The Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Metals

A new research centre aimed at helping the UK become the first country to fully recycle and reuse its metals is to be led by Brunel University London, with partners University of Warwick and University College London.




In the Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history, humankind arrived late to a planet already functioning in a fully circular manner, and lived in harmony within the infinite cycles of the natural ecosystem until the Industrial Revolution 200 years ago.

Empowered by advancing science and technology, humankind exploited nature for more and more resources to meet our growing needs.

Since 1970, global population has doubled and global economic activity has grown fourfold. Fuelled by a fast-growing extraction of natural resources from 26.7Gt in 1970 to 92.1Gt in 2017. Accounting for 50% of global GHG emission and more than 90% of water stress and biodiversity loss.

Leading to a head-on collision between the shrinking global ecosystem and the expanding human economy.

Circular economy provides effective mechanisms to decouple economic growth and rising living standards from resource consumption and environmental damage.

Metallic materials are the backbone of manufacturing and the fuel for economic growth. It underpins the competitive positions of every industrial sector.

The UK metals industry comprises:

Transforming the metals industry from current largely linear economy to a circular economy plays a critical role in delivering the government’s industrial strategy for clean growth, and reaching net zero carbon emissions in 2050.

A truly interdisciplinary academic team and strong industrial consortium are working to accelerate this transformation!

Our ambition is to make the UK the first country in the world to realise full metal circulation.

CircularMetal will provide the capability and pathways to eliminate the need for metal extraction, resulting in an estimated £100bn addition to the UK economy over the next 10 years.


CircularMetal research has four interconnected dimensions: economical, environmental, technological and societal.

We will focus on the two most widely used metals of highest economic value (steel and aluminium). Conducting research on key topics to demonstrate the potential approaches to Circular Economy.

To deliver full metal circulation, together with our industrial partners, we will:

CircularMetal will deliver multidimensional benefits to the UK as a whole:



Launch of UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Metals

The Centre for Circular Metals vision is to make the UK the first country to fully circulate metals by 2050.

About this Event

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Metals, one of five centres recently funded as part of a £22.5 million government investment is hosting its official online launch. The centre is a collaboration between Brunel University London, University College London and Warwick University; and over 30 industry partners.

This launch will outline the Centre’s vision and aims to make the UK the first country to fully circulate metals by 2050; as well as hearing from prominent figures in industry, public and academia. There will also be opportunities for networking and lively panel debate sessions with guest speakers.


Steeling for a sustainable future: How could the UK steel industry compete through supply chain?

12:00-13:00 Thursday 6th May 2021

About this Event

We are pleased to announce the launch of the report ‘Steeling for a sustainable future: How could the UK steel industry compete through supply chain’. The report is a collaboration between Supply Chain Research Group (SCRG), Advanced Steel Research Centre (ASRC), WMG at the University of Warwick and industrial partners.