman, T.
In : Thirteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium (3-7 Oct 2011, S. Margherita di Pula (Cagliari), Sardinia)
The use of chemical composition data in assessing the environmental impact of municipal waste management options (2003-10)
Burnley, S.J.
In : Ninth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium (6-10 Oct 2003, Sardinia, Italy)
An exploration of non-participation in household waste recycling schemes in England and Wales (2001)
Parfitt, J.; Burnley, S.; Lovett, A.; Jones, A. and Nesaratnam, S.
In : 8th International Waste Management Symposium (1-5 Oct 2001, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy)
Developing Integrated Waste Management Systems: Information Needs and the Role of Locally Based Data (2003-10)
Thomas, Christine; Frederickson, James; Burnley, Stephen and Slater, Rachel
Integrated Waste Systems, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

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