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Image courtesy of Daniel Cooper, WellMet2050
Organised by Dr Julian Allwood, Professor Mike Ashby FRS, Professor Timothy Gutowski and Dr Ernst Worrell
One third of the World’s energy is used to make and shape materials. Economic development correlates with material consumption, but in a climate and resource constrained future, this cannot continue. Material Efficiency – delivering material services with less material production – was part of our history, and the need to pursue it in future raises scientific, technical, economic, sociological and political challenges.
Download the programme here (PDF). Biographies and audio recordings are available below.
Professor Timothy Gutowski, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA Constraints on the future material system: availability, substitution and thermodynamics
Timothy G. Gutowski is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA. He was the Director of MIT’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (1994-2004), and the Associate Department Head for Mechanical Engineering (2001-2005). From 1999 to 2001 he was the chairman of the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy panel on Environmentally Benign Manufacturing. He has over 150 technical publications, two books and seven patents and patent applications. His books are: Thermodynamics and the Destruction of Resources Cambridge University Press 2011 (with Bhavik R. Bakshi and Dusan P. Sekulic) and Advanced Composites Manufacturing, John Wiley, 1997. His research interests focus on the relationship between manufacturing and sustainability at various scales.
Dr Julian Allwood, University of Cambridge, UKTransitions to material efficiency in the UK steel economy
Julian Allwood leads the Low Carbon and Materials Processing research group in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. The first 10 years of his career were funded by contracts with the Alcoa Technical Centre in Pittsburgh. In 1996 he was appointed as a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Imperial College, and moved to Cambridge in 2000. His research group, currently 15 people, focuses on the technologies and systems of energy, material and resource efficiency, largely related to metals. Current projects include exploration of material efficiency in metals, development of novel metal forming processes, technologies for toner print removal to allow paper-reuse, identification and evaluation of options for future carbon emissions reductions in consumer goods, and development of an online tool for visualising future global and regional resource scenarios. He is a vice Chairman of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP), and since 2007 has been joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Materials Processing Technology. He has been appointed as a Lead Author for the chapter on mitigation in industry in the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report, to be published in 2014. In 2008 he was awarded a 5-year £1.4m EPSRC Leadership Fellowship to lead a major project on the global carbon emissions targets for steel and aluminium in collaboration with a consortium of 20 global companies spanning the metals supply chain. This has led to the book “Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open” co-authored with Jonathan Cullen, published by UIT press in 2011.
Professor Michael Ashby FRS, University of CambridgeOrganiser
Mike Ashby is now Emeritus Professor in the Engineering Department at Cambridge University, having previously been a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Cambridge, and a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art in London. He is the author of a number of books on materials. Among the more recent are “Cellular Solids” (1988, 2nd edition 1997), “Materials Selection in Mechanical Design” (4th edition 2011), “Metal Foams – a Design Guide” (2000), “Materials and Design – the Art and Science of Materials Selection in Product Design” 2nd edition (2010) and “Materials and the Environment”, 2nd edition (2012). His interests are in Design, and in the role Materials play in it. He is a founder and Director of Granta Design, Cambridge, a small company specialising in materials informatics.
Professor Ernst Worrell, Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University, The Netherlands Material efficiency in Dutch packaging policy
Ernst Worrell (Ph.D.) is professor ‘Energy, Resources & Technological Change’ at Utrecht University in the Copernicus Institute. He has led the industrial energy assessment work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory until 2008 and was Director Energy Use & Efficiency at the sustainable energy consulting company Ecofys between 2004 and 2010. He was a visiting scientist at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Princeton University, and visiting professor at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. His research includes research and evaluation projects in industrial energy and material efficiency improvement, as well as waste management and processing. He is author of four IPCC reports. He is (co-) author of over 250 publications. He is Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling, one of the leading journals in the field of resources efficiency, associate editor of Energy, the International Journal and of Energy Efficiency, and editorial board member of Waste Management.
Professor David MacKay FRS, DECC and University of Cambridge, UKCould energy intensive industries be powered by carbon free electricity?
David MacKay was appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 1st October 2009. The Chief Scientific Advisor’s role is to ensure that the Department’s policies and operations, and its contributions to wider Government issues, are underpinned by the best science and engineering advice available. David MacKay studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College, then went to Caltech to complete a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems. In 1992 he returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. In 1995 he became a university lecturer in the Department of Physics, where he was promoted in 1999 to a Readership and in 2003 to a Professorship in Natural Philosophy. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2009. David MacKay’s research interests include reliable computation with unreliable hardware, and communication systems for the disabled. He believes that what the climate-change discussion needs is clear, simple numbers, so that we can understand just how big our challenge is, and not be duped by wishful thinking. His book on the subject (Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air: David MacKay, UIT Cambridge, 2009) has received endorsements from all sectors and from all political parties; The Economist called it “a tour de force”, and The Guardian called it “this year's must-read book”.
