Coated steel can harness solar energy and cut carbon emissions, a Swansea expert will explain in a public online lecture, which is being held to mark him being awarded the prestigious Bessemer Gold Medal by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Dave Worsley is a Professor in the University’s College of Engineering. He is also a co-director of SPECIFIC, a Swansea-led project which designs and constructs what are called active buildings, which generate, store and release their own power.

Professor Worsley has been honoured with this award for outstanding services to the steel industry, during his thirty-year career at Swansea University. The award is named after Sir Henry Bessemer, who pioneered modern steelmaking methods.

The awardee gives an annual lecture, which this year will be online on Zoom.

The lecture takes place on 21 October at 4pm and is open to all. Find out more under “events” at

Professor Worsley outlined what he’d be speaking about in his lecture:

“Each year Tata Steel in the UK produces 100 million square metres of building cladding that ends up as the facades and roofs of buildings. Innovations in coating technology mean these are guaranteed for up to 40 years. These products are essentially stable but ‘dumb’ in that they do not do anything but look nice and keep the rain out!

However, these materials could be smart. They could have energy-generation technology built into them, to absorb the sun’s energy and generate power.

In the lecture I will describe progress to-date on achieving this goal. I’ll be talking about the UK, but also India and Mexico where we are working with local communities, using simple printing presses to make solar cells on the spot.

I’ll be talking about real examples of solar-powered buildings. I’ll also talk about how we can use the surplus energy they produce, whether it’s to charge up our electric vehicles or provide power for communities that don’t have access to the grid.”

Speaking about being awarded the Bessemer Gold Medal, Professor Worsley said:

“It’s testament to the brilliant efforts of our team in Wales which have delivered fantastic new technologies which can really change the world.”



Professor Dave Worsley of Swansea University, winner of the Bessemer Gold Medal 2020

Active Buildings at Swansea University: these use the technology Prof Worsley will be describing in his lecture – steel that can make buildings generate, store and release their own energy

Notes to Editors

Swansea University is a world-class, research-led, dual campus university offering a first-class student experience and has one of the best employability rates of graduates in the UK. The University has the highest possible rating for teaching – the Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in 2018 and was commended for its high proportions of students achieving consistently outstanding outcomes.

Swansea climbed 14 places to 31st in the Guardian University Guide 2019, making us Wales’ top ranked university, with one of the best success rates of graduates gaining employment in the UK and the same overall satisfaction level as the Number 1 ranked university.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results saw Swansea make the ‘biggest leap among research-intensive institutions’ in the UK (Times Higher Education, December 2014) and achieved its ambition to be a top 30 research University, soaring up the league table to 26th in the UK.

The University is in the top 300 best universities in the world, ranked in the 251-300 group in The Times Higher Education World University rankings 2018. Swansea University now has 23 main partners, awarding joint degrees and post-graduate qualifications.

The University was established in 1920 and was the first campus university in the UK. It currently offers around 350 undergraduate courses and 350 postgraduate courses to circa 20,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The University has ambitious expansion plans as it moves towards its centenary in 2020 and aims to continue to extend its global reach and realise its domestic and international potential.

Swansea University is a registered charity. No.1138342. Visit

For more information:

Kevin Sullivan, senior press officer, Swansea University

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