Materials researcher recognised as leader of innovation

Dr Theodore Hanein, a researcher from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious Future Leaders Fellowship from UKRI to help fund his £2.5m “Green, Circular, and Smart Cement Manufacture” project.

Dr Theo Hanein

Dr Theodore Hanein, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Cement Materials in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has been recognised for being at the forefront of research and innovation in the UK by a prestigious fellowship scheme - the Future Leaders Fellowship awarded by UKRI.

The fellowships support talented people in universities, businesses, and other research and innovation environments. They also support universities and businesses in developing their most talented early career researchers and innovators and to attract new people to their organisations, including from overseas.

The aim of the scheme is to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business.

Dr Hanein is using the fellowship award to help fund the £2.5m “Green, Circular, and Smart Cement Manufacture” project, which aims to establish the supply chains of aluminium-rich by-products in the UK to enable the manufacture of low-carbon high-performance cement.

The cement sector is the world’s largest industry by mass and needs radical transformation if the UK and the rest of the world are to meet net zero carbon emissions targets to tackle the climate crisis. Dr Hanein and his team will develop new UK products, cements that will find use in general construction as well as in applications where fast strength gain is necessary (e.g., repair and transportation infrastructure), and in the solidification/stabilisation of hazardous waste. Furthermore, Theo and his team will enhance digitalisation of cement clinker manufacturing by developing a user-friendly kiln pyro processing simulator that can be used by both industry and academia to predict, optimise, and troubleshoot cement clinker production from existing and emerging waste streams in the UK and around the world.

Dr Hanein will also create and furnish a Centre for Experimental Thermodynamics in the UK (CETUK), a technology hub for measuring fundamental material properties and for thermal processing. CETUK will support national and international academic and industrial communities, benefiting applications such as materials design and processing for large industry sectors including cement, ceramics, metallurgy, glass, and bulk chemicals.

Dr Hanein said: “The cement sector is the world’s largest manufacturing industry (by mass) and needs radical transformation for sustainability; this award will allow us to facilitate this transformation. I also aim to rejuvenate the field of experimental thermodynamics and more importantly, I will use this platform to develop people and other future leaders of this field”.

The project has several industrial and academic partners including: Befesa Salt Slags Limited, CTS Cement Manufacturing Corporation, Mineral Products Association, National Nuclear Laboratory, Severn Trent Water Ltd, United Utilities Water Limited, and the University of Leeds.