Q&A – James Goddin

28 Nov 2019

Natalie Daniels interviewed IOM3 Strategic Advisor, James Goddin, Market Development Manager at ANSYS Granta.

Tell me about your background.

Having completed my degree and PhD in Materials Science, I spent several years working on construction materials research before moving to Granta Design to look after collaborative projects in the advanced materials sectors, covering aerospace, space, automotive, consumer and medical products. I’m currently Market Development Manager at ANSYS Granta, where I’m responsible for the development of new and emerging areas and for managing our engagements with strategic partners. I’m also the Circular Economy Lead for the business, having worked closely alongside the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since 2011 on metrics for the circular economy.

How did you become involved with IOM3?

I became involved with IOM3 as an undergraduate at the University of Bath, UK, where I studied Materials Science and Engineering. In 2009, I became involved with the Construction Materials Group through my work at the Building Research Establishment, and I became a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist through IOM3 later that year. I moved to Granta Design in 2010 to look after collaborative R&D projects and joined the Sustainable Development Group at IOM3 in 2012, in part because of my long-standing personal interest in sustainable development but also because many of my projects had a strong focus on advanced materials and sustainability. In 2013, I started scrutineering and reviewing applications for membership and chartership for IOM3. I joined the Membership Committee and became a Fellow in 2015.

What are you most looking forward to about taking on the role?

There is a huge amount of experience of the members that can influence the way we exploit the minerals we need to develop our future. There is a saying that if it can’t be grown and it can’t be bred, it has to be mined. Many of the specialisations represented by the membership of IOM3 depend on what we get out of the ground, and the interaction of all the members as to what we do with it. IOM3 can become a world leader in the cradle to grave concept of the use of minerals and materials.

What were you most looking forward to about being an SA?

I thrive on networking and already participated in quite a few special interest groups, communities and committees both within IOM3 and at a European and International level. I love working across disciplines, domains and technologies and getting to understand different perspectives and solutions and helping to translate concepts and connect people. The Strategic Advisor role is all about understanding the activities of the different technical communities, both inside and external to IOM3, and identifying areas in which lessons can be translated, connections made and value added to what we do as a community. It’s great to be able to take on this role and to be able to contribute to IOM3 in this way.

What do you feel are the main priorities for IOM3 going forward?

As a community there is an ever-growing focus on the role that materials play in shaping the environment we live in. Whether it’s the inevitable - and in my opinion, long overdue - shift towards the adoption of renewable technologies and biomaterials or the greater social focus on global issues such as ocean plastics or conflict minerals. Philosophies such as the circular economy can play a core role in balancing our needs within the limits of growth, but every part of this challenge requires an understanding of materials and their use - and reuse - in engineering applications. I see it as a key priority to draw on the tremendous expertise available across IOM3 membership to respond to these challenges effectively as they are set to impact every aspect of our lives. I firmly believe that IOM3 needs to be doing more to get the next generation excited about materials.

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I’m happiest when getting into adventures with my wife and kids. I also enjoy being outdoors and going to live music events and the theatre, I support the Cambridge Arts Theatre and try to go at least once a month. I’ve recently contributed a couple of chapters to books on critical materials and on the circular economy and have supported a couple of PhDs.