As part of the UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub we have analysed the environmental impact of the use of single use masks as part of the COVID-19 exist strategy. We find that the mass use of single use masks will be environmentally very damaging creating 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste in the UK alone. Reusable masks are a much better option for governments. Our preprint of the study is published here.
We have launched a new website for Covid-19 open source technology to help communities around the world manufacture their own breathing aids, PPE and other equipment.
One Pop! Bottle is the illustrated tale of the life of a plastic bottle aimed at primary school students. The book was designed and illustrated our Artist-in-Residence Ruby Wright. It takes bottles from their sticky beginnings as oil mined from beneath the Earth’s surface, through to its synthesis into plastic, the injection-moulding process, and finally, to being recycled into a new drinks bottle.
We have launched the BIG COMPOST EXPERIMENT, a nation-wide citizen science experiment to explore whether home compostable plastics do compost in people’s compost bins. We have more 1000 households taking part in the UK.
Our new paper Persistent and polarized global actin flow is essential for directionality during cell migration is now out in Nature Cell Biology (2019). Great work by PhD student Lawrence Yolland a big team led by Dr Brain Stramer. Read the paper here.
We just published the paper Stress relaxation in epithelial monolayers is controlled by the actomyosin cortex in the journal Nature Physics. Very nice work by a big team led by PhD student Nargess Khalilgharibi and team leader Prof Guillaume Charras.
A Deep Learning Approach to Non-linearity in Wearable Stretch Sensors is the latest is the paper from my research group. Work carried out by PhD student Ben Oldfrey on our Wearable Assistive Materials project.
We have launched the UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub to provide an interface between UCL researchers and industry, government, and the public to help solve this environmental catastrophe.
I am leading a multidisciplinary research project called “Designing-out plastic waste‘ which brings together a diverse team of UCL researchers dedicated to solving the plastic waste problem. The project is funded by EPSRC/UKRI.
Delighted to have been awarded the 2018 Max Planck Gottingen Institutes Medal for science communication.
I feature in a series of BBC short films produced by Lee Johnson and Adam Proctor about the strange tale of the miracle material starlite, its inventor the hairdresser Maurice Ward, and why it never became part of our lives. Watch them here.
My latest research paper is published in the journal of Materials & Design. A collaboration with Richard Jackson and Adam Wojcik – we show how to build a 3D Printer for asphalt. It part of a project aimed at creating technology to autonomously repair the roads.
My research group is part of £10m global project called AT 2030 – Life Changing Assistive Technology for All. Its aim is to reach over 3 million people, testing new approaches and backing ‘what works’ to get AT to those who need it.
I presented a BBC Radio 4 series called Plastic Fantastic which explores how plastic waste has become a global crisis and what we can do about it.
I wrote an article for the Financial Times Magazine called No more potholes: cities that can repair themselves The article features a project I am working on called Self-repairing cities.
Am part of a team with Ben Oldham, Rui Loureiro, Imad Sedki, Mark Corysdale, and Cathy Holloway who have been awarded a research grant to develop bespoke breathable prosthetic liners with growth tracking & active cooling.
My latest paper is in the journal Interdisciplinary Science Reviews : A collaboration with Dr Sarah Wilkes, it reviews work we have done together using materials libraries to do interdisciplinary research: Materials library collections as tools for interdisciplinary research
Extremely honoured, and flabbergasted, to have been a awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List.
Am part of a team with Anna Ploszajski, Cathy Holloway and Patrick Cullen who have been awarded a research grant to develop Nature Inspired 4D printing for biomedical applications.
Delighted to have been awarded the 2017 Michael Faraday Prize from the Royal Society – a huge honour!
Active chainmail fabrics for soft robotic applications is the latest paper from my research group. Work carried out by PhD student Mark Ransley on our EPSRC funded Wearable Assistive Materials project.
On the The Guardian Science Weekly podcast I discuss graphene and whether it is worth the hype with Prof Richard Jones from the University of Sheffield, Prof Cinzia Casiraghi from Manchester University, and science journalist Nicola Davis.
My Materials TV series is being repeated on BBC TV. It us three 1 hour programmes on the history, science and engineering of materials. The episodes are named METAL, PLASTIC, & CERAMIC. (Jan 2017)
I contributed to this BBC radio programme on the science of Dr Seuss.
