S02E10 – Cathy Bell of i-SPACE

The Metal Guys Talk Business

In this episode, Pete and Mike spoke with Cathy Bell from i-SPACE – the latest innovative research project by Swansea University.

i-SPACE is an acronym, which stands for “Innovative Steel Processing Accelerating the Circular Economy”. In layman’s terms, they aim to develop an industrial-scale end-of-life material shredding and sorting facility for the UK steel industry, supporting the work towards zero-waste and the elimination of down-cycling.

Cathy is the project manager for this WEFO- and ERDF-funded project, with a background of over 30 years in the metal industry, and she shared her insight into the project and the future of metal recycling.

Amongst other things, they talk about:

  • Who are i-SPACE
  • The reason we need an advanced recycling pilot plant
  • Why recycling should is the forth best option for steel products behind Re Use, Repair or Remanufacture
  • The current issues surrounding the recycling of end of life components
  • Contamination, and how this can cause additional costs for steel makers
  • The circular economy across the complete steel supply chain
  • Net Zero in the Steel Industry
  • What TRL (Technology Readiness Levels) is, and who is involved in the project
  • When do we think we MAY see a project plant, and what is it likely to cost
  • Landfill of precious metals and how we can change the throwaway culture
  • The change from Linear to a Circular Economy
  • The current UK recycling infrastructure
  • Who will be able to access the research, development and design at the pilot plant
  • The future of the UK Steel industry, and how it is positioned globally.
  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
  • How Cathy got into the steel industry, and her early career
  • Not making any career mistakes 😉
  • Taking on a contract position after being in full time employment

To find out more about the i-SPACE project, take a look at the following links:

https://www.swansea.ac.uk/science-and-engineering/i-space/

https://www.theengineer.co.uk/content/news/i-space-makes-case-for-advanced-recycling-pilot-plant

https://atfpro.co.uk/i-space-maximising-scrap-from-end-of-life-components/