Dr Aidan Turnbull

Photo of Dr Aidan TurnbullPosition: Head of WEEE, RoHS and EcoDesign

Dr Aidan Turnbull is a Managing Director at thinkstep and leads thinkstep's global WEEE, RoHS and EcoDesign Practice.

Aidan holds a Doctorate in Physics and Electronics, sponsored by British Telecom through a CASE award. He taught undergraduate electronics at Durham University and Glasgow University. He is also a registered Environmental Auditor with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

Aidan is an internationally recognised expert on EcoDesign and has won consulting awards in the UK (Surface Engineering Association Outstanding Achievement Award for 2004, AEA Technology Project Manager of the Year 1996) and US (Environment Business Journal Project Merit Award 2004). Aidan's specialist expertise in EcoDesign in the electronics sector results from a wide range of projects over the past eight years.

  • Aidan designed and delivered EcoDesign demonstrator projects for Smiths Group in the UK, USA and Germany for companies in the Medical, Aerospace, Detection and Maritime divisions. Each project adopted a club approach based around three structured one-day workshops. Skills learnt during the workshops were translated into action through site support visits. The results achieved by participating companies were captured as two-page case studies for dissemination within the Group and to customers and stakeholders. The case studies are summarised in Smiths Group's 2004 and 2005 EHS reports, available from http://www.smiths-group.com/
  • Aidan assisted ABB to identify a number of design changes that have significantly reduced the costs of recycling ABB instrumentation products. The design changes did not increase product manufacturing costs and in some cases resulted in manufacturing cost savings.
  • Aidan wrote the DTI/DEFRA Guide to Sustainable Design of Electrical and Electronic Products. The Guide was published in 2003 by the UK Government Agency Envirowise, and was endorsed by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE), and the UK umbrella trade association for the electronics industry (INTELLECT).
  • Aidan was one of only eight EcoDesign consultants appointed to a DTI/DEFRA panel that advised UK companies on EcoDesign approaches and WEEE and RoHS compliance.
  • EcoDesign audit for DTI/DEFRA of benefits achieved by Fulleon. Fire alarm call point component count was reduced by 35%, plastic consumption by 27% and assembly time by 35%.
  • EcoDesign audit for DTI/DEFRA of off-set lithographic printing (OLP) process for printed circuit boards. Compared to conventional subtractive processes, the OLP process is about 90% cheaper, uses less than 5% of the chemicals, and generates less than 5% of the effluent, most of which would have been special waste.
  • DTI/DEFRA study of EcoDesign opportunities in the electronics industry, completed in 2000.

Aidan's experience and expertise in WEEE and RoHS includes:

  • Industry consultation and detailed consulting advice to the Irish Government to assist with the practical implementation of the Irish WEEE Regulations for business-to-business products.
  • Managed and wrote DTI/DEFRA guidelines on WEEE and RoHS compliance actions that companies must take. Separate guidelines were produced for CEOs and Marketing Directors and Technical Directors. The guidelines were published by the Government Agency Envirowise.
  • WEEE and RoHS compliance services to companies based in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Israel.
  • Consulting advice to the City Council of New York, USA on the implementation of WEEE-type regulations in New York.

Aidan's experience in related environmental management areas includes:

  • Expert in Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) and wrote the UK Government's EMA guidelines that were endorsed by the four leading UK accounting bodies (ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA, and ICAS), the Environment Agency and the Environmental Management Accounting Network Europe. Was a member of a DTI/DEFRA panel of environmental experts appointed to provide EMA advice and audits to companies.

    Written specifically for accountants, this Guide highlights how they can produce tangible bottom-line benefits by identifying and planning for environmental factors and reducing their companies' environmental

    The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

  • Expert in Environmental Management Systems. Wrote EMS sector application guide for UK foundry industry, delivered ISO14001 EMS workshops with the Engineering Employers Federation, implemented EMS at the Environment Agency and advised on its use as a regulatory tool, achieved ISO14001 at Dounreay nuclear research facility and managed club approach with Welsh Development Agency to take groups of 10 companies through ISO14001 EMS.
  • DTI/DEFRA study of EcoDesign opportunities in the engineering industry, completed in 2001.
  • Aidan wrote the DTI/DEFRA Guide to Cleaner Technology which includes a foreword from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), published in 2002.

    This Guide has been written with your business' interests at heart and outlines the opportunities and challenges that cleaner technology represents to all process and manufacturing companies. As with all aspects of business performance, best practice is key. This Guide will help you to meet the challenge of running an business in the 21st

    Digby Jones, CBI Director-General

  • EcoDesign audit for DTI/DEFRA of benefits achieved by Continental Teves. Brake calliper weight was reduced by 26% and production time by 42%. Continental Teves subsequently won the Wales Environment Award 2000.