Institution: Brunel University London
Location: London, UK
Focus Area: Circular Metal; Systems Thinking; Construction Waste Valorisation; Design for Circular EconomyA systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature.; Circular Business Models; Circular Food; Pro-environmental Consumer Behavior Change; Waste Law/ Policy; Battery Recycling/Recovery; Phytomining; Biopolymers; Sustainable Packaging
Expertise: Interdisciplinary Circular Economy approaches enabling social justice and equality in provision of resources for people globally; through efficient resource use, transformative economies and behaviours, and mitigating impacts of climate change.
Research, leadership and wider influence
The Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Circular Metal Brunel University is one of the five UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres. The £4.5m Centre led by Brunel University will be dedicated to exploring how the reuseThe repeated use of a product or component for its intended purpose without significant modification. of metals can benefit the environment and the UK economy and will develop an understanding of how the country can best shift towards a carbon-neutral, circular economy by 2050. Whilst the UK imports most of its metals, the Centre for Circular Metal will explore how metals can be recycled for use in other sectors, (such as packaging, transport and construction). Over the next decade, this could generate more than £100 billion for the UK economy.
In addition to enabling scientific and technological advances, the Centre will generate the environmental, social and economic understanding required to support a successful transition to a circular economy.
Centre for Entrepreneurship and SustainabilityLab for Responsible Consumption and the Circular Economy. The Centre aims to lead and promote interdisciplinary research on entrepreneurship, sustainability, creativity and innovation, in order to not only create economic value but also solve social and environmental problems. Including the Lab for Responsible Consumption and the Circular Economy, with a mission to fight food waste, this research lab focuses on promoting responsible consumption behaviour in society, as well as solutions that contribute to a more circular economy, using a holistic approach to tackle food waste, from farm to fork.
The Circular Food Forum (CFF) The CFF leads discussions across the 'food chain' with the aim to improve resource management, through working with industries and Government to respond to global pressures of growing resource scarcity and food waste. The forum encourages research and innovative actions that provide food industry and commerce with the strategy and necessary tools to move towards a circular model effectively.
Resource Efficient Future Cities Centre Research in this Centre tackles challenges such as building retrofit for energy efficiency and sustainability, cost-effective zero emissions buildings, urban climate and microclimate impact on the energy efficiency of buildings and districts, sustainable infrastructure construction and maintenance, and integrated systems for sustainable development. Learn more.
Wolfson Centre for Sustainable Materials Development and Processing
Brunel University's research on materials characterisation and processing harnesses multiple technologies for the processing and manufacture of novel materials (particularly biomaterials). Examples of recent projects include research into biodegradable packaging, the formulation of biofuels and Phytomining. The latter utilising specialist plants to “clean up” contaminant metals present in gardens and allotments due to anthropogenic activities (such as transportation, industry emissions, construction). (Further information).
Additive Manufacturing Technology in Construction (AMTC) Research Group -
The focus of AMTC is on valorising construction and demolition waste using materials science and 3D printing to achieve the circular economy goals of sustainable construction. (Further information).
PISCES: Partnership to Prevent Plastic Pollution in Indonesian Societies
The partnership draws together multiple academic disciplines in Universities in Indonesia, UK, India and Thailand, with UK and Indonesian businesses, industry, governments and the third sector to address the mounting planetary health challenge placed by plastic pollution on natural ecosystems and societies in Indonesia. The PISCES programme is an interdisciplinary and intersectoral programme of research, innovation and action which aims to further our knowledge and understanding of the nature of the complex socio-technical-economic-ecological-political system interactions underpinning plastic leakage into the environment, together with a programme of work to trial and test various adaptive solutions. Learn more.
Sustainable Plastics Research Group. This group combines the strengths of social and political scientists with colleagues working in the area of plastic pollution, Global Challenges, Design, Business & Marketing, Materials Processing and Engineering. The group are leading experts on behaviour change, public health protection, resource and waste management, governance aspects and sustainability design.
Global Challenges Programme A programme of multidisciplinary courses and the first of its kind in the UK. The programme focuses on global challenges and is a trans-disciplinary approach to learning and problem-solving. It is one of few undergraduate programmes available in the UK where students study for both a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences (BASc). Through the core part of the programme, students are exposed to natural and social sciences and will develop an understanding of issues and concerns humanity will face in the future and the ability to identify the political and social implications involved. The programme features four specialized pathways; Global Innovation, Planetary Health, Security and Social Cohesion. Learn more
Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Design MSc. The next big challenge for society is to transform our economy to incorporate the principles of sustainability. This course will provide you with the skills across the disciplines of science, engineering design and business to be a part of this market and to become leaders and innovators in the context of environmental awareness.
Kieran O’Shea, Business Development Manager - Sustainability (kieran.o’firstname.lastname@example.org)
Find out more: Visit Brunel University’s web pages to learn more about research activities that address the industrial, business, societal and cultural challenges of our time.