End of engineered life and waste bring many safety challenges across countless industries worldwide. These issues often displace safety risks to parts of the world that are least able to manage them. For example, 80% of electronic waste, the fastest growing waste stream, goes to the developing world. 

Engineering X, a collaboration between the Academy and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, has launched the Safer End of Engineered Life Mission (£5 million over 5 years) which seeks to reduce the number of incidents, accidents and casualties that happen as a result of safety issues, as well as addressing the environmental impact of poor management of waste. 

The programme is governed through a board chaired by Professor William Powrie FREng, professor of Geotechnical Engineering within the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.


  • To understand and apply practical interventions to improve safety at end of engineered life
  • To build an international community of knowledge and good practice across national and sectorial boundaries for the improvement of safety in end of engineered life
  • To raise awareness and public understanding of these issues

How it works

We connect stakeholders internationally (e.g. through workshops) in a multi-sector, multi-disciplinary approach that addresses the challenges in end of engineered life, which then leads to collaborations that improve safety practices.

Funding is available for projects that create the most impact and improve practice where it is most needed.

Global Review on Safer End of Engineered Life

The University of Leeds with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), D-Waste and Independent Safety Services Ltd (ISSL) is carrying out research to better understand the nature of waste flows, as well as the relative safety of existing and projected practices within Decommissioning and End of Engineered Life in the following waste streams globally:

  • Plastics
  • Construction and demolition
  • Electronic
  • Landfill and disposal
  • Hazardous medical waste

The Review will provide holistic baseline and trend analyses on global flows and safety status at the End of Engineered Life in each of the above waste streams. Where they are most acute, the study shall research the causes and nature of the safety challenges faced in disposal and decommissioning as well as map existing good practices and underlying success criteria therein. The Review shall also incorporate a foresight analysis on how innovation and emerging technologies might impact or disrupt existing practices in the design and safe decommissioning of products, systems and structures in the sector.

The review will be available early 2020, along with more information on the next workshop opportunity.


If you have any questions or if you are interested in joining the Academy’s safer end of engineered life community, please contact Hazel Ingham, Programme Officer