Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Department News

19 January 2017

Prof Judith Driscoll's research group receives an unexpected donation!

We are very grateful to Dr Bill Welland (PhD student 1970-73) for his recent donation to support research within Prof Judith Driscoll's group. Below, Bill explains what led him to make this completely unexpected donation:

"When I attended the Department's Open Day in September 2016, Prof. Driscoll was the one staff member I recognised, as she had lectured to me when I took a Corrosion MSc at Imperial College in 1995/96. She told me that one of her group's demonstrations was the result of research done 20 years ago, but that only now was it being exploited commercially. This made me realise that most of the research I had undertaken or commissioned had been funded for very narrow short-term objectives. Even when I'd been allowed to try out 'blue skies' ideas it had been conditional on all my 'important' research being on time and in budget, which didn't seem the best environment for making conceptual breakthroughs. I had originally planned to leave a bequest to the Department, in recognition of the tremendous start my experience as a research student had given to my career, but I now felt it was more important to hand over money - without strings and with Gift Aid - so that it could fund the recipient's current need. I felt that Prof. Driscoll's group would make the ideal recipients for such a donation as my re-think stemmed from that conversation with her. Now that I have heard their spending plans, I am more convinced than ever that this is the right decision."

Judith plans to use the funds to support summer research students in the group to do proof-of-concept research on high risk, novel ideas for which they would not easily obtain funding under normal streams. This will benefit both the research group and the student, who will be immersed in a dynamic environment with PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

Image: Prof Driscoll's group.

January 2017

Welcome to our new University Lecturers

Dr Rachel Evans joined us in a new University Lecturer post on 3rd January 2017. She will be making a contribution to teaching immediately as she is giving a course on Soft Matter this term to Part III students.

Rachel's research interests are focused on the design and characterization of new photoactive and photoresponsive materials for application in solar energy conversion, optical sensing and stimuli-responsive membranes. She is particularly interested in unravelling structure-property relationships in complex organic-inorganic hybrid materials and leveraging this knowledge to develop new applications in materials science. Research in her group is highly interdisciplinary, involving a combination of materials chemistry, structural characterisation using X-rays and neutrons, and advanced photophysical characterisation.

Dr Nick Jones began his new role as University Lecturer at the beginning of the academic year, having previously been involved in the Department's teaching through his post-doctoral reseacher post within the Department's Rolls-Royce UTC. He will continue to support the teaching of X-ray and neutron diffraction methods via his Part II lecture course and this year he will give a lecture course in Part IA on mechanical behaviour of materials.

Nick's research interests are primarily focussed on developing materials and technologies to improve efficiency within the aerospace industry. He specialises in high temperature materials, transforming alloys and engineering alloys.


03 November

Cambridge Enterprise licenses new thermocouple technology developed by Dr Scervini and Prof Rae

The licence, agreed with TE Wire & Cable LLC, a leading thermocouple and specialty wire and cable manufacturer based in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, covers a ground-breaking mineral insulated thermocouple cable technology developed by Dr Michele Scervini and Professor Cathie Rae. This dual wall, low-drift type K and type N mineral insulated (MI) thermocouple cable design was developed to improve temperature measurement accuracy, extend thermocouple life and significantly enhance drift characteristics. The new technology supports higher accuracy in measuring temperatures, longer life and improved drift characteristics.

The new thermocouple cable design was developed for high temperature thermocouple applications and thermocouple installations that require longer use at higher temperatures. The technology will be of particular interest to those involved in aerospace/aircraft manufacturing for measuring jet engine temperatures and for metallurgy applications like heat treatment.

Full press release:


29 September 2016

Postgraduate Open Day

Materials Science is participating in the first ever Postgraduate Open Day to be held on Wednesday 2 November (  If you are interested in applying for a PhD or MPhil course, we would be very pleased to see you in the Department on that day.  Prospective students will be able to meet members of Academic Staff, discuss projects, see our research facilities and chat to some current students.  


23 September 2016

Department Open Day

Representatives from industry, former members of the Department and the University, more generally, visited the Department during the recent 'Alumni Weekend' to see the new facilities available to researchers during our informative and interactive Open Day. Visitors followed a self-guided tour around a number of research and teaching areas and enjoyed meeting current staff and students along the way. As expected there was a lot of reminiscing on times gone by and the various incarnations of the Department as it moved locations within the New Museums Site before moving out to West Cambridge, to its current home.


9 September 2016

Materials Science PhD student wins the CISER award 2016

Fernando Roberto Pereira, a PhD student within Prof Bill Clyne's group, has recently won a prize in a competition in Brazil.  The CISER award, launched in 2008, recognizes young and talented students with creative and innovative ideas, particularly in areas of interest to the firm. This year there were 237 submissions, from which a small number were selected to give presentations in Brazil.  Fernando gave one on shape memory alloys, which is the area in which he's doing his PhD.  The competition and the award ceremony took place in Joinville, Brazil on 25th of August, 2016.

