Natural Fibres '09

14th Dec 2009 - 16th Dec 2009

Materials for a Low Carbon Future

Organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

Register now (links to registration website)

The conference dinner is now sold out! There will be a method of redistributing unrequired tickets onsite, but registrations received from today onwards are not guaranteed a place at the dinner.  


Natural Fibres ’09 is one of the final events of 2009, the United Nation’s designated International Year of Natural Fibres. This three day International Conference will celebrate and highlight the increasing use of natural fibres around the World, raise awareness of their diverse engineering properties and take an in-depth look at the research work that is being carried out to quantify and improve the properties of these environmentally sustainable materials in engineering and textile applications.
This event will offer an opportunity for natural fibre industries to come together to foster international partnership and increased understanding of the role that natural materials can and must play in ensuring a sustainable future.

Days one and two consist of two simultaneous streams of presentations featuring over 60 International presenters, whilst day three offers the delegates the chance to visit the Innovation Park at BRE in Watford to see first hand the use of natural materials in construction.

Conference Opening by Lord Hunt

We are delighted to announce that the conference wil be opened by Lord Hunt, Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (jointly with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs); and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords.

Lord Hunt leads for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on a range of issues relevant to this conference including:

  • energy security, long-term energy projections and strategy
  • markets, prices and regulatory framework
  • low-carbon energy supply, including renewable energy, renewable heat, nuclear strategy and delivery, carbon capture & Storage / cleaner fossil fuels
  • low-carbon industrial strategy.

Register of Stakeholders

A Register of Stakeholders is being compiled in conjunction with this event. If you would like to register your interest as a stakeholder in this community, please complete the registration form on the conference website and return it to the event organisers.


Costs - Register Now

Full Cost: £450+VAT to include all conference sessions, lunch and daytime refreshments, networking reception and visit to Innovation Park.
Student Cost: £140 +VAT to include all conference sessions, lunch and daytime refreshments, networking reception and visit to Innovation Park.
Conference Speaker rate: £250+VAT (does not include conference dinner)

Members of IOM3: £350.00 + VAT
Members of partnering organisation: £390.00 + VAT
Student member: £100.00 + VAT(does not include conference dinner)

Delegates wishing to attend just one day of the conference can register at a 25% reduction of these costs.

Who Should Attend

This conference will benefit all groups who have a professionalinterest in any aspect of the use of natural fibres: industrialists,academics, researchers, growers and the agricultural industry,investors, funding bodies, designers, environmentalists, central andlocal government.

Keynote Presenters:

  • Professor Amar Mohanty, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
  • Professor Callum Hill, Centre for Timber Engineering, Edinburgh Napier University 
  • Phil Warner, Company Founder and CEO, Ecofibre, Australia
  • Dr Julie Soden, School of Art and Design, University of Ulster at Belfast
  • Dr John Wolodko, Advanced Materials Business Unit, Alberta, Canada
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  • Michael Carus, Managing Director of nova-Institute of Ecology and Innovation, Germany


The programme is now available for download from the link at the bottom of this page. (Updated 11 December)

Please be aware, however, that the programme may change before the event, and updated programmes will be released to show these changes.

Conference Themes

The conference will focus on the following areas:

Day 1
Session 1: Innovations
Session 2: Textile Fibres, Extraction and Production
Session 3: Extraction and Structural Applications
Session 4: Textile Applications
Session 5: Natural Composite Applications
Session 6: Construction Applications
Session 7: Materials Characterisation
Session 8: Construction Applications continued

Day 2
Session 9: Fibre Extraction
Session 10: Natural Fibre Composite Industrial Applications
Session 11: Fibre Properties
Session 12: Biocomposite Applications Material Characterisation
Session 13: Sisal Economics and Physical Properties (Sponsored by London Sisal Association)
Session 14: Natural Fibres in General
Session 15: Textile Applications
Session 16: Characterisation and Properties


Poster and Networking Session – 14 December

A poster and networking session for all delegates will take place at the end of the conference day on Monday 14 December. This session will give delegates the opportunity to speak to the authors of the posters on display.
Mince pies and mulled wine will be provided.


