The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) is a membership organisation whose activities encompass the entire lifecycle of materials, from exploration and extraction to recycling and remediation of land. Each year, the IOM3 awards its prestigious Thornton Medal (incorporating the Clerk Maxwell Award) to the best speaker invited to present at an Institute conference or other specially convened meeting.
The Thornton Medal winner for 2018, presented at an award dinner in central London in early July, was IWSN’s Dr Mark Everard, for a presentation made on materials at the major IOM3 PVC2017 conference in Brighton.
Mark’s work on PVC includes not only addressing the problems facing that sector of the plastics industry, but also the vital importance of efficient and durable, adaptable and affordable, recoverable and recyclable materials in meeting the water and other human needs of a rising population subsisting on dwindling natural resources. See, for example, the article: ‘Repurposing business around the meeting of human needs’, relating how consideration of the Sustainable Development Goals in the product life cycle of PVC can ultimately positively impact on global wellbeing (in environmental SCIENTIST, September 2017).
Materials science has much to offer in terms of providing means to address the water security challenges of a fast-moving, populated and urbanising, climate-changing future. Mark accepted the Thornton Medal in recognition of those taking ahead this society-wide challenge.