CISER award -


30 August 2016

Proceedings from February's London and Cambridge meetings on caloric materials are now published

Neil Mathur, Sohini Kar-Narayan and Xavier Moya organised back-to-back meetings on caloric materials in February 2016, first at the Royal Society; and then in the Moller Centre of Churchill College (Cambridge), with support from the Winton Programe, APL Materials and Adande Refrigeration. The meetings brought together the world leading proponents of materials and heat-pump devices in which thermal changes are driven by changes of magnetic field, electric field and mechanical stress.

Proceedings of the London meeting and Proceedings of the Cambridge meeting are now published.


27 July 2016

Sir John Meurig Thomas receives a 2016 Royal Medal

Sir John Meurig Thomas HonFREng FRS is awarded one of the three 2016 Royal Medals for his pioneering work within catalytic chemistry, in particular on single-site heterogeneous catalysts, which have had a major impact on green chemistry, clean technology and sustainability

The three Royal Medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded annually by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council of the Society.

Each year two medals are awarded for the most important contributions “to the advancement of Natural Knowledge” in the physical and biological sciences respectively. A third medal is awarded for distinguished contributions in the applied sciences.

The Royal Medals were founded by HM King George IV in 1825.

07 July 2016

Battery paste recycling technology developed at Cambridge is licensed to Aurelius Environmental

A lead-acid battery paste recycling technology that is cheaper and cleaner than traditional methods, developed by Dr Vasant Kumar and his research team, has been licensed to Aurelius Environmental (AE) in the West Midlands. The technology, which has the potential to transform the battery recycling industry (a $14 billion market), aims to be the most complete closed-loop recycling system in the world, providing significant cost reductions in the lead-acid battery manufacturing supply chain.

Read the full article online:

23 June 2016

Dr Paul Coxon receives an inaugural Public Engagement with Research Award

On Monday 20 June, the Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research presented two sets of inaugural awards; the Impact Awards run by the Research Strategy Office, and the Public Engagement with Research Awards run by the Public Engagement team in the Office of External Affairs and Communications.

In particular the Public Engagement with Research Awards were set up to recognise and reward those who undertake quality engagement with research. Amongst this year's winners was the Department's Dr Paul Coxon.

Over the last ten years Dr Coxon has endeavored to engage with audiences often overlooked by traditional public engagement channels. He has given talks in venues as varied as bingo halls, working men’s social clubs and steam fairs to showcase his passion for solar research, steering clear of the “flashes and bangs” approach often associated with Chemistry. He has also designed a Fruit Solar Cell Starter Kit, used in fifty low-income catchment schools across the UK.

Full details on the awards made are available:


31 May 2016

Professors Cameron and Best jointly receive £1.7 million Fellowship

Quoted from the EPSRC website:

"A five year research project will create a ‘design toolkit’ to develop and improve the effectiveness of biomedical scaffolds used to repair and regenerate tissue.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded an Established Career Fellowship to Professor Ruth Cameron and Professor Serena Best, from the University of Cambridge, to carry out the work. The £1.7 million project will start in June.

This is the first time that EPSRC has awarded a Fellowship on a “job-share” arrangement. For the last ten years Professor Cameron and Professor Best have jointly run the Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials with part-time contracts that fit in with their family commitments.

Biomedical scaffolds have been developed over the last 15–20 years, but using them to repair and regenerate tissue is not always successful. The research will look at issues in scaffold development in cardiovascular devices, dermal grafting and nerve guidance. The aim is to optimise the scaffolds for different tissue environments which can be used to treat a range of diseases.

Professor Cameron and Professor Best said “We are delighted that the EPSRC has recognised the benefits of our joint working arrangements and look forward to being able to make exciting advances in the area of regenerative medicine under this scheme”

Alison Wall, EPSRC Associate Director, Building Leadership, said: “This Established Career Fellowship recognises the excellence and importance of the research being done by Professor Cameron and Professor Best. It also illustrates the flexibility in our grant support. We’d like to see more proposals which include flexible working arrangements or other actions to increase diversity in our research community.”"

15 April 2016

Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum

The annual Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum will be held on Tuesday 14th June 2016 in the Pippard Lecture Theatre at the Cavendish Laboratory on the University of Cambridge's West Cambridge Site.

The Forum will include the 18th Kelly Lecture, ‘Advanced Materials - Flying High’ to be given by Professor Ric Parker CBE, FREng. Recently retired, Richard (Ric) Parker was Director of Research & Technology, Rolls-Royce Group from January 2001 to March 2016. He was responsible for direction and co-ordination of Research & Technology programmes across all the Rolls-Royce businesses, worldwide. Ric joined Rolls-Royce in 1978.

Please visit the Forum website for more information and to register your attendance.

23 February 2016

CSAR Student Awards for Katerina Christofidou and Wilberth Solano 

Fourth year Materials Science students Katerina Christofidou and Wilberth Solano have been selected, along with 6 other students from different disciplines across the University, as recipients of the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) Student Award 2015-16.

