Royal Academy of Engineering announces new Chairs in Emerging Technologies


Professor Jason Hallett pictured in a lab

Professor Jason Hallett has been awarded one of four Chair positions which will share a total of £10 million in funding over ten years.

Funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The Academy’s Chair in Emerging Technologies scheme aims to identify global research visionaries and provide them with long-term support to lead on developing emerging technology areas with high potential to deliver economic and social benefit to the UK. 

"The Chair in Emerging Technologies will provide me with an ideal platform from which to deliver research impact and effect positive change on the UK economy." Professor Jason Hallett Department of Chemical Engineering

Professor Hallett will receive £2.5m funding for his project Sustainable IntegRated BiOrefining for a Circular BioeCOnomy (SIROCCO), which will develop new technologies to help build a more sustainable chemical and materials manufacturing sector. His research focuses on novel solvent-based approaches within a circular bioeconomy, easing the transition away from traditional petrochemical products and toward biorenewable alternatives that are cost-competitive and environmentally friendly. 

By developing these competitive new alternative products, he will demonstrate the power of a circular manufacturing approach and the advantages of renewable feedstocks. He will work closely with his portfolio of spin-out companies to create a technology transfer blueprint for academic-to-industrial activity in the cleantech sector.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “I am truly delighted that we are able to support such outstanding engineers and visionary individuals who will champion these emerging technologies and the significant opportunities they offer to make the world a better place for everyone.

The Academy places huge importance on supporting excellence in engineering and often the key to engineers fulfilling their potential in tackling global challenges is the gift of time and continuity of support to bring the most disruptive and impactful ideas to fruition.”

Commenting on his award, Professor Jason Hallett said: “I am extremely grateful to the Royal Academy of Engineering for providing me with an opportunity to accelerate my group’s translation activities.

We have been working hard to bring our circular biorefinery research activities into the broader commercial space, developing next-generation chemical technologies based on ionic liquids to aid the transition to a more circular, renewable and sustainable chemical industry. The Chair in Emerging Technologies will provide me with an ideal platform from which to deliver research impact and effect positive change on the UK economy.”


This article is based on the press release from the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Sara West

Sara West
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