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Keynote speakers

Recordings of all presentations are available here.

Professor Ian Bryden

Vice Principal (Research)/Associate Principal (Specialist Colleges), University of the Highlands and Islands

“Marine Energy, what now?”

More about Professor Ian Bryden

Professor Ian BrydenProfessor Ian Bryden has been Vice-Principal (Research) and Associate Principal (Specialist) since November 2013. He is responsible for developing and implementing the university research strategy and for representing the specialist colleges at a senior management level within the university.

Prior to his move to the University of the Highlands and Islands he was Head of the Institute for Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh, having previously held positions with Heriot-Watt University and the Robert Gordon University, where he had been head of the School of Mechanical and Offshore Engineering and, until his departure for Edinburgh, was Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

He has over 30 years research experience, primarily in fields associated with energy and hydrodynamics and is still active in research related to marine energy. He is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Institution for Mechanical Engineers, the Institute for Marine Engineers, Scientists and Technologists and the Institute for Physics.

Dr Duncan Macquarrie

Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence, University of York

“Green Chemistry – rethinking waste”

More about Dr Duncan Macquarrie

Dr Duncan MacquarrieDr Duncan Macquarrie obtained his BSc and PhD from Strathclyde University, before a postdoctoral position at York. He then spent 10 years in industry in the UK and Switzerland, developing and scaling up processes for pharmaceutical intermediates, before returning to York to take up a Royal Society Research Fellowship, working initially on heterogeneous catalysis and clean technology. He was one of the founders of the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at York, which currently has 90 researchers and state-of-the-art facilities. His research interests include valorisation of biomass (terrestrial and marine), microwave chemistry and the development of porous carbons.


“Green Chemistry – rethinking waste”

The ability to extract value from materials traditionally seen as waste is a vitally important topic, if we are to move towards a sustainable society. On one hand, food waste is generated in enormous quantities – almost equivalent to the amount that is eaten. On the other hand, rare elements are being depleted and dispersed after use with no thought to the longer term. Fossil derived carbon sources are being used to generate fuel, chemicals and materials with little chance of sustainability. By looking at “wastes” more constructively, we can derive considerable amounts of valuable materials from them. Application of green chemistry principles such as microwave technology, clean synthesis and phytoremediation, can lead to energy- and material-efficient processes to derive bio-based chemicals, materials and energy carriers from what we currently discard as waste.

Professor Čedo Maksimović

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London

“Blue Green/ Nature-based solutions for urban development and regeneration”

More about Professor Čedo Maksimović

Professor Čedo MaksimovićProfessor Čedo Maksimović’s research at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, focuses on Applied Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Hydrology, Storm drainage, Urban flood modelling/prediction and risk assessment, BGD-Blue Green infrastructure, Sustainable Rehabilitation of Urban Environmental Systems, Water asset management, Urban stream rehabilitation, River Basin Management and Smart urban water systems. He is Editor in Chief of the Urban Water Journal, (ISI) and of the Urban Water Book Series (published by Taylor and Francis).


“Blue Green/ Nature-based solutions for urban development and regeneration”

This lecture is about innovative methodology of integrated urban planning for both new developments and retrofitting of existing measures. The aim is to achieve higher resilience to both climate change and extreme weather. This goal is achieved primarily by nature-based / Blue Green solutions: By harnessing and optimising the interactions between urban water infrastructure, urban green spaces and other urban ecosystems and functions. It is thereby meeting the strategic challenge of developing sustainable, resilient city systems that move from centralised water, energy and waste utilities, to decentralised – but integrated – systems.

By its virtue, the methodology supersedes both Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), and it includes and goes beyond concepts such as ‘Smart cities’, ‘Eco-Cities’, ‘Circular economy cites’ and alike. By incorporating both aspects of strategic planning and asset management, it is equally applicable to corporate sustainability.

Dr Luise Noring

Program Director, Urban Challenges, Copenhagen Business School
European Commission Expert, Sustainable Urbanisation

“Cities and nature-based solutions”

More about Dr Luise Noring

Dr Luise NoringDr Luise Noring is a Program Director and Assistant Professor at Copenhagen Business School, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and an expert in sustainable urbanisation at the European Commission.

Luise has extensive experience with large-scale international initiatives related to sustainable urbanisation, urban infrastructure and governance, and other urban challenges. Previously, she ran the EU-funded project ‘Green Innovation in Cities’ and she currently helps lead the EU-funded Urban Challenge Programme, engaging cities across Europe. Luise works with 30 international partners including local municipalities, market leaders within urban sustainability, innovative start-ups, civic organizations and research organisations. Since 2014, Luise has served as an expert in sustainable urbanisation for the European Commission. In 2015, she was one of 12 experts who drafted policy recommendations for the European Parliament on ‘Nature-based Solutions and Re-Naturing Cities’.


“Cities and nature-based solutions”

In this lecture, Luise Noring will present the global megatrends of urbanisation and what challenges they pose. Once the challenges are delineated, she will propose ways how cities around the world can address these challenges with nature-based solutions. Luise will present her recent work with the European Commission on policy recommendations for nature-based solutions and evidence of how nature-based solutions can support sustainable urban development specifically, and humanity in general. This lecture will explore the exciting avenue of climate-resilient nature-based solutions with institutional innovation. Through this combination, cities can foster green growth and a higher quality of life. Examples of nature-based solutions from around the world will be presented, drawing on Luise’s latest work with Nordhavnen and the resurgence of Copenhagen.

Professor Peter Pearson

Imperial College London

More about Professor Peter Pearson

Professor Peter PearsonProfessor Peter Pearson is Professor of Sustainable Innovation & Energy at the Imperial Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, Imperial College London. From 2010–15 he directed the Low Carbon Research Institute of Wales, at Cardiff University. His research focuses on past and prospective long-run energy and infrastructure transitions. He co-led the EPSRC-funded Realising Transition Pathways consortium (2012–16), chairs the Advisory Board of the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Trust Standard, and has chaired the British Institute of Energy Economics and the Advisory Board of E.ON Energy Research Centre, RWTH Aachen University. He further was a member (2002–06) of the European Commission’s Advisory Group on Energy and has been an Economic Adviser to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel.

Professor Carolyn Roberts

Specialist, UK Knowledge Transfer Network, and Professor of Environment, Gresham College London

“Water, Water, Everywhere: Innovation and nature-based approaches to water management”

More about Professor Carolyn Roberts

Professor Carolyn RobertsProfessor Carolyn Robertsis a specialist in environmental technologies, with the UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network, part of the Innovate UK family. She is also the first Professor of Environment at Gresham College, London and an Honorary Research Associate at University College London. For many years she has run her own hydrological consultancy, originally specializing in the impact of development such as mining, industrial and housing developments and waste disposal on the water balance and on the impacts of major flood incidents. More recently she has undertaken specialist advice for the police on the movement of murder victims through rivers and canals. A prolific author, Carolyn has served as Chair of ‘Society for the Environment’ and the ‘Institution of Environmental Sciences’, and she is a Trustee of the livery company, the ‘Water Conservators’.


"Water, Water, Everywhere: Innovation and nature-based approaches to water management"

Water has to be one of the crucial elements of any nature-based solution to the challenge of reducing carbon emissions. It is both a vital component of all human life-support systems, and a dynamic medium in which many other processes take place. We routinely face the challenges of floods, droughts and contamination. However water’s very ubiquity can also be a challenge for researchers and for the funders of research - it is everywhere, but noone has overall responsibility for its management.

This presentation will explore the meaning of the term ‘innovation’ for people involved in the water sector, consider some interesting developments in its management, and speculate on the future opportunities that are emerging for those who can see the bigger picture.

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