The CSAR Student Award of £1000 is intended to recognise outstanding research in any discipline by PhD students currently studying at the University of Cambridge. The student is expected to clearly communicate their research in terms of real world applications to the selection panel.

Photo courtesy of Prof. H.K.D. Bhadeshia: The Vice Chancellor, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, entertained the 2016 award winners in his office together with representatives of the CSAR council, and benefactors - Wilberth (3rd from right, front row) and Katerina (far right)

More information on the winners is found on the CSAR website -

12 February 2016

Dr Noel Rutter's contribution to teaching acknowledged with a Pilkington Prize

Dr Noel Rutter has been selected as a 2016 Pilkington Prize winner. The prizes, endowed by Sir Alastair Pilkington, acknowledge excellence in teaching and are awarded to individuals who make a substantial contribution to the teaching programme of a Department, Faculty or the University as a whole. There are twelve prizes awarded each year, with nominations made by each School. The prizes are awarded annually by the Vice-Chancellor.

Since Noel's initial appointment as Departmental Teaching Fellow in 2006 and, subsequently, Director of Undergraduate Teaching, he has transformed the teaching environment within Materials Science. He has been an enthusiastic and outstandingly popular teacher, a mentor for students, and a farsighted administrator. He has transformed the way that teaching is delivered whilst maintaining a clear overall perspective on the 4 years of undergraduate taught courses. The remarkable rise in student numbers within Materials Science over recent years, is undoubtedly, principally down to Noel’s unquenchable enthusiasm and ability.

28 January 2016

New £20.4m project set to transform UK pharmaceutical development and manufacturing

The Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy (DMSM) has become a partner in a newly launched major collaborative project that is set to transform the UK pharmaceutical industry by enabling the manufacturing processes of the innovative medicines of the future to be designed digitally.

The ADDoPT (Advanced Digital Design of Pharmaceutical Therapeutics) project addresses a key challenge for the pharmaceutical industry; getting new innovative medicines to market in the quickest and most cost-effective way possible to ensure access for patients. The collaboration will pursue this goal by developing and implementing advanced digital design techniques that eliminate non-viable drug candidate formulations as early as possible, streamlining design, development and manufacturing processes.

ADDoPT draws on the expertise of UK technology and academic leaders in the field of digital design concepts including the Macromolecular Materials Laboratory in DMSM, led by Dr James Elliott, which has specific expertise in multiscale modelling of pharmaceutical materials. This will be applied to industrial case studies provided by the four major pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, GSK, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb) within the consortium.

Full press release


21 January 2016

Professor Judith Driscoll wins Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Brasiers' Company Prize 2015

The inaugural Royal Academy of Engineering Armourers and Brasiers' Company Prize has been awarded to Professor Judith Driscoll, Professor of Materials Science. Her research has revolutionised the properties of high temperature superconductors, enabling them to carry much higher currents in a magnetic field. The £2,000 prize was presented at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London on Monday 18 January.

By creating nanostructured superconducting thin films, Professor Driscoll has merged the properties of composite materials and electronic materials. This has transformed conventional thinking and generated hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment in research on these new materials.

Her methods are now becoming widely used throughout the superconductor industry. Emerging applications include generators in wind turbines, motors and MRI, as well as in very high magnetic field magnets for basic science experiments.

Read the full press release from the Royal Academy of Engineering -

Photo courtesy of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

January 2016

Prof Judith Driscoll featured in an article entitled "STEM career hero" in The Telegraph newspaper over the Christmas period.

Read the full article online -


16 October 2015

Congratulations to Dr Anup Patel

Dr Anup Patel has been awarded the ESAS prize for young researchers in the large-scale category for his presentation titled: "Magnetic levitation between HTS tape stacks and permanent magnets for rotary bearing applications". He presented his work on superconducting levitation for magnetic bearings at the EUCAS conference in Lyon, France last month. His work is currently sponsored by SKF.

Photo from the ESAS website. Anup is second from the left.

17 July 2015

Congratulations to Profs Judith Driscoll and Chris Pickard

Professors Driscoll and Pickard have both recently received prestigious Institute of Physics Medals.

Judith has received the 2015 IoP Joule Medal for her pioneering contributions to the understanding and enhancement of critical physical properties of strongly-correlated oxides, encompassing oxide superconductors, ferroelectrics, multiferroics and semiconductors

Chris has been awarded the 2015 IoP Rayleigh Medal for his development of new theories and computational tools for the first principles investigation of matter, which have greatly aided the interpretation of magnetic resonance experiments, have revealed a range of unexpected phenomena in materials at extreme pressures, and increasingly underpin computational materials discovery. (Chris will be joining the Department from 1st August as the Cottrell Chair.)

30 June 2015

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2015 - Engineering Atoms

Dr Cathie Rae and colleagues are exhibiting the work of the Rolls-Royce UTC all this week at the Royal Society. Twenty two great exhibits from around the country are on offer this year from 30th June until 5th July.


