THE creator of a ‘groundbreaking’ recycled brick has been chosen as one of 2022’s Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50).
Professor Gabriela Medero, co-founder of Kenoteq and professor in geotechnical and geonviromental engineering at Heriot-Watt University, has been named in the list. The K-Briq doesn’t use cement and is unfired. It uses 90% recycled materials and creates 1/10th of the emissions of a traditional fired brick.
The list celebrates inventors and innovators and are described as being the ‘best, brightest and bravest’ women in engineering. Judges looked for those who ‘dared to be part of the solution’ and who are ‘helping to build towards a brighter future’.
Founded by the Women’s Engineering Society in 2016, the WE50 awards are presented to those who have identified an unmet need, then created the solution, or improved on existing products and processes to make our lives easier. It also recognises those who advocate for other women in STEM.
Commenting on the award, professor Gabriela Medero, said, “I am enormously proud to have been chosen to feature alongside so many impressive and innovative female engineers. This list shows the huge range of hugely positive and much needed solutions that female engineers are driving forward across the country today.
“Our journey to address sustainability in the construction industry began more than a decade ago and I have been privileged to lead a talented and multidisciplinary team to find a solution to the current damaging drain that construction is making on our planet’s natural resources.
“The UK’s construction industry produces over 100 million waste tonnes annually, over a third of the UK’s total. Globally, the built environment accounts for 39% of total carbon emissions. To address these challenges, we created the K-Briq – the world’s first brick made from 90% construction and demolition waste. Producing a tenth of the CO2 emissions of a traditional brick, it uses less than a tenth of the energy during manufacture.
“Through our spin-out company Kenoteq, we produce K-Briqs onsite at a waste recycling facility, reducing transport miles and completing this vitally important circular economy pathway.”