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Current research funding in the Division of Materials Engineering
£9,203,556

Division of Materials Engineering

Research Projects

The following are current funded research projects taking place within the research division:

Paragraf support fund 2


Principal Investigator: Colin HUMPHREYS
Funding source: Paragraf Paragraf Limited
Start: 01-08-2021  /  End: 31-07-2025
Amount: £33,540

ESTEEM - Sustainable manufacturing for future composites
ESTEEM - Sustainable manufacturing for future composites


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Funding source: EPSRC
Start: 01-04-2021  /  End: 31-03-2024
Amount: £395,947

With only 1% of energy consumption compared to current manufacturing methods, high performance composites with integrated new functions like deformation and damage sensing as well as de-icing will be manufactured without needs of even an oven. This new method will be tuned to fully comply with the processing requirements of existing high performance composite systems, reducing costs in capital investment, operational, and maintenance aspects. The new functions will also provide real-time health monitoring of components' structural integrity to enable condition based maintenance with high reliability.

KTP with Lucideon:  Cell testing to assist development of novel biomaterials
KTP with Lucideon: Cell testing to assist development of novel biomaterials


Principal Investigator: Karin HING
Co-investigator(s): Simon RAWLINSON
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 17-02-2021  /  End: 17-02-2024
Amount: £249,854

The aim of this programme is to transfer and embed knowledge of in vitro cell testing from QMUL to Lucideon to enable them to offer clients integrated physico-chemical and biological characterisation of materials used in medical devices & implants to improve the safety & efficacy of healthcare treatments.

1D perovskite structure
Royal Society University Research Fellowship Renewal : Oliver Fenwick


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 19-10-2020  /  End: 18-10-2023
Amount: £389,434

This project will develop crystalline materials comprising well-defined nano-objects arranged on a regular lattice. These nano-objects will be either two-dimensional (ultrathin layers within the material), one-dimensional (linear structures within the material), or zero-dimensional (quantum dots within the material), with unusual electronic properties in all cases. These bulk materials, which are straightforward to process, will retain low-dimensional characteristics. These unusual characteristics will be used to boost the efficiency of energy devices. In particular, this project will investigate their use for thermoelectrics (conversion of waste heat into electricity), and photovoltaics, delivering in both cases new materials for improved energy devices.

OLED
Graphene-Organic Devices for Smart Displays


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Co-investigator(s): William Gillin
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-04-2021  /  End: 30-09-2023
Amount: £238,656

This project will develop graphene-based organic light-emitting diodes. It is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Paragraf Ltd. and QMUL. The KTP scheme helps businesses in the UK to innovate and grow by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate researcher.

Bottom up structuring of liquids without external fields or molds.
Manufacturing of anisotropic nano and micro- particles.
Molecular Manufacturing of Macroscopic Objects - fellowship Stoyan Smoukov


Principal Investigator: Stoyan SMOUKOV
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-09-2018  /  End: 31-08-2023
Amount: £1,180,624

This interdisciplinary proposal proposes a molecular basis for Manufacturing for the Future,[a1] to grow many types of particles in a nature-inspired way. It offers scalability, near-full utilization of the material, and the ability to carry out transformations at near ambient conditions. Manufacturing in nature spans the scales from intricate ...

Cells growing at the surface of oil droplets
Engineered Protein Nanosheets at Liquid-Liquid Interfaces for Stem Cell Expansion, Sorting and Tissue Engineering


Principal Investigator: Julien GAUTROT
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 01-09-2018  /  End: 31-08-2023
Amount: £2,011,161

ProLiCell will design the biochemical and mechanical properties of extracellular matrix (ECM) protein nanosheets that can sustain the formation of adhesion protein complexes and support cell proliferation and culture on materials with very weak bulk mechanical properties (liquids).

Wafer-Scale Manufacturing of Single-Crystal Perovskite Optoelectronics
Wafer-Scale Manufacturing of Single-Crystal Perovskite Optoelectronics


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-05-2021  /  End: 30-04-2023
Amount: £316,308

In this project we aim to develop a scalable and high-yield manufacturing process for mass-producing single-crystal perovskite optoelectronics.

BFTT campaign
Creative Clusters Fashion in Smart Textile


Principal Investigator: James BUSFIELD
Co-investigator(s): Emiliano BILOTTI and Haixue YAN
Funding source: AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Start: 31-10-2018  /  End: 31-03-2023
Amount: £345,900

The Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT) is a five-year industry-led project, which focusses on delivering sustainable innovation within the entire fashion and textile supply chain. The aim is to foster a new, creative business culture in which fashion, textiles and technology businesses can use R&D as a mechanism for growth.

