Company joins forces with researchers in the quest for zero emissions
The University of Wolverhampton has officially signed a £320k research agreement with local company, Mercia Group, to explore innovative technology that could help mitigate emissions from diesel generators in the future.
Mercia Group, based in Willenhall, West Midlands, specialises in a range of services including Cranes and lifting equipment, industrial doors, the supply of solar panels, battery storage and electrical wholesale and inspections and have just launched a range of consumable products.
The company was founded in 1982 as a family business headed up by Don Mead and Ron Clarke, who sadly passed away in 2022. Family members who run the company are committed to the shared vision of sustainable development in its broad terms including environmentally friendly products, brownfield reclamation and developing innovative environmental technologies – the perfect partnership for the School of Architecture and Built Environment (SoABE) and National Brownfield Institute (NBI) based at the University’s £120M Springfield Construction Super Campus.
The company has signed up to work with the University researchers and recruit a Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Faculty of Science and Engineering on a two-year project which will explore the environmental challenge of moving towards zero emissions utilising facilities at the National Brownfield Institute. Dr Tohid Borhani from the University’s Centre for Engineering Innovation and Research (CEIR), will lead process modelling and carbon capture aspects of this project as the principal investigator (PI) while Dr Hamid Pouran from SoABE and NBI will lead environmental and sustainability features of this research as Co-PI.
Don Mead, CEO of Mercia Group, said: “This is yet another big milestone for the company. We’ve grown over the years and have formed a group of companies and we are now an industrial engineering company that can offer a variety of services. The response we’ve had from the University has been second to none, every direction they’ve pointed us in has benefited us massively. We are really pleased to now be working with them on this exploratory carbon neutral energy research project which has enormous potential for providing alternative energy sources in the future which could be of magnificent benefit to the world.”
Dr Hamid Pouran, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Technology at the University, said: “This research project is a vital part of the UK commitment to Net Zero 2050, paving the way for the UK and for many countries, particularly developing countries, that still rely on diesel generators to move towards net zero emissions and clean electricity.
“This partnership is an important achievement for interdisciplinary sustainability research in association with the National Brownfield Institute (NBI) and aligns perfectly with our goal of making it a world-class institute. I am confident that with the support of senior management and the dedication, creativity, diligence, and harmonious collaboration between the forward-thinking staff at Mercia and the research team, we will make this project a great success and a platform for future research endeavours.”
Home to the Thomas Telford University Technical College (UTC), the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, and the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, the regeneration of the former Springfield Brewery is central to the University’s vision of enhancing the student experience and supporting business growth. It is also home to the University’s new National Brownfield Research Institute for which the University recently secured £14.9 million funding from the BCLEP through the government’s Get Building Fund.
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