15 June 2015

Prof Harry Bhadeshia recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2015

Professor Harshad (Harry) Kumar Dharamshi BHADESHIA, FRS FREng Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, is to receive a Knighthood for services to Science and Technology.

Harry has not only performed brilliant basic research on steels but has brought a number of the new steels he has developed to manufacture. For example, his new carbide-free steel for railway lines is now in use in the Channel Tunnel, the Swiss rail network and the French tram system. Other inventions include superbainite, now available as armour, a new welding alloy, and a steel tailor-made for pipes going down oil wells. Perhaps the world leader in metallurgy, he is also an inspirational teacher and researcher.


21 April 2015

Congratulations to Dr Kar-Narayan

Dr Sohini Kar-Narayan has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant worth EUR 1.68 million over 5 years which started on 1st April 2015. The Grant will support her work entitled "Polymer-based piezoelectric nanogenerators for energy harvesting".



24 March 2015

David Duke Memorial Fund

David Duke MBE, our former Principal Technician, passed away in March 2014 and we wish to raise enough funds to install a permanent memorial to him, in recognition of his central place in Departmental life. For more details, including how to contribute, please see:

05 March 2015

EUREKA! What are some of the most important science experiments?

What are some of the most important science experiments? Dr Paul Coxon presented Archimedes' Principle to the Naked Scientists as part of a show about important science experiments through the ages. Archimedes' was the first to properly describe how bodies float by displacing the liquid in which they are immersed, a property which underpins the design of ships and submarines today. Paul talked about how this experiment was reported to have been used a non-destructive way to determine the purity of gold in King Hieron II's crown in 250 BC.

The recording will be broadcast as three radio shows and downloadable podcasts on BBC 5 Live, BBC Cambridgeshire and ABC Radio National (Australia) to an audience of over a quarter of a million listeners.

12 February 2015

Armourers & Brasiers’ Cambridge Forum 2015
― showcasing important developments in Materials Science

Please put the date of this year’s Forum, Tuesday 16th June, in your diary.  The afternoon programme of talks begins at 1.45 (registration from 1.15 pm) at the Pippard Lecture Theatre, Department of Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, J Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE.  The Forum includes the award of the Armourers & Brasiers’ Materials Science Venture Prize and the 17th Kelly Lecture.   In 2014, the Forum attracted not only an academic audience, but representatives from some 50 manufacturing companies.

29 January 2015

Congratulations to Prof Bill Clyne

Prof Bill Clyne has been chosen as one of seven outstanding international scientists to become a recipient of the Helmholtz International Fellow Award, selected by The Helmholtz Association. In addition to receiving funding of €20,000 each, the Fellows are invited to conduct research at one or more Helmholtz Centres over a flexible time period. The award paves the way for new cooperative research projects with international institutions.

Helmholtz Association press release

09 January 2015

REF 2014 rerun

It has been suggested by many in the HE sector that some institutions were highly selective in terms of which researchers they submitted to the 2014 REF assessment panel, thus achieving a score reflecting the work produced by only a small proportion of their staff (in order to maximise their position in quality rankings).  In response, the Times Higher Education has this week taken a different approach to identifying true research intensity, or research power, by presenting the results of the 2014 REF on the basis of raw GPA multiplied by the proportion of eligible staff each institution and department submitted (with the ‘proportion of eligible staff submitted’ multiplier capped at 1).

The results are published online and even with this intensity-weighting the Department of Materials Science retains its 3.65 GPA and stays top of the rankings for UK Materials Science departments.  However, crucially, the few Departments around the country that had a higher raw GPA than this Department have dropped back in the intensity -weighted league table meaning that by this measure the Department of Materials Science is the top department in any subject in the UK.

Times Higher Education article: REF 2014 rerun: who are the 'game players'?

18 December 2014

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - The Results!

It has been announced that the University of Cambridge has the top Metallurgy & Materials department in the UK with a 3.65 GPA and almost 70% of research carried out being rated as 4* (outstanding).  

Other excellent news is that the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy ranks in first place as the top department in the University of Cambridge.

REF 2014 website
University of Cambridge REF 2014 article
Times Higher Education article: REF 2014 results: table of excellence

16 October 2014

BBC Radio 5 live Science

Dr Sohini Kar-Narayan featured in this week's BBC Radio 5 live Science series. This special edition panel discussion covered the "Future of Energy" and featured scientists who specialise in generating power. It was recorded in front of a live audience and aired on BBC Radio 5 on 11th October.
(Dr Kar-Narayan features from about 45.10 till the end)

A podcast of the same programme features on the "Naked Scientists" website:

19 September 2014

Knight’s Cross of Polonia Restituta awarded to Prof. Bartek Glowacki

Professor Bartek Glowacki was awarded the 'Order of Rebirth of Poland' by President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, in a ceremony held in Warsaw, Poland on 12th June 2014. The Knight’s Cross is presented by the Order of Rebirth of Poland and is one of Poland’s highest orders. The order was conferred for outstanding achievements in the fields of science and education.

