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Don't blame plastic, blame poor waste management | The future of the electricity utility | Low-carbon hydrogen | Events | Weekly Update 20 February

Grantham Institute Weekly Update 20 February 2018
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Weekly Update | 20 February 2018


News and comment

Blog: Don’t blame plastic, blame poor waste management

Plastics are fantastic materials. Thanks to their amazing range of properties and inherent durability they have an enormous number of applications and we, as a society, have come to rely on them. But unfortunately, plastic pollution has become a major global issue. It is not just the volume of plastic that is at fault here. It is how we manage these materials after we have used them that is the problem.

Grantham Affiliate Chris Cheeseman, Professor of Materials Resources Engineering at Imperial College London, considers what’s behind the plastic pollution crisis, and why designers and engineers are fundamental to developing a long-term solution. Read more

Blog: The future of the electricity utility – decision time for US stakeholders

Last month, Grantham Affiliates Dr Jeffrey Hardy and Dr Chris Mazur travelled to Chicago to run a ‘Decision Theatre’ workshop with participants from the US energy supply chain as part of the Utility 2050 project. Here, they consider the findings of the workshop, the differences across the pond, and the potential for collaboration. Read more

Royal Society Briefing: Options for producing low-carbon hydrogen at scale

A number of Imperial academics, including Grantham Affiliate Professor Nigel Brandon, have contributed to the latest Royal Society policy briefing, 'Options for producing low-carbon hydrogen at scale'. Low-carbon hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role in tackling climate change and poor air quality. The briefing considers how hydrogen could be produced at a useful scale to power vehicles, heat homes and supply industrial processes. Read more

In the media: Crossrail will generate electricity using the wind created by trains

A pilot project led by Moya Power, a startup founded by Imperial alumnus Charlotte Slingsby, will use grids of lamellae-covered plastic sheets on London's Crossrail to generate electricity from draughty tunnels.The draught in the tube causes the protrusions to flutter, which then generates electricity. Speaking to WIRED, Charlotte explained that she “wanted to create something that works in different situations and that can be flexibly adapted, whether you live in an urban hut or a high-rise". Read more

Grantham Annual Lecture 2018

28 February, 18:30-19:30, The Great Hall, Sherfield Building, South Kensington Campus

The 2018 Grantham Annual Lecture will be delivered by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. The lecture, entitled 'Climate change: a threat to the oceans. The ocean: a chance for the climate', is part of a programme of events designed to celebrate the Grantham Institute's tenth anniversary year.

This event is now fully booked, but will be broadcast on YouTube.

Grantham Institute events

Seminar: The health of humanity in the Anthropocene epoch 

14 March, 16:00-17:00, LGR, Imperial College Business School, South Kensington Campus

A Changing Planet seminar organised by students of the SSCP DTP with Professor Sir Andrew Haines, who will discuss how environmental trends, including large-scale changes to climate, pose major challenges to sustaining health advances of recent decades. Read more and register

Event: Space, satellites and solutions

21 March, 14:00-18:00, Blackett Laboratory Lecture Theatre 1, South Kensington Campus

An event to explore Essential Climate Variables and the future of climate monitoring from space. This meeting is part of the Royal Meteorological Society National Meetings programme and is supported by the Grantham Institute and the National Centre for Earth ObservationRead more and register

Seminar: Jane Burston, Head of Energy & Environment, National Physical Laboratory

25 April, 16:00-17:00, Grantham Institute Boardroom, South Kensington Campus

A Changing Planet seminar organised by students of the SSCP DTP with Jane Burston, who leads the Climate, Environment and Energy work at the National Physical Laboratory. Read more and register

Seminar: Valuing nature in a human-dominated world

2 May, 16:00-17:00, ACEX 554 - LT1, South Kensington Campus

A Changing Planet seminar organised by students of the SSCP DTP with Professor Dame Georgina Mace, Head of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, UCL. Read more and register

Other events you may be interested in

Seminar: Impacts of climate change on the electricity system design decisions for the 21st Century

28 February, 12:00-13:00, LT 2, Department of Chemical Engineering, South Kensington Campus

Energy Futures Lab and the Centre for Energy Policy and Technology host Smail Kozarcanin, a visiting researcher from the Renewable Energy System group at Aarhus University. Read more and register

Lecture: Taking to our soapboxes to tackle inequality in science

8 March, 12:10-13:10, LT 2, LT G16, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, South Kensington Campus

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, the Department of Life Sciences Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee host Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, senior research fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. Read more and register

In case you missed it...

Workshop: Decision-Making and Uncertainty Workshop 

27-28 February, Royal Geography Society, SW7 2AR

Imperial's Centre for Environmental Policy has teamed up with specialists from academia and government to host a workshop to develop a better understanding about what decision makers want from the analytical community in order to make better decisions under uncertainty. Find out more

Lecture: The causes, consequences and realities of #dieselgate

28 February, 16:00-19:00, Lecture Theatre 200, Department of Mechanical Engineering, South Kensington Campus

Nick Molden, founder and CEO of Emissions Analytics joins Imperial Mechanical Engineers for an evening of talks and debates. Read more and register

Careers event: Want to be a meteorologist?

3 March, 10:00-15:30, Institute of Physics, 80 Portland Place London W1B 1NT

Imperial space weather expert Dr Simon Foster joins the Royal Meteorological Society's weather and climate careers day for young people aged 14-20 years. Read more and register

Seminar: Micro-grids and the situation in South Australia

7 March, 12:00-13:00, LT2, Department of Chemical Engineering, South Kensington Campus

Energy Futures Lab host Dr Arnold McKinley of UCL's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who will discuss the use of micro-grids in South Australia and look at the solution being provided by Elon Musk. Read more and register

Lecture: Fun with flows: The fluid science of healthy environments

7 March, 17:30-18:30, LT164, Skempton Building, South Kensington Campus

In his inaugural lecture Graham Hughes, Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics, will discuss the science of fluid dynamics in the built and natural world, exploring how fundamental fluids research can be applied to our oceans, renewable energy technology and the design of our future cities. Read more and register

Seminar: Low-carbon vehicles & emissions | Bio-inspired drones for smart cities

7 March, 13:30-15:00, LT 200, South Kensington Campus

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Aeronautics host a seminar with talks from Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas and Dr Mirko Kovac. Read more

And finally...

News: Skin bacteria may predict vulnerability of amphibians to killer chytrid fungus

Bacterial communities that live on the skin of frogs and toads could provide vital clues to species’ vulnerability to the lethal chytrid fungus. The fungus is currently decimating amphibian populations worldwide, and has been linked with the decline and extinction of tropical species. According to a pioneering new genetic study, led by Zoological Society of London and involving Imperial researchers, the animals’ own microbes could play a key role in the course of disease. Read more

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Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment
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