BEACON Team

Dr Dave Preskett

Scale-up/Development Chemist

d.preskett@bangor.ac.uk

Bangor University

Background

After ten years of extensive operational experience in forestry in Europe I returned to academia to obtain my second degree in BSc Forestry and Forest Products at Bangor. I made use of my time to study chainsaw lubrication with vegetable oils and at the same time being involved in research of forestry products at the BioComposites Centre.

Following a two year period of service with Forest Research, I returned to the BioComposites Centre in a research programme where I developed a range of bio-lubricants and solvents in collaboration with an industrial partner based on vegetable oils and their derivatives at tonne scale, judged as excellent by the funding providers.

This then led to a highly successful post-graduate research programme in the School of Chemistry, a post-doctoral position at the School in the field of non-timber forest products and co-inventorship of two patents in the area.

A three and a half year period followed as a groundsman and gamekeeper on a large estate in North Wales that drew upon my practical skills set, during which time I was occasionally engaged on a quasi-consultancy basis with Bangor in the commercialisation of my research outcomes.

I was appointed to my current position as a scale-up/development chemist in Beacon in November last year.

Research Interests

  • Vegetable oils and fatty acids, especially uncommon fatty acids
  • Identification of waste streams and valorisation opportunities in natural products processing
  • Secondary plant metabolites – extraction, analysis and formulations into novel bioactive products (e.g. biopesticides, pharma- cosmeta- and nutraceutical applications)
  • Forestry residues, non-timber forest products and unutilised indigenous plants

BEACON Activities

  • Developing small scale extraction protocols
  • Operational activities in wet chemistry laboratory for large scale solvent extraction
  • Procurement of samples for extraction
  • Preparation and analysis of samples
  • Exploitation of IP with a number of companies including a multi-national in various applications
  • Engaging with BEACON partner companies
  • Developing Welsh supply chains to deliver plant extracts for formulation into commercial products by end-users

Future Plans

I am passionate about my work in the area of natural products and derivatives, especially those that are unexplored or their application is unrecognised.

My immediate future plan is to build up our capacity on Anglesey and to help exceed rather than just meet our metrics across BEACON.

Looking further ahead, I would like to:

  • Foster further the strategic alliances I have developed with research colleagues, institutions and commercial organisations
  • Continue my professional development in both chemistry and forestry by assimilating new methods of working, ideas and technologies
  • Develop novel technologies based on natural products to meet global challenges facing populations worldwide

Publications

  • Baird, M.S.; Preskett, D. Method, European patent EP2235150. 2007.
  • Baird, M.S.; Preskett, D. Composition and Method, European patent EP2234479, 2007.
  • Preskett D. High value products from unused, indigenous plants. PhD thesis, Bangor University, 2007.
  • Preskett, D. The suitability of food grade cooking oil to act as a biodegradable chainsaw lubricant in forestry and arboriculture. In: Hadfield, M. and Ciantar, C. (Eds.) In: Proceedings, Tribology in Environmental Design 2000. Professional Engineering Publishing, London, 2000.
  • Preskett, D. Bio- or cooking oils? Arboricultural Association Newsletter, 108, 21–25, 2000.