A graphic showing a picture of Professor Olek Zienkiewicz and Professor Sir Jim McDonald.

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Zeinkiewicz Lecture 2022

A Total Systems Approach to Achieving Net Zero: A 21st Century Energy System

Guest speaker, Professor Sir Jim McDonald

On Wednesday, 9 November, Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering will host its sixth Zienkiewicz Lecture, with distinguished guest speaker Professor Sir Jim McDonald, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CEng, one of Scotland's most accomplished engineers.

The series was introduced in memory of Professor Olek Zienkiewicz, an international authority in the field of Computational Mechanics, specifically, the Finite Element Method.

This year, as well as a formal dinner at the National Waterfront Museum, the Zienkiewicz Lecture will be live-streamed on YouTube, giving sixth-formers, university students, and the public a unique opportunity to listen to a speaker closely engaged with industry, government and academia.

Professor Perumal Nithiarasu, Associate Dean Research, Innovation and Impact (RII) at Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering and Chair of the Zienkiewicz Lecture Committee, said: "Swansea University is a world leader in computational mechanics, a reputation established through Professor Olek Zienkiewicz's pioneering work.

"The annual Zienkiewicz Lecture is a fantastic opportunity to welcome respected researchers and influencers in multidisciplinary science and engineering to present their views on the sector's ever-growing importance in the quest to tackle extreme worldwide challenges, such as climate change.

"This year's lecture, delivered by Professor Sir Jim McDonald, will allow for a crucial discussion on the vision for a decarbonised future and a permanent move towards renewable forms of energy before 2050."

Professor Sir McDonald, will deliver a lecture titled 'A Whole Systems Approach to achieving Net Zero: a 21st Century Energy System'.

The lecture will look at the need to redesign and implement a new energy system that embeds net zero objectives in supply and demand to address the challenge of climate change.

Central to this will be the resolution of the 'energy trilemma' across energy decarbonisation, cost and security – compounded by the need for societal acceptance and economic value.

The talk will also present a framework for a whole systems approach in technology, innovation, policy, skills and investment, with examples under several energy themes, including offshore wind, smart, DC and autonomous grids, hydrogen, built environment and nuclear.

Professor Sir McDonald has BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in the area of electrical engineering, power systems and energy economics.

Since 2009, he has been the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, having worked in key roles within Rolls-Royce, culminating in the title of Deputy Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange.

In October 2019, Professor Sir McDonald was elected President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), becoming the first Scottish holder of the office.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, said: "It is an honour to deliver the Zienkiewicz Lecture and to address this century’s most challenging issue, namely climate change.

“By adopting an engineering and whole systems approach to identifying and implementing solutions, we have an opportunity to move at scale and with urgency to accelerate the achievement of Net Zero.”

Watch the 2022 Zienkiewicz Lecture live on YouTube Wednesday, 9th November, at 6 pm.

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