Blog Post by Iain Aldous- University of Leicester
Postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows often end up stuck in the lab, motivating molecules into action through chemical agitation and a lot of perspiration. This can mean they lose sight of the bigger picture and the wider community involved in the technology they’re trying to make an impact upon. ReLib has a strong focus on community, developing people to enhance our impact upon the battery recycling industry at all levels within the project. As such our fearless leader (Tony Hartwell), our up and coming legal hotshot Angie and a postdoc set out to Brussels to add our expertise to the workshop, “Circular Economy Perspectives for the management of Batteries used in electric vehicles”, at the European commission.
The day had focused discussions on the report conducted by Ricardo Energy & Environment that was commissioned by the European Commission’s DG Joint Research Centre (JRC). These discussions allowed delegates from academia, industry and the international battery community to comment on the report highlighting any feedback on improvements that could be made. It was a great opportunity to hear differing opinions from the broad aspects of this industry. The opportunity to network and discuss the relevant strategies with these people was an invaluable experience. Having lunch with the head of the Argonne National Labs recycling industry was a bonus that gave priceless insight into the approach that they’re taking to this problem across the pond.
I think the experience highlighted the importance of making sure the research we are conducting is relevant and aligned with the community as a whole. The complexity of this industry means that its success will only become apparent through enthusiastic cooperation and diligent improvements in all aspects of the battery community in a very short timeframe.
A bonus was having dinner at the best kept secret in Brussels where the mussels were to die for!
A postdoc and our legal hotshot at the heart of the action