The Metal Guys Talk Business

In this episode, Pete and Mike spoke with Cathy Bell from i-SPACE - the latest innovative research project by Swansea University.

i-SPACE is an acronym, which stands for "Innovative Steel Processing Accelerating the Circular Economy". In layman's terms, they aim to develop an industrial-scale end-of-life material shredding and sorting facility for the UK steel industry, supporting the work towards zero-waste and the elimination of down-cycling.

Cathy is the project manager for this WEFO- and ERDF-funded project, with a background of over 30 years in the metal industry, and she shared her insight into the project and the future of metal recycling.

Amongst other things, they talk about:

* Who are i-SPACE
* The reason we need an advanced recycling pilot plant
* Why recycling should is the forth best option for steel products behind Re Use, Repair or Remanufacture
* The current issues surrounding the recycling of end of life components
* Contamination, and how this can cause additional costs for steel makers
* The circular economy across the complete steel supply chain
* Net Zero in the Steel Industry
* What TRL (Technology Readiness Levels) is, and who is involved in the project
* When do we think we MAY see a project plant, and what is it likely to cost
* Landfill of precious metals and how we can change the throwaway culture
* The change from Linear to a Circular Economy
* The current UK recycling infrastructure
* Who will be able to access the research, development and design at the pilot plant
* The future of the UK Steel industry, and how it is positioned globally.
* STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
* How Cathy got into the steel industry, and her early career
* Not making any career mistakes 😉
* Taking on a contract position after being in full time employment

This podcast was recorded in October 2022

To find out more about the i-SPACE project, take a look at the following links:

Swansea University:

The Engineer:

ATF Professional:


SEASON TWO of The Metal Guys Talk Business is sponsored by:

The UK Metals Expo - 13th-14th September 2023, NEC Birmingham -

Anglo Stainless - Supplier of stainless steel pipes, fittings and flanges -

Amron Architectural - Specialists in metal meshes and architectural finishes -


The Metal Guys Talk Business is created and produced by Comton Group. Comton Group are a Metal and Engineering Agency supplying Temporary, Permanent and Contract Staff and Media and Marketing services. Comton Group also publish a digital publication 'The Metal Magazine', which features the latest news and information from across the Metal and Engineering sectors.

Contact us on our social media channels to discuss the podcast, recruitment and our marketing solutions for your business.

Creators & Guests

Mike Bolton
Co-founder of Comton Group
Peter Comerford
Co-founder of Comton Group

What is The Metal Guys Talk Business?

Peter Comerford and Mike Bolton are The Metal Guys! They have worked in the metal sector for over 10 years, a huge global industry that produces more than a billion tonnes of material annually and affects all other industries and walks of life.

They now run a successful recruitment and marketing company servicing the metal and engineering sectors, making them ideally placed to provide impartial, independent insight into the industry, sitting outside the hierarchy of the various stages of the industry from raw material to finished product.

Under the moniker of The Metal Guys, the pair continue to gain insights from - and ask the difficult questions to - the decision makers and technical experts that you won't hear on any other podcast.

If you produce, work with or supply metal, then tune in and join the conversation.