Conference Dinner – 14 December

A conference dinner will take place on the evening of 14 December, following the poster/networking session.
This will take place at the conference venue itself.

Conference dinner is now sold out!
There will be a method of redistributing unrequired tickets onsite, but registrations received from today onwards are not guaranteed a place at the dinner. 

Public Lecture and Thematic Working Group Launch - 15 December 2009

A public lecture is to be held at the conference venue on 15 December 2009, at 7pm.

This will be followed by the launch of the new NNFCC Thematic Working Group on Composites materials, presented by John Williams of NNFCC at 8pm. Refreshments will follow.


Lean, Mean and Green: The World's First Environmentally Friendly Racing Car
Dr Kerry Kirwan, University of Warwick, UK

The new WorldFirst racecar is a clever piece of lateral thinking. It is the first Formula 3 racing car designed and made from sustainable and renewable materials, putting the world first by effectively managing the planet's resources.
Dr Kirwan will actively demonstrate in a lively public lecture how this joined up approach of apparently disparate arts, sciences and engineering can result in something ground breaking like the World First F3 racing car - a much more environmentally friendly vehicle than most road cars, let alone racing vehicles. Being green does not mean being boring or stepping back in time! Further details and booking information.


Visit to the BRE Innovation Park - 16 December

On Wednesday 16 December a visit has been arranged to the Innovation Parkat BRE in Watford to take a look around the park which features anumber of demonstration properties showcasing modern methods ofconstruction, near zero carbon homes, and over 200 different innovativeand emerging technologies. Of particular interest to delegates of Natural Fibres '09 are the Renewable Hemp House and the Natural House.Those interested in attending this visit should confirm their interestwhen booking their place at the conference. Places will be allocated ona first come, first served basis. Please indicate whether you would liketo attend when registering.

Coaches will leave IOM3 in London at 09.30 and return to London by 14.30.



The conference will take place at 1 Carlton House Terrace, London - thehome of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining – theorganisers of the conference. The Institute of Materials, Minerals andMining (IOM3) is the UK engineering institution whose activitiespromote and develop all aspects of materials science and engineering,geology, mining and associated technologies, mineral and petroleumengineering and extraction metallurgy. The venue is in the heart ofLondon – close to The Mall, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus andTrafalgar Square, and can be accessed most easily using the LondonUnderground railway system from all major mainline train stations andairports in London, with Piccadilly Circus being the closest station.Full directions to the venue.



If you are looking for accommodation whilst at the conference, IOM3 has teamed up with to offer a cost effective accommodation service that is live, interactive and guaranteed to offer the lowest rates available at your chosen hotel. It is recommeded that you book your accommodation as soon as possible, as rates may well increase as we get closer to the event.



A small exhibition of natural fibres, composites and their applications will be on display at the conference. If you have samples of material or poducts that you would like to display at the event, please get in touch with Dawn Bonfield to discuss.

Poster Presenters

Poster presenters, who have applied and been notified that their posters have been accepted for display, should follow the preparation guidelines given at the bottom of this page. Poster abstracts will be printed in the conference programme. Unfortunately poster presenters are not eligible for the Conference Speaker delegate rate at the conference. 


Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings will not be published at the event, but some papers will be invited for publication in a special edition of the peer reviewed Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, which will be published in the first half of 2010. Authors who have been selected to submit papers to this journal should follow the detailed guidelines available for download at the bottom of this page.


Partnership and Exhibition Opportunities

A range of partnership and exhibition opportunities exist for organisations willing to play a part in the co-branding of this high calibre event. Delegate cost reductions apply for partners of the event.
For further details contact Dawn Bonfield.

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Event Partners:

Many thanks to our event partners for their generous support, without which this conference would not have been possible: DECC, Materials KTN, InCrops, London Sisal Association, NNFCC, ADAS, BRE, Modern Built Environment KTN.
































Media Partners:










Venue and booking

Event Location

Event Location: 
Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
1 Carlton House Terrace
United Kingdom
Contact details: 

Dawn Bonfield
01438 821740