I’m part of the team that put on the exhibition Victorians Decoded celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Transatlantic Cable. It is at the Guildhall Gallery in London. FREE until 22nd Jan 2017.
Stuff Matters voted one of the 50 best science books by Geek Wrapped
Very chuffed to receive the International Materials Education Symposium’s inaugural award for outstanding contributions to Materials Education.
I am part of major 5 year £5M project funded by the EPSRC to undertake research into creating self-healing cities. The job of my research team is to handle materials aspects of the project. Read more here.
Explore the science, history, industrial and cultural significance of steel in my FREE online course. More than 13,000 people from 139 countries have taken the course. It requires no previous background in science and engineering. Find out more here.
Very honoured to receive a Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for “Enthusiastic and successful commitment to public engagement, igniting a sense of wonder about the world by unveiling the interplay between science, engineering and society.” (Feb 2016)
My latest paper Fabrication of bespoke nasal septal scaffolds, a collaboration led by Mohan Edirisinghe and Richard Thorogate. Work carried out by our joint PhD student Hashim, who is has now post-doc at Cardiff Unviersity. (Feb 2016)
I contributed a chapter to the book The Social Life of Materials My chapter discusses the importance of materials libraries as translation tools to enable materials scientists to talk to other disciplines and avoid becoming siloed. (Jan 2016)
My article on The Future of Materials is published in the MRS Bulletin. The paper discusses how materials scientists might go about addressing the needs and desires of society in the next 50 years. (Dec 2015).
The BBC repeat my How It Works TV series on UK TV. This is a series of three 1 hour programmes on the history, science and engineering of materials. The episodes are named METAL, PLASTIC, & CERAMIC. (Nov 2015). It is available as DVD called Secret Life of Materials here.
My column in the Observer Newspaper – Soft Robots for Hospitals (Oct 2015)
Launched the Italian Version of my book Stuff Matters at the Genova Science Festval (Oct 2015).
Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Start The Week (Oct 2015).
Very honoured to be awarded the US National Academies 2015 Communication Award for my book Stuff Matters (Oct 2015).
Bill Gates wrote a blog about my book Stuff Matters, read his review here.
My column in the Observer Newspaper – How laboratory-grown organs will transform our lives (July 2015)
My tv series Everyday Miracles: The Genius Of Sofas, Stockings And Scanners – repeated on BBC4 – its available on iPlayer (UK only) until end of June 2015.
My column in the Observer Newspaper – Wood 2.0 – a very modern material (June 2015)
The latest paper from my research group – on designing materials experiences Design tools for interdisciplinary translation of material experiences.
Our Institute of Making 2nd Year Report is OUT! Download here.
My column in the Observer Newspaper – Steel – it is the material we are most intimately acquitted – after all we put it in our mouths every day (May 2015)
In May I’ll be giving a sensoaesthetic materials workshop at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin; giving public talks at Swansea University, and Exeter University; chairing a session in the Royal Society Meeting for Bioinspired Engineering; and appearing at Hay Literary Festival to talk about my book Stuff Matters.
DVD of my TV series about Materials Science & Engineering now available here.
My latest column in the Observer Newspaper – Chocolate is as sophisticated as wine in igniting senses & giving pleasure (April 2015)
The latest paper from my research group, a collaboration with the Stramer Lab – on understanding the role of mechanical forces in biological systems Inter-Cellular Forces Orchestrate Contact Inhibition of Locomotion.
My latest column in the Observer Newspaper – Future Fabric (March 2015)
My latest column in the Observer Newspaper – How Glass invented modern physics, chemistry, biology and much more. (Feb 2015)
My tv series Everyday Miracles: The Genius Of Sofas, Stockings And Scanners – repeated on BBC4 – its available on iPlayer (UK only) until end of January 2015.
My first column of 2015 – Concrete: solid, dependable, obstinate – and self-healing
Stuff Matters announced as the Physics World Book of the Year 2014
Stuff Matters wins the Royal Society Winton Prize.
Our latest research paper on using 3D printing to print biological material.
Elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
I’ve begun writing a column for the The Observer newspaper on Materials.
My latest TV series about materials engineering.
BBC FOUR, Aug 21st 2014
Our research paper on the taste of materials.
My report for BBC Newsnight on self-healing materials and circular economy.
BBC TWO, July 2014