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Research manager Sustainable Materials Management at VITO
Jan Meneve obtained his master in science and metallurgical engineering at the University of Ghent in 1989.
He is responsible for managing strategic research activities at VITO, particularly in the sustainable materials & chemistry technology fields.
Jan Meneve is particularly sympathetic towards advanced material technologies including nanotech and their vast yet largely unexplored role in closing material loops and enabling the circular economy.
Abstract Title: Advanced Engineering Materials & Technologies for a Circular Economy
Abstract: Non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials underpin the global economy and our quality of life. They are vital for the EU’s economy and for the development of environmentally friendly technologies essential to European industries. However, the EU is highly dependent on imports, and securing supplies has therefore become crucial.
Moving from the traditional, linear ‘make, use, dispose’ economy to a circular economy requires sustainable mining, substitution of critical resources, and increased reuse, remanufacturing and recycling of products within a materials contrained world. Hence, engineering materials and technologies are key to feed and close cascaded material and product cycles in such a viable, growing circular economy.
Fig. Raw materials within the circular economy [ERA-MIN2 initiative]
Moreover, changes in ownership and product management concepts are needed in a full-fledged circular economy, both at the consumer and business level, which generates a need for new business models such as products-service systems, sharing platforms, peer-to-peer interactions, and industrial symbiosis. Such new perspectives must be supported by efficient ICT tools, apps, consumer/user websites and data tools, which in turn rely on (artificial) intelligence, sensors and connectivity. Here again, materials and nanotech play a key role in the manufacturing of multifunctional, smart and modular products with embedded sensors and data communication to enable their monitoring and upgrading.
Advanced material technologies and nanotech thus play a vast yet largely unexplored role in enabling of the circular economy. The talk will illustrate this with representative cases, aiming at triggering more innovation activities in this exciting area.
Read more about Jan and his work here.