Graphene layer (Getty Image)
Graphene Flagship Core Project 3


Principal Investigator: James BUSFIELD
Co-investigator(s): Nick DUGGAN, Yang HAO, Emiliano BILOTTI, Dimitrios PAPAGEORGIOU, Wei TAN, Colin CRICK, Han ZHANG, Himadri GUPTA and Nicola PUGNO
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 01-04-2020  /  End: 31-03-2023
Amount: £376,501

This grant will cofund the establishing of a mini-CDT with 5 PhD studentships in Graphene materials at QMUL.

Smart rope with sensing capability using multifunctional materials (SENSING ROPE)
Smart rope with sensing capability using multifunctional materials (SENSING ROPE)


Principal Investigator: Emiliano BILOTTI
Co-investigator(s): James BUSFIELD
Funding source: Royal Academy of Engineering
Start: 29-01-2021  /  End: 22-01-2023
Amount: £53,030

This Royal Academy of Engineering funded industry fellowship will explore the use of novel polymer nanocomposites as embedded sensors in ropes.

Body-worn sensor
Body-Worn Sensor for Point-of-Care Vascular Access Monitoring


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-10-2021  /  End: 31-12-2022
Amount: £378,651

In this project, we will develop a body-worn sensor for cardiovascular monitoring, particularly to address a long-standing clinical challenge in vascular access health surveillance.

3D-photoelectrochemical imaging will be implemented using porous light-addressable semiconductors on FTO coated glass.
3D Photoelectrochemical Imaging in Porous Light-Addressable Structures


Principal Investigator: Steffi KRAUSE
Co-investigator(s): Joe BRISCOE and Thomas ISKRATSCH
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 04-01-2021  /  End: 03-10-2022
Amount: £202,248

The project aims to develop a photoelectrochemical imaging system for mapping of electrochemical processes in three dimensions within porous electrode structures. The new technology will aid the development of novel electrode materials for energy harvesting devices and be suitable for in-situ 3D functional imaging in 3D tissue culture.

Stability of Organic Solar Cells Based on Non-Fullerene Acceptors
Stability of Organic Solar Cells Based on Non-Fullerene Acceptors


Principal Investigator: Zhe LI
Funding source: EPSRC
Start: 24-09-2019  /  End: 23-09-2022
Amount: £400,712

This EPSRC project aims to unravel the degradation mechanisms of organic solar cells based on non-fullerene acceptors and elucidate the material and device design rules to guide the development of high performance and high stability solar cells.

The instrument will combine two electrochemical imaging techniques which measure cell responses apically and basally.
Combined LAPS and SICM for multimodal live cell imaging


Principal Investigator: Steffi KRAUSE
Co-investigator(s): Wen WANG
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-09-2018  /  End: 31-08-2022
Amount: £571,839

A novel instrument will be developed that will revolutionise the ability to monitor cellular processes and cell communication in polarised cells by simultaneously imaging cells apically and basally. This will provide information about apical cell morphology and basal ion concentrations and electrical signals such as cell surface charge and impedance.

Conductive ink printed on paper.
All-printed thermoelectric generators


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 01-10-2017  /  End: 31-08-2022
Amount: £110,748

Organic thermoelectric materials are in the early stages of development, and the excitement surrounding them lies in their low cost, solution processability (they can be printed) and their mechanical flexibility. In short, they could revolutionise thermoelectric power generation. In this project, an OTEG will be fabricated on paper by a novel printing process. It is a cheap, scalable process that is much-needed for OTEGs to become reality. Furthermore, this project follows the conviction that a fundamental understanding of OTEG device physics will accelerate the development of improved thermoelectric materials

KiriTEG (Smart Grants)
KiriTEG (Smart Grants)


Principal Investigator: Emiliano BILOTTI
Co-investigator(s): Michael REECE, Oliver FENWICK and Han ZHANG
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-08-2020  /  End: 31-07-2022
Amount: £131,117

The KiriTEG project will develop flexible, miniaturised TEGs allowing the design of non-rigid thermoelectric energy harvester devices. This will be achieved by development of innovative semiconductor materials, materials deposition techniques and production processes to allow the commercial scaling of the project deliverables. This project utilises the skills of 'kirigami' (variant of origami that includes cutting as well as folding) to produce a new generation of low cost, highly flexible devices. These energy harvesting devices will operate between -40C and +120 C, which covers the vast majority of low grade harvesting applications.

International Exchanges Scheme: China
International Exchanges Scheme: China


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Funding source: The Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2017  /  End: 31-03-2022
Amount: £12,000

The aim of this project aims is to build bilateral research and teaching collaborations between QMUL and Jiangsu Normal University in China.

