Can AI Make the UK's Chemical Manufacturing Sector Sustainable?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can transform the transition of the UK’s chemical manufacturing industry to a circular economy, states Professor Jin Xuan from the University of Surrey.

Can AI Make the UK

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Professor Xuan received the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Engineering from the Leverhulme Trust because his research in this domain has already had a global impact and his future research career is outstandingly full of potential.

Professor Xuan’s most recent research program aims to push the UK into being one of the first countries to fulfill the shift to net zero by 2040 in the chemical manufacturing industry by using upcoming AI and digital methods to form a viable, circular economy.

I’m incredibly humbled to receive this award from the Leverhulme Trust. I will be using the funding to help develop a net zero roadmap for UK chemical manufacturing, with all that’s needed to achieve our target.

Professor Jin Xuan, Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey

Professor Jin Xuan is also the Director of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Chemical Economy.

Chemical processes to manufacture consumer goods, fertilisers, and inorganic materials are some of the main areas that we will look at. We can help the UK to be the first country to win this particular race towards net zero.

Professor Jin Xuan, Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey

“Alongside this, we will be developing a diverse portfolio of net zero processes including strengthening the digital offering to maximise efficiency and using AI to improve integration into wider value chains. Our sector urgently needs to develop systems thinking and systems approach to assess and optimise the lifecycle of sustainable chemicals, which this funding will also support,” Prof Xuan added.

In its twenty-first year, this scheme continues to attract applications from an array of researchers of an incredibly high calibre, and the decisions get harder every year.

Professor Anna Vignoles, Director, Leverhulme Trust

“The Leverhulme Trust is delighted to award prizes to academics undertaking work on an impressively wide range of topics, from robotics to Romans, labour markets to Black British literature, and greenhouse gases to disability and wellbeing. We are very proud to support these researchers through the next stage of their careers,” Prof Vignoles concluded.

The project will commence in March 2023 and carry on for three years. 


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