Meet the Principal Investigator
Over the course of his academic career, Professor Dave Worsley has created a multi-million pound portfolio of national and international consortium projects in the areas of advanced materials, solar energy and research into the development of innovative technologies and materials to feed into the global supply chain. To date he has led the development of more than £120M investment in collaborative training, research and innovation.
Dave has a vision to change the world! In a time of climate crisis – with the UK construction industry accounting for 60% of all materials used and buildings up to 40% of our carbon emissions – Dave’s focus is on the de-carbonisation of the materials supply chain and renewable energy for buildings and transport.
With his research background in materials for solar energy and functional coatings, Dave pioneered the concept of ‘Active Buildings’: buildings that can generate, store and release their own heat and electricity by using integrated renewable energy technologies. In 2011 he led the creation of the SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC), a consortium of more than 50 partners from industry, academia and government to develop this concept. SPECIFIC specialises in the scale-up of new technology from the lab to full-scale buildings and collaborates extensively to support early commercialisation of new renewable technologies and systems. The Centre has strategic academic collaborations with institutions such as Imperial College London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Warwick and Sheffield universities plus international institutions in India, Mexico, Kazakhstan and USA.
Proving the concept works at full-scale is a key part of SPECIFIC’s work and Dave’s ethos. The Active Classroom and Active Office buildings on the Bay Campus have both won numerous industry awards. In 2017, the GCRF-funded SUNRISE was added to the Portfolio – taking the concept of Active Buildings overseas to rural Indian communities.
With the ‘bigger picture’ in mind, he has advocated the installation of electric charging mechanisms into the Active Building design. Over the past three years, he has been commuting from his beloved West Wales using solar power, travelling over 36,000 miles powered by the sun thereby massively reducing his carbon footprint.
To meet the 21st century steel agenda and as a Tata Steel Sponsored Professor, Dave led the creation of the Steels and Metals Institute (SaMI) at Swansea University in 2017; adding the EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub SUSTAIN in 2019. Both of these projects support the main UK steel producers to transform industry and thereby achieve the UK Steel Industry’s 2050 decarbonisation targets.
- 2015 The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) Hadfield Medal and Prize in recognition of distinguished work in the field of materials science and engineering – the iron and steel industries in particular
- 2020 IOM3 Bessemer Gold Medal (Laureate) for outstanding services to the steel industry
- 2020 Welsh Government St David Award in Innovation, Science and Technology for personal contribution in this area
- Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales