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15 September 2008
Dr Julian Allwood
Dr Julian Allwood has been awarded an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship for his work to reduce global carbon emissions that arises in the production of steel and aluminium parts. Julian is a Senior Lecturer in the Department and as well as leading research activity on novel metal forming processes and the environmental impact of production, has initiated the departmental seminar series on 'Engineering for a Low Carbon Future.'
Julian summarises the research that he will be undertaking: "8% of global carbon emissions from energy use arise in the production of steel and aluminium parts. Demand for the two materials is currently growing at 6% per year, and is set to double within 25 years, yet in response to concerns about climate change we are aiming at a 60% cut in carbon emissions by 2050. How can this occur?
Industry efforts to improve energy efficiency and increase recycling rates have both been effective, but the most optimistic forecasts suggest only a further 30% reduction in emissions per unit output - which isn't enough to meet the target. The fellowship aims to find out how we could meet the carbon target for steel and aluminium.
Working with academic partners in several countries, future scenarios of metal flows and associated economic forecasts will be developed to anticipate what must be achieved. These will then be explored with a consortium of 20 major global companies spanning the metals supply chain, to identify the barriers to achieving them and find technical, economic and policy measures required to overcome the barriers.
Although all plausible scenarios will be examined, it is likely that a key element of a low carbon metal economy would be extensive re-use of metal without melting. Accordingly the fellowship includes exploration of several technological changes that would be required to support such re-use. The fellowship has attracted £1.5m of government support through the EPSRC and £2m of industrial commitment from companies including Boeing, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Corus, Alcoa, Novelis, Siemens, Arups and many others."
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