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Engineering for a Low Carbon Future: challenges and opportunities

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Abstract: The 4th IPCC report published this February has firmly established the link between human activity and global warming, but discussion about responses has largely been driven by economists on the assumption of ‘average rates of improvement.’ Where technology has been discussed – for example in the UK’s Energy White Paper – it is largely in the hope that innovative technologies will create electricity supplies from non-fossil fuel sources. There is little structured information available on the potential of technology to help reduce demand for energy or to maximise the efficient conversion of existing sources, yet this area is rich in opportunities. This talk, the first in this seminar series, aims to motivate engineering discussion by giving a top-down overview of global supply and demand for energy, by surveying the major technology opportunities in both areas, and will give some examples of step-change technologies, particularly in materials processing.

Biography: Julian Allwood leads the “Sustainable Manufacturing” group in the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, and is a Fellow and Director of Studies in Engineering at Gonville and Caius College. His research group now works on innovative metal forming processes and sustainable manufacturing processes. He is an elected member of CIRP (International Academy for Production Engineering) and ISIE (the International Society for Industrial Ecology).

This talk is part of the ELCF - Engineering for a Low Carbon Future (seminar series) series.

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