09 September 2014

Congratulations to Prof Sir John Meurig Thomas!

The Academic Council and Presidium of the European Academy of Sciences have awarded Prof Sir John Thomas the Blaise Pascal Medal for Materials Sciences 2014. Blaise Pascal medals are awarded in recognition of outstanding and demonstrated personal contributions to science and technology and to the promotion of excellence in research and education.

20 June 2014

BBC Radio 4 - Frontiers

Dr Krzysztof  Koziol featured in this week's BBC Radio 4's Frontiers series.  The broadcast on Wednesday night covered the topic of power transmission, discussing how the future of the grid might look as power generation becomes increasingly mixed and demand increases.  Dr Koziol discusses work on carbon nanotube wires and copper-CNT Ultrawire cables within this broadcast, which is available to "listen again" online on the BBC Radio 4 website.
(Dr Koziol features at about 11:46-16:00 minutes and 19:46-21:05 minutes)

June 2014

Professor Emeritus Anthony Kelly, ScD, FRS, FREng, PhD, CBE, DL

1959-67 University Lecturer, 1960 Founding Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, 1994- Distinguished Research Fellow, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

Churchill College - News

09 May 2014

A New FRS!

Congratulations to Prof. Paul Midgley who was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society on 30 April 2014.


01 May 2014

Congratulations to Dr Vasant Kumar

The Council of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining has approved Dr Vasant Kumar as the Kroll Medal and Prize winner 2014.


April 2014

Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum

The annual Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum will be held on Tuesday 17th June 2014 in the Pippard Lecture Theatre at the Cavendish Laboratory on the University of Cambridge's West Cambridge Site.

The Forum will include the 16th Kelly Lecture, ‘Made-to-Measure Surfaces’ given by Professor Nicholas D. Spencer Chair, Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich and President, ETH Research Commission. 

Please visit the Forum website for more information and to register your attendance.

03 April 2014

Dave Duke MBE, 1948-2014

It is with sadness that we share the news that David Duke, MBE, our former Principal Technician, died on Saturday 29th March 2014. Dave was such a huge part of the Department for 49 years and his great contributions were recognised in the 2010 New Year's honours list when an MBE was bestowed upon him. See photo, with his wife.


06 March 2014

We are world class!

The University of Cambridge has been ranked as the top UK university for Materials Science in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2014 - Materials Science listings. Our overall score of 91.7 places us alongside Stanford University, USA, in joint second place in the world-wide subject-based rankings, with MIT, USA, in first place.

The full listings are available on the QS World University Rankings website.


04 February 2014


Professor Sir Colin Humphreys has been awarded with an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Microscopical Society.

20 January 2014

A new Affiliated Lecturer

We would like to officially welcome Dr Erica Bithell in her new role as an Affiliated Lecturer within the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, as was announced in the Reporter (Weekly Issue, 6333).  This title was granted from 1st October 2013 and will be for two years.

29 November 2013

Celebrating over 100 years of Goldsmiths’ support – Dedication of new rooms

On Friday 29 November 2013, two of the department’s new teaching and meeting rooms were officially opened. Celia Honeycombe, daughter of Sir Robert Honeycombe (1921–2007), and in the presence of the current Prime Warden and Clerk of the Goldsmiths’ Company, unveiled a plaque in memory of her father, marking the opening of the Sir Robert Honeycombe Room.  Sir Robert was a liveryman, past Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company (1986-87) and the 4th Goldsmiths’ Professor at the University of Cambridge. The party moved to the Goldsmiths’ Teaching Suite and Professors Mark Blamire and Lindsay Greer spoke about the Department’s long relationship with the Goldsmiths’ Company, starting with the endowment of a Readership in Metallurgy (1908), their help in setting up the Goldsmiths’ Metallurgical Laboratory (1910-1920), and the subsequent upgrade of the Readership to a Chair in 1932.   The latest project to be supported by the Goldsmiths, the Goldsmiths’ Teaching Suite was then formally opened by the current Prime Warden, Mr R. D. Agutter.

Image - from R to L: Prof Sir Colin Humphrey (6th Goldsmiths’ Professor), Prof Lindsay Greer, Mr R. D. Agutter (Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company) and Prof Mark Blamire (HoD).

Read this article as a pdf (with further photographs)

03 December 2013

Visit of HRH The Duke of York

On October 31 2013, the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy was privileged to receive a visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of York.

Read the full article (pdf)

Photograph taken by Phillip Mynott

22 November 2013

Prof Harry Bhadeshia is elected to the Belgian Francqui Chair for 2013-14

Congratulations to Professor Harry Bhadeshia who has been elected to the Belgian Francqui Chair for 2013-14 at KU Leuven - Faculty of Engineering Science. As the Francqui Chair, he will give an inaugural lecture at the university and during the year he will lecture on his specialisms to students, researchers, professors and industrialists.

