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Jack Straker
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Jack Straker

 Engagement Director

As Engagement Director, Jack works in the Decarbonisation & Circular Economy side of the house, leading its Circular Energy and Advanced Fuels practice.

Jack read French and Italian at Oxford where he was president of the boxing club. After university, he worked as diplomat and adviser to the head of a transnational humanitarian organisation based in Rome. After completing an MBA at IE Business School in Madrid, he joined RIG in 2019 and has worked with clients in the waste-to-energy, water efficiency, energy storage and advanced materials spaces.

In 2021 he started the Circular Energy and Advanced Fuels practice whose focus is a) technologies converting waste and biomass into clean energy, and b) novel fuels to displace hydrocarbons.

Jack’s ultimate goal is to grow and scale companies based in the north of England. Outside of work, Jack is secretary of a charity specialising in taking disabled friends on holidays, enjoys writing bad poems, and enjoys tinkering with his family business (a holiday park near Hull). Do not get him started on the merits of the ‘staycation’…

Sharing a watering hole with a dinosaur

I am drinking the same water as a T-Rex. My inner child (not buried particularly deep, I am told) is a big fan of this fact. As far as we know, since humans existed, we have not created any ‘new’ water and comparatively little has escaped to space. On the face of it, water isn’t going anywhere, and there is loads of it. It should be noted that there is a big difference between freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater makes up around 3% of all the water on earth, and only a third of this is accessible (i.e. not in icecaps and glaciers). Nonetheless, that’s 12,340,000,000,000,000,000 litres give or take a pint or two, so probably enough to be getting on with.

 

Metamorphosis

23 June is a date that will forever fill me with great happiness and faith in our country. Of course, I refer to the glorious day, in 2014, when the former Member of Parliament for Tatton, the first Chancellor from a northern seat since Dennis Healey in the late 1970s, delivered his vision of the “Northern Powerhouse” from Manchester. Finally, I thought, a government that is going to look to break the north out of its post-industrial revolution(s) chrysalis and help it spread its wings into the wold of technology and industry 4.0. 

 

From Dante to Decarbonisation

Having left the world of science at school, I read medieval Italian poetry at university and thought to myself “finally – something I can study with real world application!” I slightly rued my artsy background when I took an MBA which involved some mathematics: the GMAT (“how is one not a prime?”), financial accounting (“how come income statements have expenses?”), Excel modelling (“how the IF does that work?”)… at least I was not being stretched beyond my academic limits in science.

 

Power & Portability

The invisible restraint of the apparent newfound freedom of battery-powered phones is that these devices  need charging up– we can only stray so far from a power socket for so long.

 

Progress, despair, hope - the dark past and bright future of energy storage

You could argue that progress with batteries is good. That said, there are numerous geographic, geopolitical, and humanitarian challenges to address across the lithium-ion batteries supply chain.