The University of Birmingham, Wednesday 27th October 2021

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Net-Zero Futures 21 has been developed for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in energy, cities and infrastructure
Registration Instructions


Developing skills and talent for the zero-carbon transition

If you are a PhD or postdoctoral researcher working in the areas of energy, infrastructure and cities, this is the event for you!

Net-Zero Futures 21 provide a unique conference for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers whose work contributes to the Government’s target of Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2050.

Organised by the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) and the Centre for Postdoctoral Development in Infrastructure, Cities and Energy (C-DICE), this full-day conference at the University of Birmingham includes leading speakers from industry and academia, and provides tailored development sessions.

Held just a few days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the conference is aimed at PhD students at ERA partners and postdoctoral researchers at both ERA and UKCRIC partners working across a variety of disciplines towards the Net Zero agenda.

The conference will take place in person at the University of Birmingham but the morning sessions will also be live streamed for those who are not able to join us in person.

Who is Net-Zero Futures for?

Net-Zero Futures 21 is FREE for PhD students based at an Energy Research Accelerator university (Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick) and post-doctoral researchers based at an UKCRIC or ERA university. A list of all the eligible universities can be found here

If you are PhD student or postdoctoral researcher at one of these universities, please register on Inkpath using the instructions below:

 Registration instructions

Programme for the day

9.00-10.00: Registration and networking

10.00-10.15: Welcome and introduction

10.15-11.15: Inspirational talks showcasing the varieties of careers that PhD and postdoctoral researchers could go into that will inspire participants to pursue a career working towards or influencing the Net Zero agenda.

11.15-12.15: Keynote address by Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI followed by panel discussion on the journey towards Net Zero. Chaired by Professor Martin Freer, ERA Director. Panel members include keynote speaker Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, PhD and postdoctoral researchers.

12.15- 13.30: During the lunch break participants will have the opportunity to network with other participants and look at the posters that fellow PhDs candidates and postdoctoral researchers submitted.

13.30-16.05: The afternoon will be devoted to 2 series of parallel 75-minute workshops covering topics such as science communication and networking. 

16.10-16.25: Closing remarks

The final conference agenda will be available one week before the conference.

Net-Zero Futures is delivered by ERA in partnership with:

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ERA Vision 21 - our sister conference

The following day, on Thursday 28 October, the Energy Research Accelerator organises the ERA Vision 21 – the Midlands Energy Conference which provides an opportunity to explore and discuss the latest developments in energy innovation, policy and funding as the UK builds towards COP26.
Find out more about ERA Vision 21

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Call for posters

C-DICE is also inviting conference participants to submit a poster showcasing how their research contributes to Net Zero. More details on the submission process and the template can be found on Inkpath. You may also use the below link to download the template. The submission deadline is 11 October. The following prizes will be awarded for PhD and postdoctoral submissions respectively: £100 for 1st place, £75 for 2nd place and £50 for 3rd place.

Poster template

Our Speakers

Net-Zero Futures brings together an array of speakers, panelists and developmental specialists who will provide delegates with a wealth of insights into the challenges and opportunities in the aim of achieving net-zero by 2050.

Some of the speakers taking part in the conference are detailed below, and more will be announced over the coming days.

Dr Nina Skorupska - Chief Executive of REA, The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology

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Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI is the chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, the UK’s largest renewables and clean technology trade association with over 750 company members. She previously held several senior leadership roles within the RWE Group, including joining the Board of the RWE’s Dutch business, Essent, as Chief Technical Officer. She is currently vice president of the European Renewable Energy Federation and member of the board of the Women in Science and Engineering Campaign. Nina was awarded a CBE in 2016.

Developmental Sessions

Dr Emily Grossman 

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Dr Emily Grossman is an internationally acclaimed public speaker, bestselling science author and TV personality, with a Double First in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in Molecular Biology. She is best known as Resident Science Expert on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show and Sky1’s Duck Quacks Don’t Echo, and for her inspirational talks in schools, universities and at live events, as well as her numerous media interviews and her TEDx talk on Why Science Needs People Who Cry. Emily is the author of Emergency on Planet Earth, a critically acclaimed, free, easy-to-read online guide to the climate and ecological crisis and Brain-Fizzing Facts: Awesome Science Questions Answered, which was shortlisted for the Teach Primary Book Awards 2020). Her latest book, World-Whizzing Facts: Awesome Earth Questions Answered, aims to help young people understand what’s going on on our planet and what they can do to help. Emily was recently named as the second Honorary STEM Ambassador, alongside astronaut Tim Peake, for her pioneering work in STEM education and as a role model to young people.

Jamie Gallagher

Jamie Gallagher

Jamie is an award-winning freelance communicator and engagement professional with ten years’ experience in the delivery and evaluation of quality engagement projects. Working across dozens of institutions and subject areas he has helped improve the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every discipline. He has delivered training and events around the world, he has also written a pop science book and appeared on numerous TV and radio programs. When not talking about science Jamie is works with universities, charities and museums helping them to demonstrate their impact and understand their audiences.  @jamiebgall

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Net-Zero Futures 21 is taking place at the University of Birmingham

Registration instructions

Net-Zero Futures 21