Alder Lecture Theatre, Nucleus Building, King’s Buildings, University of Edinburgh
The Duality of Sustainability: Exploring Durability & Recoverability in Multi-Functional Composites
The world is facing the consequences of long-standing high greenhouse gas emissions and linear economic practices, but we are now witnessing a significant shift towards greener, more sustainable, and circular technologies. Notable progress has been made by replacing metals with high-performance and lightweight composite materials, which has revolutionised several industries (e.g.: aviation, automotive, and renewable energy). These materials combine reinforcing fibres and polymer matrices to realise unique application-specific properties. However, there are two key barriers that must be addressed – the rapid depletion of finite resources and low reuse/recycling rates. In this lecture, we explore the intricate balance of durability and recoverability as cornerstones of design for next-generation, sustainable composites.
Dr Winifred (Wini) Obande is an Elizabeth Georgeson Fellow in Sustainable, Multi-functional Composites.
She obtained her engineering degrees (BEng and MRes) from the University of Limerick in Ireland, where she was a researcher in advanced polymer and composite materials through the Irish Composites Centre. She then completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. During her postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Obande led polymer processing research on two projects: ThermoTide – a Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Flexifund-awarded project extending the research outputs of her PhD to tidal blade applications, and EEMAC – an industry-funded project exploring energy-efficient manufacturing processes to convert bio-based and recycled feedstocks into valuable processing materials.
She is a co-inventor on a recent patent application for Method for Joining Thermoplastic Articles, and a published author with well-cited research outputs on composite materials and renewable energy research.
Her current research focuses on circular material design and production, with a particular emphasis on low-cost, lightweight composite materials derived from bio-based and recycled feedstocks. She aims to reduce the reliance on virgin resources and minimise waste streams headed for landfills by valorising production and end-of-life composite waste.
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