Dawn run for COP27: Manchester team use graphene technology as part of climate change relay

graphene technology as part of climate change relayWhile you were sleeping on Monday 3 October, staff at the University were breaking in new graphene trainers and doing their bit to help launch COP27, the upcoming climate conference in Egypt (6-18 November). 

Joe Wilson, Nathan Lumb and Dr Paul Wiper ran an 11km leg from their workplace, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) as part of the Running Out of Time event, a 7,000km non-stop relay from Glasgow – which hosted the COP 26 climate change conference – to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, which will stage the next edition. 

The Graphene Harriers took up the baton at 05:40 BST for stage 57 of the relay, from the GEIC to Stockport Railway Station. 

The GEIC was chosen as a milestone on the Running Out of Time route because of the pioneering applications of the nanomaterial graphene into a diverse range of net-zero applications, including sustainable building materials, lightweight composites, next-gen battery technologies and improved recyclability of materials.   

The baton handover took place on the service road outside the centre, where the parking bay is made with a type of graphene-enhanced concrete, Concretene, laid in 2021 as part of a number of ‘living lab’ trials into this innovative and emissions-busting new building material.

Our volunteer runners were eager to get on the road, despite the early-morning call. “Nothing beats running first thing in the morning – even at 5am!” said Joe, Reception and Administrative Assistant at GEIC. “It sets the rest of the day on the right path and it’s a great feeling, getting your exercise done before most people, who are now starting their day!”

The trio wore inov-8 running shoes – featuring award-winning tech developed with the National Graphene Institute to improve wear and comfort. This technology has recently been shortlisted for a national ‘Best of the Best’ Innovate UK award.

“As team we are all very aware that we are in a race against time in finding solutions that will help tackle climate change,” said Application Manager, Paul.  

“We were very proud to play our part in the Running Out of Time relay challenge and to help in delivering a message on climate change to key decision-makers.” 

Project manager Nathan is part of the GEIC business development team, working with industrial partners to deliver schemes aimed at sustainability, such as Concretene. He added: “It’s a good example of GEIC teamwork, and not just those of us running – it’s created conversations in the office. It demonstrates the work that we are all doing towards better solutions.”