K-Briq innovator chosen as one of top 50 women in engineering
The creator of a ground-breaking recycled brick has been chosen as one of this year’s Top 50 Women in Engineering (WE50).
Professor Gabriela Medero, co-founder of clean tech company Kenoteq which creates sustainable products for the construction industry, is a Professor in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering at Heriot-Watt University.
She joins the prestigious list that this year celebrates inventors and innovators who are described as being the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering. Judges looked for those who dared to be part of the solution and who are helping to build towards a brighter future.
Founded by the Women’s Engineering Society in 2016, the WE50 awards are presented to those who have identified an unmet need, then created the solution, or improved on existing products and processes to make our lives easier. It also recognises those who advocate for other women in STEM.
Professor Gabriela Medero said: “I am enormously proud to have been chosen to feature alongside so many impressive and innovative female engineers. This list shows the huge range of hugely positive and much needed solutions that female engineers are driving forward across the country today.
“Our journey to address sustainability in the construction industry began more than a decade ago and I have been privileged to lead a talented and multidisciplinary team to find a solution to the current damaging drain that construction is making on our planet’s natural resources.
“The UK’s construction industry produces over 100 million waste tonnes annually, over a third of the UK’s total. Globally, the built environment accounts for 39% of total carbon emissions. To address these challenges, we created the K-Briq - the world’s first brick made from 90% construction and demolition waste. Producing a tenth of the CO2 emissions of a traditional brick, it uses less than a tenth of the energy during manufacture.
“Through our spin-out company Kenoteq, we produce K-Briqs onsite at a waste recycling facility, reducing transport miles and completing this vitally important circular economy pathway.”
Placing great importance on public engagement, Professor Medero has used the K-Briq as part of Heriot-Watt University’s outreach programme, enthusing hundreds of primary aged children about engineering and careers in STEM. As Chair of the University’s Women’s Engineering Society, she is committed to promoting, supporting, and encouraging activity which enriches discussion amongst engineers of all genders about equality of opportunity.