Steel that Generates Solar Power – Swansea Expert Wins National Award

Darlith gan arbenigwr o Brifysgol Abertawe yn dangos sut gall dur wedi'i gaenu ddefnyddio ynni solar



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.”