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Professor Mike Shaver appointed as Sustainable Futures Platform Director

15 Oct 2021

Professor Mike Shaver has been appointed as Director of the Sustainable Futures research platform and will formally take up the role on 1 November 2021

Professor Michael Shaver

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research, said: “I am delighted to announce that Professor Mike Shaver has been appointed as Director for the Sustainable Futures research platform. Mike brings experience in polymer science, sustainable plastics, the circular economy, and translating this research into industry and policy.

"He is experienced in, and committed to, interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues across our University. I am pleased to be working with him to drive this University-wide initiative which is a key element in the University's Our future strategy for Research and Discovery.”

Over the next three years, Mike will oversee the strategy, vision and activities for the platform, working with our research leaders in this field, to integrate the unprecedented range of environmental sustainability expertise to facilitate highly interdisciplinary research and impact, strengthening connections between our research institutes and centres which are addressing different aspects of the climate crisis.  This approach will identify new research agendas as well as deliver on current ones, extend the scope of our environmental expertise and impact of Sustainable Futures, and deliver solutions into practice rapidly through unique established capabilities.

Mike joined our University in 2019 as Professor of Polymer Science in the Department of Materials. He is now Director of the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub and leads a diverse, interdisciplinary research team in developing sustainable systems for plastics and composites. Originally a chemist, he obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia in his native Canada in 2005 before moving to Imperial College as an NSERC Post-doctoral Fellow. He has been recognised with the MacroGroup Young Polymer Scientist award (2015), Young Academy of Scotland (2014-2018) and two Canada Foundation for Innovation Leadership Awards (2010, 2012) as well as Fellowships in both the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Shaver said: “Sustainable Futures will help to strengthen our global reach to deliver new interdisciplinary research, innovation and impact for the benefit of our University, city, region and across the world.

"I’m excited to be appointed as Director and I’m looking forward to understanding, aligning, and growing our capacity to deliver real change on pressing environmental sustainability issues. I’m lucky that we’re building from an exceptionally strong foundation and I look forward to working with our research institutes and centres and the teaching & learning and environmental sustainability teams to enable the University to realize its strategic ambition.”

About Sustainable Futures

Sustainable Futures is one of four University of Manchester Research Platforms: these are a University-wide development for advancing interdisciplinary research in key priority areas at a scale and pace commensurate with their importance to the University’s research strategy. The other three Platforms are Digital Futures, Creative Manchester, and Policy@Manchester.

Sustainable Futures brings together the unique depth and breadth of internationally leading research and builds on the University’s track record of successful interdisciplinary working, to produce integrated and truly sustainable solutions to urgent environmental challenges.