Dr. Thomas Peacock, MIT Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will discuss his work on the societal and scientific aspects of deep-sea mining.
Dr. Thomas Peacock is the Director of the Environmental Dynamics Laboratory (ENDLab) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. ENDLab’s mission is to advance understanding of environmental fluid dynamic phenomena to address societal grand challenges, with a commitment to education and outreach to inform policy makers and the general public. As the world moves towards electrification (electric cars and shifting the power grid to renewable sources) the economy is readying its supply of specialty metals needed for commercially viable larger-scale batteries. All eyes are on the deep-sea where there are vast stores nickel, manganese, copper, and cobalt. However the environmental impact of deep-sea mining practices could be catastrophic and regulatory policies for seabed areas beyond jurisdiction are still being drafted. A new major initiative for ENDLab is the study of sediment laden plumes in stratified environments with application to deep-sea mining activities– developing analytical and numerical models, and planning laboratory and field experiments in order to provide a clear understanding of how these activities may impact the ocean environment.