Sustainable Materials - A Global Challenge

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Sch of Engineering

Abstract

There is an increasing political and social demand for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society. As a result of this, legislation is emerging that will affect the way in which products and processes are developed, manufactured and disposed of at the end of their useful lives. This legislation is stimulating the search for alternative crop-based materials, which are more environmentally friendly and can be disposed of more easily and cheaply than traditionally utilised materials.Significant amounts of research are being undertaken throughout Europe, aiming to improve the performance and viability of more easily disposed of environmentally friendly materials so that they may replace more traditional systems. However a recent ESF workshop (ENVIROCOMP), led the applicant, has highlighted that this work is being hampered by a lack of coordination between research groups and supporting disciplines. It was also found that there existed a general lack of consumer and industry education and no coherent strategy from European governments, which has inhibited the adoption of the more environmentally friendly alternatives. This proposed research programme will create a multi-disciplinary research team that will innovate at the interfaces of traditional scientific and engineering disciplines and conduct adventurous research that provides a route to real solutions to real problems, with government, industrial and consumer support being evident from the outset, and create new opportunities for growers, manufacturers and society to benefit.These aims will be achieved via a number of novel approaches that promote the diffusion of personnel across traditional academic borders, engage the general public and key decision makers in the development of science from the outset, promote national and international communication (networking), coordination, education and dissemination of best practice, whilst facilitating the future creation of multi-disciplinary, transnational research groups for the development, application and promotion of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials for long-term environmental, financial and social benefit. This programme will also show how successful outcomes can be achieved by drawing together traditionally exclusive areas of research, whilst educating and supporting a range of researchers and students that will go on to provide tomorrow's multidisciplinary scientists and engineers.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have developed a number of new materials from natural and waste resources that can be introduces into industrial applications. We have also produced a number of high value demonstrators.
Exploitation Route Several companies are taking forward elements of the research under different development programmes for different applications.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Construction,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport,Other

 
Description The materials developed within this programme of research were utilised in the WorldF3rst racing car and subsequently the Lola Drayson EV car that broke the land speed record in 2014. We are also now working with partners to deliver real world components into the automotive and rail sectors. Other RCUK, Innovate and H2020 projects have been funded based upon this work.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Creative Economy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description Arup Group Ltd
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EngD 
Organisation Arup Group 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2007 
End 09/2011
 
Description Arup Group Ltd
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EngD 
Organisation Arup Group 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2007 
End 09/2011
 
Description The Eden Project 
Organisation The Eden Project
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
Start Year 2004