Dr Petri Vasara, Pöyry Management Consulting, FinlandResource convergence and resource power: towards new concepts for material efficiency
Dr Petri Vasara received his doctorate Degree at Helsinki University of Technology in 1999. From a background in technical physics, mathematics and computer science, his thesis dealt with the field of environmental benchmarking and the application of data mining and visualisation to environmental issues. As head of a global consulting company's practice dealing with foresight, new technologies and sustainability, Dr Vasara has 25 years of experience in creating material efficiency concepts and also conducting related studies for governments, organisations and companies. His special focus lately has been on the connection networks between different categories of resources. Dr Vasara has frequently appeared at European Commission and European Parliament events and conferences as an invited expert.
Professor Robert Ayres, INSEAD, FranceThe economic and technical reality of material efficiency to date
Robert U. Ayres is a physicist and economist noted for his work on the role of thermodynamics in the economic process, and more recently for his investigation of the role of energy in economic growth. He is emeritus professor of economics and technology at the international business school INSEAD, in France, where he has continued his life-long, pioneering studies of materials/energy flows in the global economy. He originated the concept of “industrial metabolism”, known today as “industrial ecology” with its own journal. He is also an Institute Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. He is author or co-author of 18 books and more than 200 journal articles and book chapters. The most recent are The Economic Growth Engine with Benjamin Warr (Edward Elgar, 2009) and Crossing the Energy Divide with Edward Ayres (Wharton 2010).
Professor Jacqueline Cramer, Utrecht Sustainability Institute and Utrecht University, The Netherlands Material efficiency: integrating science and practice
Professor Jacqueline Cramer is director of the Utrecht Sustainability Institute and professor in sustainable innovation at Utrecht University. Before this, she was Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (February 2007 – February 2010). Earlier she was director of the consultancy firm ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship; strategy and innovation consulting’. She worked with more than 100 companies on the implementation of sustainable entrepreneurship. Moreover she worked as part-time professor since 1990. She was also a member of various national and international advisory boards of the government, industry and non-profit organisations, for example, crown member of the Dutch Social-Economic Council, member of the Advisory Board of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)/Netherlands, the University Maastricht and the Hogeschool Arnhem-Nijmegen and member of the non-executive board of Shell Netherlands, FMO (Finance for Development Bank) and the sustainability funds of ASN Bank.
Dr Cameron Hepburn, London School of Economics, UK Material efficiency in economic and climate policy
Cameron Hepburn is a Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (Grantham Research Institute). He also holds a Research Fellowship at Oxford University (New College and the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment) and serves as a member of the Economics Advisory Group to the UK Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, and as a member of the Academic Panel, UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs UK Defra. He is an Associate Editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, and is a co-founder of Vivid Economics Ltd. and Climate Bridge Ltd. He has advised governments and international institutions on environmental and climate policy, and has worked with a range of private sector clients on environmental and climate-change issues. Cameron holds a D.Phil. and an M.Phil. in Economics from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and first class degrees in Law and Engineering from the University of Melbourne.
Professor Reid Lifset, Yale University, USA Material efficiency in a multi-material world
Reid J. Lifset is the Associate Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program and Resident Fellow in industrial ecology at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Journal of Industrial Ecology, an international, peer-reviewed bimonthly on industry and the environment, headquartered at and owned by Yale University and published by Wiley-Blackwell. He serves on the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. EPA and is a member of the governing council of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE). His research focuses on the application of industrial ecology to novel problems and research areas, and the evolution of extended producer responsibility (EPR). He did his graduate work in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in management at Yale University.
Professor John Urry, University of Lancaster, UKA low carbon economy and society
Professor John Urry is Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University. He was educated at Cambridge, with a BA/MA in Economics and a PhD in Sociology. He has since worked at Lancaster University where he has been Head of Dept, Founding Dean of the Social Sciences Faculty and University Dean of Research. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Founding Academician, UK Academy of Social Sciences, Member (1992) and Chair RAE Panels (1996, 2001), and has an Honorary Doctorate from Roskilde University. He has received recent research funding from DTI Foresight Programme, Dept for Transport, EPSRC, ESRC, and the Forestry Commission. He has published about 40 books and special issues. His work is translated into 18 languages, and he has lectured in around 30 countries. He is currently Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster that has extensive links throughout the world relating to the study of physical movement and its interconnections with the ‘virtual’ and the ‘imaginative’. Some recent books include Automobilities, Sage (2005), Mobile Technologies of the City, Routledge (2006), Mobilities, Networks, Geographies, Ashgate (2006), Mobilities, Polity (2007), Aeromobilities, Routledge (2009), After the Car, Polity (2009), Mobile Lives, Routledge (2010), Mobile Methods, Routledge (2011), Climate Change and Society, Polity (2011), The Tourist Gaze 3.0, Sage (2011).
