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Warwickshire entrepreneur awarded fellowship from college he first joined on youth training in the 80s

The Business Magazine article image for: Warwickshire entrepreneur awarded fellowship from college he first joined on youth training in the 80s
Nik Spencer
6 December 2023
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Nik Spencer

A Warwickshire entrepreneur has been honoured with a fellowship from a Midlands college group and university centre that he first joined on youth training scheme in the 1980s.

Nik Spencer, a leading figure in the environmental science industry and the inventor of the hybrid heat pump HERU, was named a fellow of the Warwickshire College and University Centre (WCUC).

The fellowship was awarded in a ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Warwick which also saw students graduating from across the university centre.

WCUC is the Higher Education arm of college group WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group), which includes Royal Leamington Spa College, Warwick Trident College, Moreton Morrell College, Rugby College, Pershore College and Evesham New College.

Nik Spencer was recognised for his entrepreneurship and success in the waste management industry.

Nik joined Moreton Morrell College under a youth training scheme in the 1980s after leaving Kineton High School in Warwick.

During his time at the college, Nik gained valuable experience from his mixture of farm placements and classroom learning.

From his studies he also gained a keen interest in environmental science and technology.

This experience laid the important groundwork for his extensive career in waste management and recycling.

Since graduating from the college, Nik has forged a successful 30-year long career founding and leading recycling management companies across the Midlands.

Nik’s current project HERU was conceived in 2013. He has invented a hybrid heat pump that turns objects such as plastic, food and garden waste, which would otherwise be discarded, into energy that heats water without the need for an external oxygen supply.

The system uses unique heat pipe technology and design to help homes and businesses reduce their energy consumption, CO2 emissions and impact on the planet.

The product, which has been patented in 22 countries, is currently being used by a select number of businesses and organisations across Warwickshire and Worcestershire, with Nik and the team looking to expand the product application into domestic use in the future.

Nik said: “It is a wonderful surprise to be honoured as a fellow of WCUC. My studies at Moreton Morrell College were formative for my future career and really opened my eyes to the wonders of waste and environmental science as a force for good on the planet.

“I am excited to share my love for inventing and science with students across the college group and encourage them to embrace the unexpected as they prepare to take the next steps in their careers.”

Angela Joyce, CEO of WCUC, said: “Great consideration is taken in the awarding of a fellowship, it is the highest accolade that we can present and it was our pleasure to recognise Nik Spencer at this year’s graduation ceremonies.

“Nik has been, and continues to be, a significant figure in the environmental science industry for the last 30 years, using skills and interests he first developed at Moreton Morrell College.

“We are pleased to welcome Nik to our select group of fellows.”


Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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