Kerry Kirwan is the Director of the £11m EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (EngD), Strategic Director of the £10m Industrial Doctorate Centre and Head of the Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Research Group within WMG. Prof Kirwan also leads the University of Warwick's Global Research Priority in Innovative Manufacturing and is also a member of the EPSRC's Manufacturing the Future Strategic Advisory Team.
Prof Kirwan is a specialist in sustainable materials, polymer processing and automotive applications. He has considerable experience in both injection moulding and novel utilisation of polymers and has published extensively in these areas and secured a number of patents. His focus on environmentally friendly materials for application within numerous industries, was awarded a £3.1m EPSRC grant for 'Cleaning Land for Wealth', a highly multidisciplinary programme aiming to develop a truly novel bioreactor system that utilises plants to clean toxic metals from land and water courses and subsequent biological processes to create high value nanometals and other products such as pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, plastics etc. He has also received £1.3m WIMRC grant entitled 'Wealth out of Waste' and a prestigious £1m Challenging Engineering grant from EPSRC for his Sustainable Materials - A Global Challenge programme.
Prof Kirwan has regularly engaged in public science activities through his position within WMG, namely WorldF3rst, which demonstrated that 'green is sexy' by delivering a fully functional F3 racing car built almost entirely from waste and recycled materials and fueled by biodiesel derived from waste food products such as chocolate, beef fat and residues from the cheese industry. This car was named in Time Magazine's Top 50 Global Inventions of 2009 and was showcased at various industry and academic events such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, the British and European Grand Prix's and MIT's Global Energy Conference. It has appeared on many UK television programmes, countless international TV channels, radio and printed publications. Prof Kirwan was awarded the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award by the British Science Association in 2009 and the IOM3 Thornton Gold Medal in 2011 as a result of this project.
Prof Kirwan has had a long standing engagement with the European Commission. Plasteam, an FP6 project ran from 2004-2006 and he coordinated 6 of the 13 partner countries involved. A current Horizon2020 project, Bisigodos, sees Prof Kirwan as a PI. He was also awarded a European Science Foundation project, Envirocomp, which delivered the road mapping of bio composites for future funding calls. Prof Kirwan regularly assists in chairing European panels, including Marie Curie, FET and Pilot programmes.