Queen Mary, University of London, UK
Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions. With around 16,900 students, 3,800 staff and an annual turnover of £300m, it is one of the biggest University of London colleges. QMUL teaches and researches across a wide range of subjects in humanities, social sciences, law, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering.
The research in the Materials Department at QMUL is grouped into: Functional Nanomaterials; Biomaterials and Bioengineering; and Modelling and Simulation. This structure facilitates the concentration of research into areas of current expertise and helps to generate new thinking and capabilities. The functional Nanomaterials Group has particular expertise in processing, characterisation and modelling of polymer and ceramic nanocomposites. This includes nanopowder synthesis, spark plasma sintering, electrospinning and nanomechanical testing.
It is currently involved in several EC funded projects: supervising two Individual Marie Curie Fellows; partner in Integrated Network (ITN), Glacerco on Glass and Glass-Ceramics; Materia+ on polymer composites; and Research for SME project on Thermoelectrics for waste heat energy harvesting.
Staff members involved
Prof Mike Reece is Professor in Functional Ceramics and heads the Functional Nanomaterial Group at QMUL. His work at QMUL has focused on the electromechanical properties of ferroelectric, ferroelastic and piezoelectric ceramics. This includes research on the fracture, crack growth, creep/relaxation and degradation of ferroelectric/ ferroelastic ceramics, and the use of nanoindentation to study and characterise ferroelectric thin films. More recently, he has been working on the development of layered perovskite ceramics for application as high temperature thermoelectrics and piezoelectrics. He has recently set-up the first spark plasma sintering (SPS) furnace in the UK. The focus of his research in this area is to produce new structural and functional ceramics, including materials with nanoscale, high texture and metastable microstructures.
Dr Haixue Yan’s research area includes processing and analysis of the microstructures and properties of advanced materials with textured, nano- and metastable structures covering dielectrics, ferroelectrics, energy materials, ceramic-CNT composites and Spark Plasma Sintering.
Dr Peppe Viola is currently working on an industrial project to develop new dielectric energy storage materials, and has considerable expertise in SPS processing a range of materials, including functional and structural ceramics, and metals. This also includes research on the processing and properties of Fe-Co-CNT magnetic materials. He also has expertise in electrical and mechanical property measurement.
Dr Salvatore Grass’s research work is focused on the processing of advanced ceramics by SPS.