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Michael Shaver brings focus on materials sustainability

Professor of Polymer Science joins the Royce

The Henry Royce Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Michael Shaver, who joins as Professor of Polymer Science at The University of Manchester.

Professor Shaver’s research is focused on sustainable polymer chemistry, including biodegradable commodity plastics, clean synthesis and functional materials. He leads the Green Materials Laboratory on the development of biodegradable materials as a complement to petroleum-derived plastics; accessing renewable, degradable and non-toxic materials for biomedical, materials and commodity plastics applications.

He will be based within the Royce Hub building at Manchester, following its opening in 2020, and will continue his wide range of work, from fundamental projects rooted in monomer design to working with key industrial partners in medical diagnostics, water purification and composites.

Professor Shaver said,

“When looking to transition from my career in chemistry to a true focus on materials science, I knew I needed to go to a place where I could build on my strengths, collaborate across boundaries and access some of the best kit in the world.

“Royce and the University of Manchester School of Materials provided the perfect place to springboard our fundamental discoveries into real world applications, opening doors to working with new industries and delivering on sustainable materials challenges.”

Professor Shaver has spoken at a range of academic and interdisciplinary conferences, including the Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF) and TEDx Edinburgh, focusing on the challenges of plastic waste and how monomer design shapes solutions for challenges in materials sustainability.

After BSc and PhD chemistry degrees in his home country of Canada at Mount Allison University and the University of British Columbia respectively, Michael was awarded an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, which he held at Imperial College London. This is where he began to focus on polymer chemistry.

His first academic position was at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, after which he moved to the University of Edinburgh, first as a Chancellor’s Fellow and then as a Professor of Polymer Chemistry.

In addition to Professor Shaver’s research interests, he serves as Editor of the European Polymer Journal and is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Green Materials.