Michael Shaver


Personal profile


Professor Michael Shaver

(FRSC, FIMMM) is the Professor of Polymer Science in the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Manchester where he leads initiatives in sustainable polymers, plastics and materials for the School and for the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national advanced materials science centre. Following a PhD in his native Canada from the University of British Columbia and an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Imperial College London, he began his independent research career at the University of Prince Edward Island before moving to Scotland in 2012 where he was a Chancellor’s Fellow, Reader and finally Professor of Polymer Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. He is now Director of Sustainable Futures, a pan-university initiative growing interdisciplinary research in sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. He is also Director of the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub, in which his active research sits, developing sustainable plastics, polymers and composites and the systemic challenges that enable or disable their mechanical, chemical or enzymatic recycling. His work ranges from fundamental projects rooted in monomer design to translational projects in plastic packaging, waste management and circular systems. He was the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Green Materials and Editor of the European Polymer Journal. He has published >100 papers and been recognised with >80 invited/plenary lectures, the MacroGroup Young Polymer Scientist award (2015), Young Academy of Scotland (2014-2018) and two Canada Foundation for Innovation Leadership Awards (2010, 2012) as well as Fellowships in both the Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining.

My group

Our team recognises that challenges in plastics and sustainability are necessarily interdisciplinary. While at our core we are polymer chemists, we have built an increasingly diverse team of researchers that includes chemical physics, social science, economics and life cycle assessment. This diversity leads to a unique approach to tackling challenges in sustainable polymer science, including developing new self-healing polymers, medical sensors, sustainable commodity plastics and degradable materials. To learn more head to smihub.ac.uk and greenmaterialslaboratory.com.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, PhD - Chemistry - Small Molecule Activation by Diamidophosphine Complexes of Vanadium, Niobium and Tantalum, University of British Columbia

Award Date: 15 May 2005

Bachelor of Science, BSc Honours - Chemistry - Hydroboration of Alkenylamine and Vinylpyridine Complexes of Platinum, Mount Allison University

Award Date: 15 May 1999

External positions

Director, Recon2 Ltd

1 Feb 2022 → …

Director, Sustainable Futures, University of Manchester (UOM)

1 Nov 2021 → …

Director, Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub, University of Manchester (UOM)

1 Jul 2020 → …

Editor, European Polymer Journal, Elsevier BV

1 Jan 20181 Jan 2022

Areas of expertise

  • QD Chemistry
  • Polymer Science
  • Sustainability
  • Mechanical Recycling
  • Chemical Recycling
  • Thermosets
  • Functional Materials
  • Plastics
  • Interdisciplinary

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Futures
  • Advanced materials
  • Policy@Manchester
  • Creative Manchester


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