Cover image of the Opening brochure

04 October 2013

Official Opening of the New Building

The new Materials Science building has been officially opened by the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, in the presence of some 240 guests.  After short speeches by the Vice-Chancellor of the University Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the ex-Head of Department Professor Lindsay Greer, and the CEO of EPSRC Professor David Delpy, the Chancellor unveiled a commemorative plaque.  This is a significant moment for the Department as, for the first time in our history, we are housed under one roof in accommodation designed for purpose.

Official opening brochure (pdf)

Read the full story on the University News website

01 October 2013

A New Head of Department!

Professor Lindsay Greer has stepped down as Head of the Department of Materials Science after more than 7 years at the helm, as has Professor Bill Clyne from his role as Deputy Head. We now warmly welcome Professor Mark Blamire to the role of Head of Department. He is ably supported by two deputies; Professor Serena Best (responsible for Research) and Dr Zoe Barber (responsible for Teaching). We all look forward to a successful future under their guidance in our new purpose-built research and teaching facility at West Cambridge, which is due to be officially opened later this week.

10 September 2013

IOM3 Materials Literature Review Prize for 2013

PhD student Peter Walker is the winner of the IOM3 Materials Literature Review Prize for 2013. The aim of this prize is to encourage definitive, critical reviews of the literature by students; the winning reviews are published in the international journal Materials Science & Technology. Peter is maintaining a strong record: of the 13 such prizes in the history of the award, 5 have come to the Cambridge Materials Dept. For further details, see:

02 August 2013

Aerogels and Aeroplanes

Ideas from the published work of Dawid Janas and Krzysztof Koziol have been featured in an article in The Economist which discusses a novel way to use the outcomes of their research - to de-ice aeroplanes.

Read the full article online in The Economist:

The original paper features as our Paper of the Month for August:
D. Janas, K.K. Koziol, Carbon, 59 (2013) 457-463
(doi: 10.1016/j.carbon.2013.03.039)

01 August 2013

Day 14 of the move to West Cambridge

The move continues:  equipment starts to be installed in the new Mechanical Testing Laboratory.

26 July 2013

Day 10 of the move to West Cambridge

The move continues:  shelving and racks are installed in the new information centre / library.

25 July 2013

Day 9 of the move to West Cambridge

The move continues:  diffractometers are installed in the new laboratory for the X-ray facility of the Department.

24 July 2013

Day 8 of the move to West Cambridge

The move continues:  the photograph shows the end of the first day of occupation of the new offices for the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride.

19 July 2013

Day 5 of the move to West Cambridge

The move continues: the photograph shows crates of transported office contents in the atrium of the new building.

16 July 2013

Day 2 of the move to West Cambridge

The start continues with moving research equipment and office contents.

11 July 2013

Out of the old;  into the new…

As part of the final preparations for the Department’s move to West Cambridge, office areas in the new building have now been furnished. The move of laboratory equipment starts on 15 July.

28 June 2013

The Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum 2013

The annual Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum was held last week on the 19th June. Once again there was an excellent turnout for an informative and enjoyable series of talks.

Prof Sir Colin Humphreys gave the 15th Kelly Lecture entitled "Lighting the Future".

See the Forum website for more details and photos.

14 June 2013

"Electric Carbon" at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Dr Koziol's research group has been selected to present their work at the annual Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2013 which runs from Tuesday 2nd to Sunday 7th July in London.

Their work entitled "Carbon nanotube wires for efficient electricity generation and transportation" will be exhibited under the name "Electric Carbon" and will feature alongside other exciting cutting-edge science and technology research from the UK.

More details about the Exhibition can be found online. The website also includes visitor information for if you plan to go an see the exhibition - and best of all it's free to visit!

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2013

Dr Koziol's research group

25 April 2013

Department achieves Athena SWAN Bronze Award

The Department's Athena SWAN Committee submitted an application to the Athena SWAN Assessment Panel in November last year and yesterday the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy's commitment to following and implementing the Athena SWAN principles was recognised by the panel with a Bronze award. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. The award will be presented at an awards ceremony to be held at The Royal Society of Edinburgh in June.

Read the full story on the University News website

Athena SWAN website

April 2013

Professor Ruth Cameron awarded ERC advanced grant

The European Research Council has awarded Professor Ruth Cameron a five-year Advanced Grant of approaching 2.5M euros. The grant will enable a team to work on the design, characterisation and development of 3D engineered environments for regenerative medicine, with target applications in the treatment of cardiac disease, breast cancer and blood disorders. The grant began this month and first appointments are currently advertised at

March 2013

Lighting the Future

On 28th March, David Willetts MP, the Minister for Universities and Science, opened a new £1million gallium nitride (GaN) deposition facility, marking the latest chapter in a decade-long research project led by Professor Sir Colin Humphreys in the Dept. of Materials Science & Metallurgy.  Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the project will continue to improve a novel method of growing light-emitting diodes (LEDs), reducing their cost by more than 50% and allowing much more widespread use.  The method developed by the Humphreys team allows growth of GaN on silicon instead of costly sapphire and silicon carbide.  The UK company, Plessey, has already started to manufacture LEDs at its factory in Plymouth, based on this Cambridge technology.  In opening the facility, David Willetts said: “LEDs are highly energy efficient but expensive to produce, meaning their domestic use is limited. This excellent new facility will enable researchers to look at more cost-efficient ways to produce LEDs, saving money and benefiting the environment. It will also help keep the UK research base at the very forefront of advanced materials, which is one of the eight great technologies.”

