Building a Sustainable Future: Innovating with Sustainable Materials

Building a Sustainable Future: Innovating with Sustainable Materials

Friday 7 July

14:00 - 14:45


Dr Robert Quarshie,  Innovate UK KTN

Ajay Kapadia, Innovate UK KTN

Dr Ilija Rašović, University of Birmingham

Dr Neelam Mughal, Innovate UK KTN

Hear from leading materials experts how innovative approaches and technologies can be employed to create products and solutions that are both environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The panel will discuss latest thinking on sustainable materials and take questions on the exciting possibilities they create for designers, and where to go for further information. Presented by Materials and Design Exchange (MaDE).

All talks and workshops are free to attend with a valid ticket to New Designers. To attend a talk or workshop please book your ticket to New Designers, making sure to book on the corresponding day. You may then reserve your place to attend the talk or workshop using the link below.

Ajay Kapadia


Ajay is a member of the Materials team at Innovate UK KTN specialising in Advanced Composites. He has a background in mechanical engineering, having worked in sectors such as aerospace, marine, and shipbuilding. His work at IUK KTN has included projects on Materials for Demanding Environments, Foundation Industries, Graphene, Circularity of Aluminium, and Resource Efficiency for Materials. Ajay is Chair of the Ethnic Minorities in Materials, Minerals, and Mining (EMM3) Group.


Dr Ilija Rašović


Ilija is a Nanomaterials Lecturer and Director of Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham. He focuses on the application of carbon nano-materials in biomedicine, quantum computing, and organic electronics. With entrepreneurial start-up experience, he has integrated graphene into automotive carbon fibre and created new medical diagnostic tools. Ilija also serves as Vice-Chair of the IOM3 Student & Early Career Committee, encouraging scientists and engineers to engage with the arts, humanities and social sciences, and vice versa. 


Dr Robert Quarshie (Panel Chair)


Robert is Head of Materials at Innovate UK KTN and has held senior management roles in the steel industry, spanning R&D, Manufacturing, Commercial, and Customer Technical Services. His expertise encompasses Materials Strategy, Metals, Polymers, Coatings, Nanotechnology, Ceramics and Critical Materials, with a focus on sustainability and security. Robert is a champion of materials and design collaboration and has chaired the Materials and Design Exchange (MaDE) since 2005.

Dr Neelam Mughal: Knowledge Transfer Manager, Advanced Materials, Innovate UK KTN

Neelam’s expertise is in Advanced Materials, including sustainability, space, harsh environments, and energy generation/storage. She brings together diverse sectors through materials innovation, promoting collaboration among unlikely partners and amplifying the voices of innovators and founders in order to raise their profile as thought leaders in the Materials industry.