Kerry Kirwan is Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Warwick and Chair of Sustainable Manufacturing and Materials group at WMG. He has considerable experience in novel sustainable materials and manufacturing and, to date, he has been awarded in excess of £35m of public and industrial research funding in the Circular Economy area.
He is the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (EngD) and was previously Director of the EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre in High Value, Low Environmental Impact Manufacturing. He currently leads the University of Warwick's Global Challenges Research Fund programme, the Global Research Priority in Innovative Manufacturing and Future Materials and is a member of the ‘Connected Everything’ Network+ Executive Committee. He is also Editor in Chief of the Journal of Polymers and the Environment, was a member of the EPSRC's Manufacturing the Future Strategic Advisory Team and served on the Midlands Engine Science and Innovation Audit Committee. He also regularly advises, reviews and chairs funding panels and meetings for UK, EU and International research agencies.
Professor Kirwan's research interests include how AI and digital processes can be employed to improve product and materials efficiencies alongside manufacturing performances. There are particular emphasis on the environmental impacts that may accrue from them during design, build, utilisation and at the end of their useful life. Critical to success in this area is the understanding of how external factors including legislation, politics, consumer behaviour, economics etc. can influence outcomes (often in unpredictable ways) within a dynamic ecosystem and subsequent development of robust decision-aiding tools that can help reduce overall risks to businesses.
Achievements and awards
Professor Kirwan was awarded an EPSRC Challenging Engineering Fellowship early in his career and his work has featured in many UK television programmes, countless international TV channels, radio and printed publications including Time Magazine. He has also been awarded the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award by the British Science Association and the IOM3 Thornton Gold Medal for his work in sustainable manufacturing.