Published on 08/12/2022
Share this Article:
Casthouse technology specialists partner with Aston University to develop energy-efficient recycling systems
  • Aston University and Mechatherm International Ltd enter Knowledge Transfer Partnership which is expected to reduce energy consumption by half 
  • The partnership will increase Mechatherm’s opportunity for growth, by making it the only UK company able to offer this recycling technology to the global market 
  • Results of the collaboration will meet the worldwide expanding need for aluminium and improve the sustainability of aluminium resources.

Aston University has teamed up with Midlands-based casthouse technology specialists through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop a suite of energy-efficient aluminium recycling systems that are expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 50%. 

This new partnership with Mechaterm International Ltd follows the successful completion of the company’s first collaboration with Aston University which resulted in a more intelligent design process for furnaces and ancillary equipment for the global aluminium industry using complex design automation techniques and algorithms. 

A KTP is a three-way collaboration between a business, an academic partner and a highly qualified researcher, known as a KTP associate. 

Mechatherm International Limited is a leading provider of bespoke casthouse equipment to the aluminium industry. 

Due to increasing energy costs, aluminium production from ore is becoming less commercially viable, leading to many producers cutting back on primary aluminium production. However, global demand for aluminium and recycling aluminium scrap is growing. Available technologies have high operational costs associated with poor thermal management, highlighting the acute need for energy-efficient recycling solutions. 

This partnership will enable Mechatherm to gain critical knowledge in thermal management processes to develop and take to market a range of cost-efficient solutions which improve energy efficiency through waste heat utilisation. 

The Aston University team will be led by Dr Ahmed Rezk and Dr Muhammed Imran, senior lecturers in mechanical and design engineering. Their research activities aim to develop innovative thermal energy systems that improve energy performance using modelling and optimisation, thermodynamics and heat and mass transfer. 

Alan Burrows, managing director at Mechatherm International Ltd, said: “This partnership will allow us to access Aston University’s expertise to develop a range of energy-efficient recycling solutions which meet environmental and system performance targets and react quickly to market and regulatory changes.”

Dr Imran, senior lecturer in mechanical and design engineering at Aston University, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to leverage the knowledge Dr Rezk and I have with thermal processes and energy management. It will enable Mechatherm to deliver the next generation of aluminium recycling technology, which is important for supporting business growth in the aluminium recycling industry.”

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a UK-wide programme that helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is a leading KTP provider, ranked third in terms of volume by Innovate UK, the National body.

This project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Watch our short film to see how it works and visit our website for examples of KTP in action at Aston.

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email or call 0121 204 4242


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 Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7825 342091 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