Published: 18 December 2023

Driving sustainability in UK manufacturing

The University of Surrey is organising an interdisciplinary workshop in spring 2024, to address the challenge of achieving net-zero emissions and the transition towards a more circular economy in the UK's manufacturing industry sectors. 

This means cutting fossil fuel usage, so emissions are reduced enough for the planet to be able to absorb any remaining emissions naturally (for example, trees absorbing carbon dioxide), and to use resources more responsibly.  

Dr Lei Xing, Lecturer in Digital Chemical Engineering, is excited to have been awarded a grant from the Institute of Advanced Studies to fund this workshop, which will be open to participants from academia, industry, governmental agencies as well as other organisations.   

Delegates will examine multiple disciplines such as:  

  • digital twins (a virtual model designed to accurately reflect a physical object) 
  • circular economy (recycling and reusing products)  
  • eco-design (developing products with the environment in mind) 
  • life cycle assessment (looking at the impact of something, from creating it to throwing it away) 
  • business and strategic management 
  • social sciences 
  • operations management 
  • supply chain management 
  • manufacturing and other engineering disciplines  

Associate Professor of Digital Economy at Surrey, and co-organiser, Dr Regina Frei, said: “By bringing together experts from various fields in academia and industry, this collaboration can lead to significant advancements, novel approaches, and practical solutions, which are vital for both further research and industrial implementation.”  

At Surrey, we’re bringing together our experts in chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer science, business, artificial intelligence and sustainability, to tackle this huge challenge.   

The workshop is supported by the Alan Turing Institute and OXCCU, an Oxford University spin-out company aiming to deliver a circular economy for fuels, chemicals, and plastics.  

For further information and to register your interest, please email