The CEO of Teesside-based Materials Processing Institute has been appointed chair of an independent advisory body to a new Foundation Industries network.
The Transforming Foundation Industries (TFI) Network+ was recently awarded £2m by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council to improve the sustainability of the metals, glass, ceramics, paper, cement, and bulk chemicals sectors.
Its goal is to develop a strategic approach to address common challenges and accelerate the development and adoption of new technologies and business models.
Network+ is led by the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with the universities of Leeds, Swansea and Manchester, which will bring together expertise and best practice in the fields of materials, engineering, bulk chemicals, manufacturing, physical sciences, informatics, economics, circular economy and the arts and humanities.
Chris McDonald’s appointment to head up the independent advisory body reflects his expertise in industrial research and innovation leadership.
He currently sits on industrial advisory boards at several universities, including Oxford and Sheffield, as well as providing strategic consultancy support to government, industrial bodies, and companies.
He said: “The Institute is a global leader in research and innovation in the fields of advanced materials, industrial decarbonisation, the circular economy and digital technologies – which complements and support the aims of TFI Network+.
“I’m keen to work alongside the management team to help create a sense of identity and community in the foundation industries to promote our mutual goal of achieving sustainable long-term manufacturing.
“Only by drawing on the available skills and knowledge from across the business and research communities can we address the common challenges facing the Foundation Industries.”
Professor Ian Reaney from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Network+, said: “An economy is only as sustainable as the materials it is built on. The environmental, social, and economic impact of industrial processing and manufacturing can be substantial, and yet positive changes to these practices can be simple and effective if applied across a sector.
“Our goal with the Network+ in Transforming the Foundation Industries is to help the UK stay at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing.”