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Professor Julian M Allwood

Professor Julian M Allwood

Professor of Engineering and the Environment



Professor J.M.Allwood

Department of Engineering
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1PZ


Julian Allwood is Professor of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Cambridge. He worked for 10 years for Alcoa, prior to developing an academic career, initially at Imperial College, and from 2000 in Cambridge. In parallel with developing new manufacturing technologies for metals, he has built up a research group looking at environmental systems and production. From 2009-13 he held an EPSRC Leadership Fellowship, to explore ‘material efficiency’ as a climate mitigation strategy – delivering material services with less new material. This led to publication in 2012 of the book “Sustainable Materials: with both eyes open” which can be read online at, listed by Bill Gates as one of his top six reads of 2015.  A revised edition "Sustainable Materials: without the hot air" has now been released.

Julian’s research group of around 25 people, with connections to several other universities in the UK and internationally, has three main areas of activity:

  • Whole Systems Analysis and visualisation of energy, material and natural resource systems - including the interactions between the energy, land, water, bulk and critical material systems, at different geographical scales.
  • Material Demand Reduction - identifying the technical and business potential for material demand reduction in key sectors, gathering case study evidence of greater material efficiency in practice, and exploring present and future business and policy contexts. Current activities are focused on the construction, steel, clothing and automotive sectors
  • Novel Material Processes - developing novel processes to produce efficient components in low volumes, to minimise process scrap and to enable material re-use prior to destructive re-cycling.

The group is supported by government funding, and a growing number of industrially funded studentships, and has a strong record of external engagement, with industry and government partners and with the general public. Two spin out companies launched from the group during 2015: Reduse Ltd is commercialising our work on laser un-printing to allow paper re-use, and Foreseer Ltd is developing our innovate Foreseer tool for analysing resource futures.

Julian was a Lead Author of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with a focus on mitigating industrial emissions. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a Fellow of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP) and currently chairman of its metal forming section, a member of the UK’s Energy Research Partnership and is joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Materials Processing Technology

Research themes

Energy Efficiency:
Global analysis of energy efficiency options, and material efficiency particularly for steel and aluminium
Resource Dynamics:

Global and regional scenario analysis of energy, water, land and resource futures

Departments and Institutes

Department of Engineering:

Research Interests

  • Material Efficiency
  • Metal Forming
  • Scenario Analysis of energy and resource futures


  • Buildings
  • Users and Consumers
  • Sustainability
  • Economics
  • Efficiency
  • Materials
  • Emissions
  • Policy
  • Climate change policy

Key Publications

Allwood, JM (2016) A bright future for UK Steel: a strategy for innovation and leadership through up-cycling and integration. 12 pages. Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, ISBN 978-0-903428-38-5.

Allwood, J.M. (2016) Sustainable Materials, Nature Reviews Materials, 1, 15009.

Allwood, J.M., et al. (2015) Manufacturing at double the speed, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 229:729-757.

Konadu, D.D., Sobral Mourão, Z., Allwood, J.M., Richards, K.S., Kopec, G.M., Fenner, R.A. and McMahon, R.A. (2015). Not all low-carbon energy pathways are environmentally “no regret” options. Global Environmental Change, 35, 379-390.

Konadu, D.D., Mourão, Z.S., Allwood, J.M., Richards, K.S., Kopec, G.M., McMahon, R.A. and Fenner, R.A. (2015), Land use implications of future energy system trajectories - the case of the UK 2050 Carbon Plan, Energy Policy, 86, 328-337

Leal-Ayala, D., Allwood, J.M., Petravratzi, E., Brown, T. and Gunn, A. (2015), Mapping the Global Flow of Tungsten to Identify Key Material Efficiency and Supply Security Opportunities, Resources Conservation and Recycling, 103, 19-28.

Polyblank, J.A. and Allwood, J.M. (2015), Parametric Toolpath Design in Metal Spinning, Annals of CIRP, 64, 301-304.

Qin, Y., Curmi, E., Kopec, G.M., Allwood, J.M. and Richards, K.S. (2015), China’s energy-water nexus – assessment of the energy’s sector compliance with the “3 Red Lines” industrial water policy, Energy Policy 82, 131-143.

