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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S036237/1
Title: Circular Economy Network+ in Transportation Systems (CENTS)
Principal Investigator: Kirwan, Professor KE
Other Investigators:
Jolly, Professor M Petavratzi, Dr E Evans, Professor S
Lee, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Beta Technology Ltd British Stainless Steel Organisation Cast Metals Federation
Chatham House Delft University of Technology EIT RawMaterials GmbH
ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd. Granta Design Ltd High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult
Innoval Technology Ltd Institute of Materials,Minerals & Mining Knowledge Transfer Network Ltd
NTNU (Norwegian Uni of Sci & Technology) Tata Steel Limited Transport Systems Catapult
UCL Business PLC University of Exeter University of Nottingham
University of Southern Denmark
Department: WMG
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 December 2019 Ends: 30 November 2023 Value (£): 1,015,576
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Waste Minimisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 May 2019 Manufacturing Highlight Notice for Network Plus Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The 20th Century was characterised by a massive global increase in all modes of transport, on land and water and in the air, for moving both passengers and freight. Whilst easy mobility has become a way of life for many, the machines (planes, automobiles, trains, ships) that enable this are both highly resource consuming and environmentally damaging in production, in use and at the end of their working lives (EoL). Over the years, great attention has been paid to increasing their energy efficiencies, but the same effort has not been put into optimising their resource efficiency.

Although they may share a common origin in the raw materials used, the supply chains of transport sectors operate in isolation. However, there are numerous potential benefits that could be realised if Circular Economy (CE) principles were applied across these supply chains. These include recovery of energy intensive and/or technology metals, reuse/remanufacture of components, lower carbon materials substitutions, improved energy and material efficiency. While CE can change the transport system, the transport system can also enable or disable CE. By considering different transport systems in a single outward-looking network, it is more likely that a cascading chain of materials supply could be realised- something that is historically very difficult within just a single sector.

CENTS will focus on transport platforms where CE principles have not been well embedded in order to identify synergies between different supply chains and to optimise certain practices, such as EoL recovery and recycling rates and energy and material efficiency. It will also be 'forward looking' in terms of developing future designs, business models and manufacturing approaches so that emergent transport systems are inherently circular.

More specifically, our Network will carry out Feasiblity and Creativity@Home generated research that will develop the ground work for future funding from elsewhere; provide travel grants to/from the UK for both established and Early Career Researcgers to increase the UK network of expertise and experience in this critical area; hold conferences and workshops where academics and industrialists can learn from each other; build demonstrators of relevant technology so that industry can see what is possible within a Circular Economy approach. These activities will all be supported by a full communication strategy focusing on outreach with school children and policy influence though agencies such as Catapults and WRAP.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk