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Year in Industry student plays valuable role in groundbreaking Materials Processing Institute project

Year in Industry student plays valuable role in groundbreaking Materials Processing Institute project


Susan Ojo has been praised by the Materials Processing Institute following her highly successful Year in Industry placement in which she contributed to a project involving the world’s first zero-emissions cement.

Joining the Institute’s Sustainable Industry Group, her work was instrumental in supporting projects focused on the circular economy, advanced materials and industrial decarbonisation.

One of her main roles involved preparing, analysing and reporting on samples in the Advanced Materials Characterisation Centre in support of the groundbreaking Cement 2 Zero project.

As part of the research team, the 19-year-old took part in regular project technical meetings and small and mid-scale melting trials at the Institute’s steelmaking pilot plant generating novel cements.

The £6.5m UKRI-funded initiative is being led by the Institute in partnership with the University of Cambridge and in collaboration with Atkins, Balfour Beatty, CELSA Steel, Day Aggregates and Tarmac. It aims to scale-up the process that uses end of life cement as electric arc furnace flux, while capturing the slag for use in the cement industry.

The Year in Industry programme, organised through the Engineering Development Trust, gives talented students like Susan a unique opportunity to work side-by-side leading researchers.

Mark Allan, Group Manager – Sustainable Industry at the Materials Processing Institute, said: “Susan is a fast learner and quickly became an indispensable part of the team. The experience she gained will undoubtedly benefit her academic career and highlights the success of the Year in Industry programme as it fosters the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Susan, who starts a Chemical Engineering degree at Loughborough University in September, added: “I’ve gained extensive practical knowledge of various processes and materials which has greatly expanded my understanding, particularly in the cement industry. Throughout this placement, I have received amazing support and guidance, with the team demonstrating a genuine commitment to my success.”

During her time at the Teesside-based Institute, she used her analytical skills to collate site-wide energy data in support of solar energy plans and also took part in IOM3’s young person's lecture competition.

Applications for the Year in Industry programme are considered from pre-university students, undergraduates or apprentices currently studying a STEM related subject. For further information or to register an interest, email

Photo caption: Susan Ojo (centre), with colleagues from Materials Processing Institute Sustainable Industry Group

Link to Cement 2 Zero Project information -

29 August 2023