Image: Michael LeGoff, CEO of Plessey (left) and Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys (right) present David Willetts MP with a disc of illuminated LEDs made by the process developed in Sir Colin’s group.

Read the full story on the University News website

January 2013

Funding for advanced materials research announced

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP has announced new funding of £45 million for advanced materials research, for new facilities and equipment in areas of UK strength such as advanced composites; high-performance alloys; low-energy electronics and telecommunications; materials for energy; and nano-materials for health.  This follows the recent government report "Eight Great Technologies", in which research at the University of Cambridge features heavily, including the GaN work of Prof Sir Colin Humphreys, in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy.

Transcript of the announcement

Eight Great Technologies: full report

November 2012

Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award - Materials Science students win second prize!

Last month the Dow Chemical Company awarded US$12,500 to three Cambridge postgraduates conducting outstanding research in the name of global sustainability as part of the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge.

Giorgio Divitini and Najeeb Ullah – both PhD candidates at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy – scooped the second prize of $2,500 (£1,613) for their research into a sunlight-activated catalyst which can help purify water quickly and cheaply.

The substance, which is currently being patented, could be of particular importance in areas where industrial pollutants are rife in the watercourse, such dyes from garment manufacture in many areas in Asia.

Giorgio commented, “Najeeb and I are both very happy in having the support and recognition of Dow and the academics in the panel. We are starting work on a prototype and hope to test it in the field in Pakistan soon, to make a difference towards solving a serious real life issue.”

Read the full story

August 2012

BP funding for Prof Bhadeshia and co-workers

A consortium comprising University of Cambridge’s Prof Harry Bhadeshia and University of Manchester’s Professors Peter Lee and Stuart Lyon is one of the first groups to lead a project funded by the new BP Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM).

In order to drive developments in advanced materials, energy giant BP is establishing a $100 million international research centre with the University of Manchester at its hub and the University of Cambridge as one of three further partners contributing to the research programme.

Read the full story on the University News website

Alan Taub

June 2012

Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum

Another successful ABC Forum was held on the 27 June 2012. This year's Kelly Lecture was given by Dr Alan Taub former VP of Research for General Motors and was entitled "Materials Challenges for a Sustainable Automotive Industry". Five other talks were given by Dr Julian Allwood (Dept. of Eng., University of Cambridge), Prof Matt Rosseinshy (University of Liverpool), Andrew Bloodworth (British Geological Survey), Dr Nigel Knee (EDF), and Prof George Smith (University of Oxford).

For more information see:

May 2012

Topping out for Materials Science and Metallurgy Building

More than sixty guests attended an event in the new Materials Science and Metallurgy Building on the West Cambridge site to watch the traditional topping out ceremony to celebrate the outer shell of the building being completed. (18/05/12)

Read the full story on the University News website

Aerial view of the development

March 2012

"The new building this month"

New aerial photo of the progress of the new Department building development at West Cambridge.


Prof Sir Alan Cottrell

February 2012

Prof Sir Alan COTTRELL, Kt FRS FREng
17 July 1919 - 15 February 2012

Head of Department (1958-65), Master of Jesus College (1974-86), and Vice-Chancellor of the University (1977-79).

A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday 9 June 2012 in Great St Mary's, the University Church, in Cambridge.

Obituary written by Dr Jim Charles
Obituary written by Prof Lindsay Greer (for Materials World)
Obituary in The Telegraph

Cottrell Appeal (web site)

February 2012

A breakthrough technique for manufacturing LEDs on silicon, developed in the laboratory of Prof Sir Colin Humphreys, will be exploited in the UK by Plessey. Read the full article in the University's Research News.

December 2011

Congratulations to ED PICKERING and CAROLINE GODDARD on receiving their IoM3 student prizes. Ed won The Royal Charter Prize for the best materials student regardless of discipline. He read Natural Sciences here in Cambridge, specialising in Materials Science, and now continues to study here for a PhD.

The A T Green Award for the best ceramics student was awarded to Caroline Goddard, originally at The University of Manchester, but now studying for a PhD in the Department.

September 2011

Congratulations to ED PICKERING who won the award for BEST MATERIALS STUDENT at the 2011 Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year Awards.

August 2011

Concrete being poured for new building. Construction has started on the new building for the Department on the West Cambridge Science and Technology Campus. The building is expected to be completed in early 2013. Over many days in July concrete was poured to form the foundation slab for the main building. This large operation has involved cement mixer lorries arriving on site every 8 minutes. In early September there will be an even more carefully choreographed pour -- of the extra-thick anti-vibration foundation slab for our new state-of-the-art electron microscopy suite.

