Karen Scrivener researches how to make cement and concrete more sustainable.

Why you should listen

Karen Scrivener began her career as an academic at Imperial College in London. After 15 years, she moved into industry in Lafarge, France to discover what the real world was like. After six years, she returned to academia at EPFL in Switzerland. She created the research consortium Nanocem to develop a link between academic research and industrial needs. By understanding the chemical processes behind the setting and hardening of cement, she realized that a combination of conventional Portland cement with calcined clay and limestone could lead to substantial CO2 reductions. For the past seven years, with the support of the Swiss government, she has been working with the industry to bring this product into practice.

Karen Scrivener’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Karen Scrivener


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Countdown is a global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. Watch the talks, interviews and performances from the Countdown Global Launch at ted.com/countdown. The world around us is mainly made of two things: nature and the materials that we extract from it. To fight climate change, we need to protect and regenerate nature […]

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