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WMG People





University of Warwick
T:   024 765 28444
W:   Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing

Research Interests

Sustainable materials, Biomaterials, polymer glazing, environmentally-friendly motorsport, Industrial Biotechnology, Manufacturing


Kerry Kirwan is a Professor at WMG, University of Warwick. He is the Director of the £11m EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (EngD), Strategic Director of the £10m Industrial Doctorate Centre and Head of the Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Research Group within WMG. Prof Kirwan also leads the University of Warwick's Global Research Priority in Innovative Manufacturing. He is also a member of the EPSRC's Manufacturing the Future Strategic Advisory Team.

Prof Kirwan is a specialist in sustainable materials, polymer processing and automotive applications, having graduated from Warwick's Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme in 2003, specialising in innovative materials for automotive glazing. He has considerable experience in both injection moulding and novel utilisation of polymers and has published extensively in these areas and secured a number of patents. He has more recently specialised in environmentally friendly materials for application within numerous industries, most recently being awarded a £3.1m EPSRC grant for 'Cleaning Land for Wealth', a highly multidisciplinary programme aiming to develop a truly novel bioreactor system that utilises plants to clean toxic metals from land and water courses and subsequent biological processes to create high value nanometals and other products such as pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, plastics etc. He has also received £1.3m WIMRC grant entitled 'Wealth out of Waste' and a prestigious £1m Challenging Engineering grant from EPSRC for his Sustainable Materials - A Global Challenge programme. This is an area of exciting research challenges, strong user demand responding to increasingly stringent EU legislation for end-of-life disposal, opportunity to help farmers to access higher added value markets and environmental necessity. He also currently supervises three EngD students in the field of advanced materials and manufacturing and is involved in business development of novel processes for high volume applications.

Prof Kirwan has regularly engaged in public science activities through his position within WMG, being previously recognised for 'EcoOne' - the environmentally friendly racing car and his biodegradable 'Sunflower Phone' that allowed mobile phone users to grow plants from their discarded mobile phone cases through the encapsulation of a small seed in a visible window and subsequently prompting them to dispose of the electronics in a responsible manner. Most recently he was Principle Investigator on the WorldF3rst Formula 3 racing concept, which demonstrated that 'green is sexy' by delivering a fully functional F3 racing car built almost entirely from waste and recycled materials and fuelled by biodiesel derived from waste food products such as chocolate, beef fat and residues from the cheese industry. This car was named in Time Magazine's Top 50 Global Inventions of 2009 and was showcased at various industry and academic events such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, the British and European Grand Prix's and MIT's Global Energy Conference. It has appeared on many UK television programmes, countless international TV channels, radio and printed publications. Prof Kirwan was awarded the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award by the British Science Association in 2009 and the IOM3 Thornton Gold Medal in 2011 as a result of this project.

Research Projects

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