Stephen began his career at Warren Spring Laboratory where he ran a research programme on burning refuse derived fuels in a range of industrial furnace systems and took part in several government-funded programmes on the development of waste processing equipment. Through this Stephen developed an interest in the wider field of waste management and pursued this at the Energy Technology Support Unit (ETSU) where he managed waste-related research projects for the Department of Trade and Industry and the Environment Agency.
Stephen joined the Open University in 1999 and has written and taught many courses ranging from MSc level modules on environmental pollution control to training material for health and hygiene technicians in Africa. Stephen has supervised PhD projects on plastics recycling, waste paper management and health and safety in the offshore oil and gas industry. He has also carried out several research and consultancy projects for private and public sector clients including energy from waste planning issues, assessments of MBT unit operations, the public understanding of energy from waste and advised on the design and execution of a national survey of household waste composition.