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Sophie Kempston

Sophie Kempston

Contact details

Email: S dot Kempston at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room: R2.17, Ramphal Building

Current PhD student


I am a second-year PhD student in Global Sustainable Development, and my research project is about measuring the economic, social, and environmental impacts of the UK's demand for critical raw materials as a result of increased electric vehicle battery demand. I am supervised by Dr Stuart Coles and Professor Kerry Kirwan from Warwick Manufacturing Group, and Dr Frederik Dahlmann from Warwick Business School. I am kindly funded by the Leverhulme Trust through the TRANSFORM Doctoral Programme.

My project will look at measuring impacts across the supply chain for electric vehicle batteries both now and in the future, focusing on materials that have been deemed 'critical'. I will be forecasting different scenarios for electric vehicle uptake and diffusion, and developing a framework to assess the impacts of these scenarios across the PESTLE categories (Political, Economic, Social, Technical, Legal, and Environmental).

My wider research interests include: sustainable supply chains, circular economy, holistic sustainability frameworks, and how we can measure sustainability.




Academic background

  • PhD Global Sustainable Development, Department of Global Sustainable Development (2021-present)
  • MSc Humanitarian Engineering (with Sustainability), Department of Engineering and the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (2019-2020)
  • BSc Mathematics and Statistics, Department of Statistics (2016-2019)

Workshops and conferences

  • International Conference on Circular Economy in Transport (10-11 May 2023), Circular Economy Network+ in Transportation Systems.
    Poster: "Critical raw material demand from electric vehicle batteries in the UK cannot be met from secondary supply." Winner of Best Poster.
  • Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Annual Conference 2023 (14 Mar 2023), ESPRC CDT in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing.
    Presentation: "IGNITE presentation: Exploring different electric vehicle and battery scenarios on critical raw material demand in the UK".
  • Engineering and Science for Deeply Uncertain Times (27 Feb 2023), University of Warwick School of Engineering and the Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority.
    Panel: "Humanitarian Science & Engineering Education: Preparing the Next Generation. Warwick Humanitarian Engineering Students and Alumni Panel."
  • IRTC 2023 - Raw Materials for a Sustainable Future (15-17 Feb 2023), International Roundtable on Criticality.
    Presentation: "Exploring different electric vehicle and battery scenarios on critical raw material demand in the UK".

Funding and awards

My PhD is supported by a four-year TRANSFORM Doctoral Scholarship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.



Committee memberships and non-academic roles


  • GSD Postgraduate Student-Staff Liaison Committee - Equity Representative
  • SCFS Equity Committee - Postgraduate Student Representative.