Allwood, J.M. (2014) Squaring the circular economy: the role of recycling within a hierarchy of material management strategies. In Handbook of Recycling, editors M. Reuter and E Worrell, Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-12-396459-5.

Moynihan, M.C. and Allwood, J.M. (2014), Utilisation of structural steel in buildings, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 470 no. 2168 20140170

Cooper, D.R., Skelton, A.C.H., Moynihan, M.C. and Allwood, J.M. (2014), Component level strategies for exploiting the lifespan of steel in products, Resources Conservation and Recycling, 84 24-32.

Curmi, E. Richards, K., Fenner, R., Allwood, J.M., Kopec, G.M. and Bajželj, B. (2013), An integrated representation of the services provided by global water resources, Journal of Environmental Management, 129 456-462

Gutowski, T.G., Allwood, J.M., Herrmann, C., Sahni, A. (2013) A global assessment of manufacturing, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 38 81-106.

Bajzelj, B., Allwood, J.M. and Cullen, J.M. (2013) Designing climate change mitigation plans that add up, Environmental Science and Technology, 47(14) 8062-8069.

Milford, R.L., Pauliuk, S., Allwood, J.M. and Müller, D.B. (2013) The Roles of Energy and Material Efficiency in Meeting Steel Industry CO2 Targets, Environmental Science and Technology 47, 3455−3462

Skelton, A.C.H. and Allwood, J.M. (2013) The incentives for material efficiency along the steel sector supply chain: an analysis using input output techniques, Ecological Economics, 89, 33-42.

Skelton, A.C.H. and Allwood, J.M. (2013) Product-life trade-offs: what if products fail early? Environmental Science and Technology, 47(3) 1719-1728.

Cullen, J.M., Allwood, J.M. and Bambach, M. (2012). Mapping the global flow of steel: from steelmaking to end- use goods, Environmental Science and Technology 46(24), 13048-13055.

Carruth, M.A. and Allwood, J.M. (2012) The development of a hot rolling process for variable cross-section I-beams, Journal of Materials Processing Technology 212(8) 1640-1653.

Leal-Ayala, D.R. Allwood, J.M., Schmidt, M. and Alexeev, I. (2012) Toner-Print Removal from Paper by Long and Ultrashort Pulsed Lasers, Proc. Royal Soc. A, 468(2144) 2272-2293

Ma, L., Allwood, J.M., Cullen, J.M., Li, Z. (2012) The use of energy in China: tracing the flow of energy from primary source to demand driver, Energy, 40, 174-188.

Allwood, J.M., Ashby, M.F., Gutowski, T.G, Worrell, E. (2011) Material Efficiency: a White Paper, Resources Conservation and Recycling, in press

Cullen, J.M. and Allwood, J.M. (2010) Theoretical efficiency limits in energy conversion devices, Energy 35(5) 2059-2069.

Allwood, J.M., Cullen, J.M. and Milford, R.L. (2010) Options for achieving a 50% cut in industrial carbon emissions by 2050, Environmental Science and Technology, 44(6) 1888-1894.

Cullen, J.M. and Allwood, J.M. (2010) The efficient use of energy: tracing the global flow of energy from fuel to service, Energy Policy, 38 75-81

Music, O., Allwood, J.M. and Kawai, K-I, (2010) A Review of the Mechanics of Metal Spinning, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 210(1), 3-23

Counsell, T.A.M. and Allwood, J.M. (2009) Using solvents to remove a toner-print so that office paper might be reused, Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 465, 3839-3858

Allwood, J.M. and Shouler, D.R. (2009) Generalised forming limit diagrams showing increased forming limits with non-planar stress states, International Journal of Plasticity, 25(7) 1207-1230

Jackson, K.P. and Allwood, J.M. (2008) The mechanics of incremental sheet forming, Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 209(3) 1158-1174

Allwood, J.M., Laursen, S.E., Malvido, C., and Bocken, N.M.P. (2007), Well Dressed? The present and future sustainability of clothing and textiles in the United Kingdom. 84 pages. University of Cambridge, ISBN 1-902546-52-0

Full list of publications.