Published on 01/12/2022
Share this Article:
Cabinet Member for Environment visits Aston University to discuss sustainability challenges and solutions
Cllr Majid Mahmood and Dr Jiawei Wang 
  • Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member Cllr Majid Mahmood met with sustainability experts from across Aston University 
  • Cllr Mahmood is responsible for the city’s sustainable waste strategy
  • Knowledge exchange projects between the city council and Aston University were discussed. 

Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment visited Aston University on 30 November to meet with academics working on sustainability challenges. 

Cllr Majid Mahmood is responsible for developing a financially and environmentally sustainable waste strategy for the city and engaging in citywide and national policy development to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change, among other accountabilities. 

Cllr Mahmood’s visit included seeing the chemical engineering and applied chemistry labs run by Dr Jiawei Wang and Dr Matthew Derry who are investigating methods for generating energy from waste and creating new, more sustainable materials. 

He also met with Professor Patricia Thornley, director of the Energy Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) along with other colleagues including Dr Katie Chong, who showcased EBRI’s world-leading research into bioenergy and bioproducts and heard from Dr Luciano Batista on the work he is leading at the Centre for Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability which provides practical answers to tackle world-critical sustainability challenges.

During the visit, Cllr Mahmood was able to share some of the challenges and opportunities facing Birmingham City Council, particularly around sustainability, the environment and waste management. He discussed with academics how Aston University’s research could feed into Birmingham City Council’s future waste and energy management plans and how the lived experience of the city should shape the direction of research. 

A number of knowledge exchange opportunities were also discussed, including using the city council’s experience to develop undergraduate student projects and academics being invited to visit Birmingham’s waste management depots. 

Cllr Majid Mahmood said:

“It has been brilliant to visit Aston University today and to learn about the innovative ways that different academics are tackling the sustainability challenges facing the world. 

“As the largest metropolitan local authority in the UK, Birmingham is uniquely placed to develop sector leading waste and energy management processes. Working closely with universities like Aston University will help us to achieve this. 

“I look forward to developing our working relationship and combining our practical experience and research excellence to drive innovation in the sector.”

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7557 745416 or email:

Be first to get the latest news, research and expert comment from Aston
following us on Twitter

Need an expert for your story? Browse our expert directory

Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
Press and Communications Manager


Alternatively, email