Dr Gavin Harper

Dr Gavin Harper

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Faraday Institution Research Fellow

Contact details

Metallurgy & Materials Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Gavin Harper is a Research Fellow on the Met4Tech UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals, previously he was a  Faraday Institution Research Fellow on the ReLiB (Recycling and Reuse of Lithium Ion Batteries) at the University of Birmingham. 

His research currently concerns the circular economy of technology metals, with a particular focus on the recycling of automotive components in electric vehicles. He is interested in how digitalisation, Industry 4.0, blockchain, AI and robotics can enable next-generation Lithium Ion Battery Recycling.

Gavin is highly engaged with making research accessible to policymakers and engaging with policy audiences. He was a Commissioner on Sir John Beddington's University of Birmingham Policy Commission "Securing Technology Critical Metals for Britain", he has contributed to and reviewed POSTNotes for the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology and also took part in the Royal Society's Parliamentary Pairing Scheme.

Before transitioning back into research, he was Energy Development Manager, supporting Prof. Martin Freer with the development of the Birmingham Energy Institute, Energy Research Accelerator, Energy Capital and other projects in the region. He worked with Prof. Allan Walton and Prof. Paul Anderson to develop the Birmingham Centre for Strategic Elements & Critical Materials. Gavin was co-ordinator for the Birmingham Energy Policy Commission “Doing Cold Smarter” and "Powering West Midlands Growth: A Regional Approach to Clean Energy Innovation


  • PhD, Cardiff
  • MBA Education, Keele
  • MSc Renewable Energy Systems Technology, Loughborough
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods (Business & Management), Cardiff
  • MSc Architecture: Advanced Environmental & Energy Studies, East London
  • BEng (Hons) Engineering, Open
  • BSc (Hons) Technology, Open
  • Professional Certificate: Energy Innovation & Emerging Technology, Stanford.


Gavin Harper is the Faraday Institution Research at the University of Birmingham. 

Gavin holds Honours degrees in Engineering and Technology from the Open University. He went on to study an MSc. in sustainable architecture with the University of East London based at the Centre for Alternative Technology. He later went on to study a Masters’ in Renewable Energy with Loughborough’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology.

His doctoral research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and he completed Masters’ in Research Methods and his PhD at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University. He holds an MBA in Education Management from Keele.

He has written a number of books on sustainable technology for Mc-Graw Hill, New York, these have been translated into Chinese, Korean and Italian.

Other activities

Fellow of the Royal Society for the promotion of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • Member of the Chartered Management Institute
  • Chartered Manager
  • Advisory Council of the National Energy Foundation


Journal Papers In Press

Ahuja, Jyoti., Anderson, Paul., Jha, Bhavya., Harper, Gavin., Lee, Robert., (2020) Regulating Second Use Of Spent Ev Batteries: Opportunities And Challenges, Submitted to Resources, Conservation & Recycling.

Nguyen-Tien, Viet., Dai, Qiang., Harper, Gavin., Anderson, Paul., Elliott, Robert J.R. (2021) Recycling electric-vehicle lithium-ion batteries: An economic and geospatial analysis for the UK, Accepted by Journal of Business Law

Journal Articles:

  • Thompson, Dana., Hyde, Charlotte., Hartley, Jennifer M., Abbott, Andrew P., Anderson; Paul., Harper, Gavin D. J.., (2021) To shred or not to shred: A Techno-economic assessment of Lithium ion battery hydrometallurgical recycling - Retaining value and improving circularity in LIB supply chains, Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 175, 105741, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105741

  • Christensen, Paul A., Anderson, Paul A., Harper, Gavin., Lambert, Simon., Mrozik, Wojciech., Rajaeifar, Mohammad Ali., Wise, Malcolm., Heidrich, Oliver, (2021) Risk Management over the life cycle of Lithium Ion Batteries in Electric Vehicles, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 148, 11240

  • Thompson, D., Hartley, J.M., Lambert, S.M., Shiref, M., Harper, G.D.J., Kendrick, E., Anderson, P., Ryder, K.S., Gaines, L., Abbott, A., (2020) The importance of design in lithium ion battery recycling – a critical review, Green Chemistry, 2020,22, 7585-7603

  • Skeete, Jean-Paul., Wells, Peter., Dong, Xue., Heidrich, Oliver., Harper, Gavin., (2020) Beyond the EVent horizon: Battery waste, recycling, and sustainability in the United Kingdom electric vehicle transition Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 69, November 2020, 101581, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2020.101581

  • Harper, G., Sommerville, R., Kendrick, E., Driscoll, L., Slater P., Stolkin, R., Walton, A., Christensen, P., Heidrich, O., Lambert, S., Abbott, A., Ryder, K., Gaines, L., & Anderson, P., (2019) Recycling lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, Nature 575, 75–86 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1682-5 [Accepted for publication in Nature as part of the Nature 150 years Collection.]Fazey, I., Schäpke, N., Caniglia, G., Patterson, J., Hultman, J., van Mierlo, B., Säwe, F., Wiek, A., Wittmayer, J., Aldunce, P., Al Waer, H., Battacharya, N., Bradbury, H., Carmen, E., Colvin, J., Cvitanovic, C., D’Souza, M., Gopel, M., Goldstein, B., Hämäläinen, T., Harper, G., Henfry, T., Hodgson, A., Howden, M., Kerr, A., Klaes, M., Lyon, C., Midgley, G., Moser, S., Mukherjee, N., Müller, K., O’Brien, K., O’Connell, D., Olsson, P., Page, G., Reed, M., Searle, B., Silvestri, G., Spaiser, V., Strasser, T., Tschakert, P., Uribe-Calvo, N., Waddell, S., Rao-Williams, J., Wise, R., Wolstenholme, R., Woods, M. and Wyborn, C. (2018). Ten essentials for action-oriented and second order energy transitions, transformations and climate change research. Energy Research & Social Science, [online] 40, pp.54-70. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214629617304413

  • Harper, G.D.J, Rowlands-Jones, R.L., Irvine, S.J.C. (2014), "A Skills and Training Needs Analysis for Solar Photovoltaics a Welsh and UK Perspective", Educational Alternatives, ISSN 1313-2571

  • Harper, G.D.J. & Wells, P.E., (2012) “Diverse regional sustainability strategies: template for the future or squandered resources?”, International Journal of Automotive Technology Management, Volume 12, No. 2, pp.153-171
  • Harper, G.D.J. & Peattie, K., (2011) “Tracking the Influence of the First Special Journal Issue on ‘Green Marketing’: A Citation Network Analysis”, Social Business, Volume 1, No. 3, Autumn 2011 , pp. 239-261(23)


  • Bull, J. & Harper, G.D.J., (2010) “Small Scale Wind Generation: A Practical Guide”, Ramsbury, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 160. ISBN: 978-1847972101
  • Harper, G.D.J., (2008) "Domestic Solar Energy", Ramsbury, Wiltshire: Crowood Press, 144. ISBN:978-1847970602
  • Harper, G.D.J., (2008) "Fuel Cell Projects for the Evil Genius", New York, NY: Mc Graw Hill/TAB Electronics, 196. ISBN:978-0071496599
  • Harper, G.D.J., (2007) "Solar Energy Projects for the Evil Genius", New York, NY: Mc Graw Hill, 196. ISBN:978-0071477727
  • Starbuck, J. & Harper, G.D.J., (2008) "Run Your Diesel Vehicle on Biofuels: A Do-Yourself Manual", New York, NY: Mc Graw Hill/TAB Electronics, 264. ISBN:978-0071600439

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