June 2011

Armourers and Brasiers Cambridge Forum. This year's Kelly Lecture was given by Prof Albert Fert from the Universite Paris-Sud (Orsay). Prof Fert is the first Nobel Prize winner to give a Kelly Lecture and his talk was entitled "Spintronics: Electrons, Spins, Computers and Telephones". Five other talks were given by Prof Simon Cox (Aberystwyth University), Dr Geoffrey Andrews (Ranier Technology), Dr Nikolaos Vlasopoulos (Novacem), Dr Peter Bonfield (BRE and ODA) and Prof Richard Friend (Cavendish).

June 2011

SKF Technology Centre opens up research into new bearing steels . The SKF University Technology Centre for Steels was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by Tom Johnstone, President and Chief Executive Officer of SKF,and the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. This cermony took place in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy on 9 June 2011. SKF and Cambridge aim to obtain and develop the necessary knowledge for designing the next generation of bearing steels and the Centre will be led by Professor Harry Bhadeshia.

January 2011

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2010 - This year's excellent RI Christmas Lectures by Mark Miodownik (KCL) under the heading of Size Matters showcased materials and microstructure. Mark featured work from the Cambridge Materials Department: in Lecture 2, John Aveson (from our Rolls-Royce UTP) helped to demonstrate why superalloys are 'super', while Lecture 3 culminated in the story of Alan Windle's ultra-strong carbon-nanotube yarns.

November 2010

Work has begun at West Cambridge on the construction of a £41 million new home for the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

November 2010

University of Cambridge spin-out Q-Flo Limited has signed an agreement with a major manufacturer to continue the commercial development of its super-strong carbon nanotube fibre, which is three times tougher than that currently used to make body armour.

September 2010

Most powerful microscope in the UK unveiled . The most powerful atom resolving microscope in the UK was today revealed at the University of Cambridge. The new electron microscope, which will enable scientists to view individual atoms in any material, was officially unveiled by the Minister for Universities and Science, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP.

June 2010

The University honoured Dr Rob Wallach with a Pilkington Prize for his outstanding contributions to teaching. These are awarded annually to 12 members of the University's teaching staff.

The 2010 Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum was held on Tuesday 15th June 2010 at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy.

The twelfth Kelly Lecture, entitled "Nano-twinned materials" was given at the Forum by Professor Ke Lu, Director of the Institute for Materials Research in Shenyang, China.

A knighthood has been awarded to Professor Colin Humphreys, CBE, FREng for services to Science

May 2010

Senior academic promotions from October 1st: Bill Clegg to be professor; Zoe Barber and Cathie Rae to be readers

January 2010

Congratulations to Dave Duke, principal technician of the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, who has received an MBE in the 2010 New Years honours list.


December 2009

Cambridge scientists have shown that is possible to control the effective magnetization, as well as its direction, in a ferromagnet. Link

Orthomimetics has been acquired by Flemish biomaterials company Tigenix. Orthomimetics was founded in 2005 by former student Dr Andrew Lynn along with Professors Bill Bonfield, Serena Best, Ruth Cameron and Neil Rushton. Link

November 2009

Rolls-Royce and the EPSRC announce a new £50 million partnership. The Strategic Partnership in Structural Metallic Systems for Advanced Gas Turbine Applications is the first collaboration of its kind between Rolls-Royce, EPSRC, Birmingham, Cambridge and Swansea universities and will involve at least two of our department academics, Dr Howard Stone and Dr Cathie Rae. Link

October 2009

Congratulations to Serena Best and Ruth Cameron on their respective promotions to Professorships.

September 2009

200+ alumni and current members of the department attended a seminar entitled "Cambridge Materials Science around the World in the 21st Century" marking the 800th year of the University.

June 2009

In aid of the Cottrell Appeal and in celebration of the 800th anniversary of the University, our US Alumni met at the Brook Club, New York. This event was attended by HRH The Earl of Wessex, Patron of the Cottrell Appeal and Sir Graeme Davies, Chair of the Cottrell Appeal. Link

The eleventh Kelly lecture was given by Professor C N R Rao FRS at the Armourers and Brasiers Cambridge Forum. Over 250 industrialists and academics attended the 2009 forum.

May 2009

SKF sets up a new research laboratory in Cambridge. The SKF UTC will forcus on the physical metallurgy of bearing steels and will be lead by Professor Harry Bhadeshia. Link

January 2009

EPSRC highlight Professor Colin Humphreys world leading research into Gallium Nitride lighting in the first edition of their Pioneer magazine. Link

Cambridge's Materials Science Department in partnership with the Smallpeice Trust run a four-day residential course that aims to give year-10 pupils from around the country a taste for materials science and for university life. Link

December 2008

Cambridge comes top in the 2008 RAE for Materials Science and Metallurgy. Link

November 2008

Tata Steel has announced the donation to endow a Professorship of Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. Based in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, the first Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy will be Dr Harry Bhadeshia, a world renowned expert on the physical metallurgy of steels. Link