Professor Tim Jackson, University of Surrey, UK Social limits to dematerialisation
Tim Jackson is a leading international expert on sustainability. Since 2000 he has been Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey – the first such chair to be created in the UK. Recently his work has focused mainly on consumption and lifestyle change. In 2006 he founded the research group RESOLVE which brought economists, psychologists and sociologists together for the first time to explore the complex links between lifestyles and the environment. Prof Jackson also directs the newly-awarded Defra/ESRC Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group. During 2006-7 he appeared regularly on BBC Newsnight’s ‘Ethical Man’ programme. Tim has written extensively about the relationship between economy and sustainability. In 2004 he was appointed as Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission where he led a five year project called Redefining Prosperity. This ground-breaking work culminated in the publication last year of his controversial book Prosperity without Growth – economics for a finite planet (Earthscan, 2009). Tim has a 1st class degree in mathematics from Cambridge, England, a Masters degree in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in the foundations of physics from St Andrews. In addition to his academic work, he is an award-winning dramatist with numerous radio–writing credits for the BBC. His most recent play Variations won the Grand Prix Marulič and was long-listed for the 2008 Sony awards.
Professor Bruce Hannon, University of Illinois, USAThe politics of material efficiency
Professor Bruce Hannon is Jubilee Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Professor of Geography and The National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA), Honors Faculty at the University of Illinois. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Illinois, in Engineering Mechanics and currently his research interests include ecological, economic, energy systems, conservation, Resource utilisation, with a focus on conservation and employment impacts of changes in technology and consumption.
Professor Walter Stahel, University of Surrey, UK and Product-Life Institute, Switzerland Policy for material efficiency
Walter R. Stahel is a member of the alumni of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, where he received his diploma in architecture in 1971. He has been founder-director of the Product-Life Institute, Geneva, since 1983 and Vice-Secretary General and director of risk management research, since 1986, of The Geneva Association, the leading international insurance ‘think tank’ researching strategic insurance and risk management issues. He has also held the post of Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, UK, since 2003. He has several distinctions and numerous publications on risk management and sustainable development, including 2010, The Performance Economy, Palgrave London (first edition 2006), 1989, The Limits to Certainty, facing risks in the new service economy, with Orio Giarini, Kluwer Dordrecht and 1982, The Product-Life Factor, one of the awards of the Mitchell-Prize Competition on the role of the private sector in sustainable societies, HARC Houston, TX, USA.
Professor Sir Tony Wrigley, University of Cambridge, UKEnergy and the English industrial revolution
Professor Sir Tony Wrigley was born in 1931 and educated at Kings School, Macclesfield, followed by the University of Cambridge. He was a Fellow of Peterhouse (1958-74), University Lecturer in Geography, University of Cambridge (1958-74); Professor of Population Studies, LSE (1979-88); Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford (1988-94); Professor of Economic History, University of Cambridge (1994-7); Master, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (1994-2000) and President, British Academy (1997-2001). He was joint founder of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure in 1962. Awards received by Professor Wrigley include IUSSP Laureate, 1993; Founder’s Medal, RGS, 1997; Leverhulme Medal, British Academy, 2005. Selected publications include Population and history (London, 1969); People, cities and wealth (Oxford, 1987); Continuity, chance and change (Cambridge, 1988); Poverty, progress, and population (Cambridge, 2004); Energy and the English industrial revolution (Cambridge, 2010).
Dr Tanya Harrod, Bath Spa University, UKVisionary rather than practical: craft, art and material efficiency
Dr Tanya Harrod trained as an art historian at the Universities of York and Oxford. She is the author of the prize-winning The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press 1999). She contributes regularly to The Burlington Magazine, The Guardian, Crafts and The Times Literary Supplement. Her biography of the potter Michael Cardew will be published by Yale University Press next year. She is currently researching a study of the meaning of the handmade for Reaktion Books. Her current interests include the vernacular in relation to modernism, art education in sub-Saharan Africa in the colonial period, and the effect of the New Media on the applied arts. She is on the Advisory Panel of the Journal of Design History, of The Burlington Magazine and of Interpreting Ceramics and is Advisor to the Craft Lives Project based at the National Sound Archive of the British Library. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, of the London-based Critic’s Circle and of the Art Workers Guild. In 1999 she was given a Ceramics Arts Foundation Award for distinguished service to the Ceramic Arts. She is a research fellow at Bath Spa University, Bath. With Glenn Adamson and Edward S Cooke she is the editor of The Journal of Modern Craft.
Future Directions for Material Efficiency
Prize lecture 18 June
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