Dr Joe Butchers

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About me

My research is focused on renewable energy and the local manufacture and implementation of renewable energy systems.

I have carried out research to understand issues that affect the sustainability of hydropower plants in Nepal, evaluated the capability of micro-hydropower manufacturing companies, and worked collaboratively with industrial partners to develop locally appropriate hydropower designs. Working with Nepal Yantra Shala Energy, we have developed a design for a Turgo turbine that is appropriate for local manufacture in Nepal. In collaboration with the People, Energy and Environment Development Association, a 30kW version of this turbine design has been installed in Taplejung district in Nepal. In collaboration with the Hydro Empowerment Network, the resulting turbine design has been shared online.

Since joining UWE, I have been awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Researcher Award for the project Printing power: designing hydro-turbines for additive manufacture. The project aims to demonstrate that AM processes can be used to manufacture different types of hydro-turbine at a range of scales. Making use of a range of AM processes available in the CFPR and the School of Engineering, the project will identify which are applicable to different types of turbine. It will also explore how turbine designs can be optimised for additive manufacture.

Related to these areas of research, I am also interested in the sustainability of renewable energy systems, local manufacturing and open-source hardware.

Area of expertise

Hydropower, renewable energy, local manufacturing, design methods, computer aided design, open-source hardware 


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