Meet our Host: Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials
On 19 January 2024 Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials, University of Birmingham will host Ambassadors’ Day: Corporate Net Zero Strategic Elements and Critical Materials.
Paul Anderson, Professor of Strategic Elements and Materials Sustainability in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, and Director and founder of the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials and his team will offer leading science and industry keynote presentations and extra talks for prominent business management decision makers.
They will introduce participants to the critical industry of rare earth minerals, strategic elements and critical materials which will play pivotal role in achieving our corporate sustainability, decarbonisation and Net Zero.
The Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials (BCSECM) was established to unite the significant research activity at the University of Birmingham in the area of strategic elements and critical materials and provide a forum to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in this field.
The BCSECM was launched in March 2017 and it encompasses expertise from across the University of Birmingham and the Birmingham Energy Institute in Biosciences, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Economics, Law, Materials Science, Physics and Social Science. The experts within the centre all have the common aim of addressing the challenges posed by supply constraints for strategic elements and critical materials.
For more than a century, the University of Birmingham has been pursuing and sharing knowledge through outstanding teaching and world-leading research. They are the original ‘redbrick’ University, part of the prestigious Russell Group; with thriving student population enjoying a wide range of courses, and exceptional campus and research facilities.
The 10 Nobel Laureates the University counts among their staff and alumni have contributed to some of science’s greatest discoveries, including in recent times the Higgs Boson and Gravitational Waves. Their research provides innovative solutions to the challenges we face in our city, our region and across the globe. The University of Birmingham encourage and empower people to turn ideas into reality and make important things happen.
Prof. Paul Anderson, Professor of Strategic Elements and Materials Sustainability in the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, and Director and founder of the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials
Professor Allan Walton BSc, PhD, Professor of Critical and Magnetic Materials, Co-Director of the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials
Professor Emma Kendrick BSc, MSc, PhD, CChem, FIMMM, FRSC, Professor of Energy Materials, School of Metallurgy and Materials, group lead for the Energy Materials Group, University of Birmingham
Professor Aleksandra Cavoski, Professor of Environmental Law, College Director of Global Engagement, Birmingham Law School, editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Law Review
In the next 5-10 years the UK is going to see dramatic changes to many of its large industrial sectors, such as automotive, aerospace and energy generation, as we move from a fossil-fuel-driven society to an electrically driven one.
At least 30 times as much lithium, nickel and other key minerals will be required by the electric car industry alone by 2040 to meet global climate targets, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It is predicted that by 2050 the EU will require 60 times more lithium compared to the current supply to the whole EU economy.
Technology-critical materials are essential to many of the technologies that underpin the modern world from automotive, aerospace, defence, pharmaceuticals, clean energy, machinery & equipment, robotics, transport and manufacturing sectors to those present in everyday consumer technology products: power tools, laptops, e-bike, medical, tablet PC, smartphone, glass ceramics, primary and rechargeable batteries, air treatment and others.
But these green solutions rely on technology-critical materials, whose production and disposal can be environmentally harmful.
Mining and processing of these materials requires huge amounts of energy. Mines use gigantic quantities of fresh water, can drive large-scale land-use change; and pollute air, soil and water — threatening biodiversity. Critical materials may also become pollutants themselves when they are disposed of as waste.
Currently relatively little is known about what happens to these materials after manufacture and disposal, but trace levels of many critical elements have been detected in urban air pollution, waterways and ice cores.
What is becoming clear is that we can’t mine our way out of this and the new innovative processes of recovery and recycling of end of life products containing critical materials along with technical innovation in critical material substitution, and an overarching re-think of how we produce and consume are urgently required if we are to keep our planet on a sustainable path and achieve Paris Agreement by 2050.
Find below a timetable for Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials Team presentations and expert keynote addresses:
09:10 – 09:25 Why are Materials Critical to the Net Zero transition by Dr Gavin Harper
09:25 – 09:40 Rare Earth Permanent Magnets: From Off-Shore Wind to Electric Motors, Driving the Electric Revolution by Prof. Allan Walton
09:40 – 09:55 What does it take to deliver Zero Emissions Personal Transport by Prof. Paul Anderson
09:55 – 10:10 Solving the Criticality Challenge through alternative Future Battery Chemistries by Prof. Emma Kendrick
10:10 – 10:30 Market Failure: Policy and Legislation Challenges by Prof. Aleks Cavoski
If you would like to meet with Prof. Paul Anderson and Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements and Critical Materials Team please register below.