FlexNanoFlow
FlexNanoFlow


Principal Investigator: Lorenzo BOTTO
Funding source: Commission of the European Community
Start: 01-04-2017  /  End: 31-03-2022
Amount: £1,017,645

2D nanomaterials hold immense technological promise thanks to extraordinary intrinsic properties such as ultra-high conductivity, strength and unusual semiconducting properties. Our understanding of how these extremely thin and flexible objects are processed in flow is however inadequate, and this is hindering progress towards true market applications. When processed in liquid ...

Bench-top single optical fibre microendoscope- IAA Large grant
Bench-top single optical fibre microendoscope- IAA Large grant


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Funding source: EPSRC IAA
Start: 10-03-2020  /  End: 31-03-2022
Amount: £40,000

This project aims to develop a benchtop single optical fibre imaging probe.

Lead-free ferroelectrics for piezoelectric sensors or high power energy storage: Professor Jiagang Wu
Lead-free ferroelectrics for piezoelectric sensors or high power energy storage: Professor Jiagang Wu


Principal Investigator: Haixue YAN
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2020  /  End: 30-03-2022
Amount: £74,000

At present, Pb-based ceramics are dominant ferroelectric materials. However, toxic Pb is harmful to human beings and the environment. It is urgent to research Pb-free ferroelectrics to match the need of different applications. In this project, we will research high-performance lead-free ferroelectrics for piezoelectric application and dielectric energy storage.

SMART – Sustainable composites with Multichannel wide-rAnge sensing measuRemenT
SMART – Sustainable composites with Multichannel wide-rAnge sensing measuRemenT


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2021  /  End: 30-03-2022
Amount: £19,352

The proposed SMART platform based on specialised equipment will enable not only monitoring the curing of composites but also real-time damage sensing and mapping based on sustainable reinforcements in high performance components.

Aggregation structure-property relationship of polymer/PEDOT/carbon nanoparticle ternary thermoelectric composites and its application for self-powered sensors
Aggregation structure-property relationship of polymer/PEDOT/carbon nanoparticle ternary thermoelectric composites and its application for self-powered sensors


Principal Investigator: Emiliano BILOTTI
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2020  /  End: 30-03-2022
Amount: £12,000

This Royal Society International Exchange Grant will explore the use of new organic-inorganic materials as self-powered flexible and stretchable sensors

Newton: Waste to Wealth: Tackling the agricultural wastes in Thailand to make fully recyclable packaging


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Funding source: British Council
Start: 17-02-2021  /  End: 16-02-2022
Amount: £39,608

Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant: Waste to Wealth - Tackling the agricultural wastes in Thailand to make fully recyclable packaging
Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant: Waste to Wealth - Tackling the agricultural wastes in Thailand to make fully recyclable packaging


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Funding source: British Council
Start: 17-02-2021  /  End: 16-02-2022
Amount: £39,608

This collaboration involves Mae Fah Luang University (MFU) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), with extensive experience and complementary expertise in the polymer processing and high performance composites, as well as the extraction methodologies and natural materials. This institutional links fund will help us to develop this collaboration further, including the development of a local innovation platform in green materials innovation for circular economy and an exchange program between institutions.

Bioresorbable bioactive composites Kick off


Principal Investigator: Karin HING
Co-investigator(s): Emiliano BILOTTI
Funding source: Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Start: 11-01-2021  /  End: 10-01-2022
Amount: £36,993

Recycle Al cans for fashion products
Recycle Al cans for fashion products


Principal Investigator: Haixue YAN
Co-investigator(s): James BUSFIELD and Emiliano BILOTTI
Funding source: AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Start: 08-06-2020  /  End: 07-12-2021
Amount: £100,804

The principal aim of the project is to deliver a renewably powered machine that can transform rescued aluminium cans into hardware. We are working with Elvis & Kresse to develop an Open Source micro solar forge. The specific goal was to create an inexpensive technology that would allow Elvis & Kresse to collect littered aluminium cans and transform them into hardware (buckles, D-Rings etc.) for their range. https://bftt.org.uk/funded_project/elvis-kresse-metal-forge-elvis-and-kresse/

Open characterisation and modelling environment to drive innovation in advanced nano-architectured and bio-inspired hard/soft interfaces (OYSTER)


Principal Investigator: Gleb SUKHORUKOV
Funding source: EU
Start: 01-01-2199  /  End: 01-12-2021
Amount: £135,000

Major focus of the project is in surface design, controlled adhesion and development of surface characterisation techniques and their standardization. In particular, Nanoforce contribution in the project and relevant tasks are crossing other activity at SEMS what includes biofunctionalisation of surfaces to make hydrophobic surface hydrophilic and to produce thin polymeric films with micro-packaged bioactive agents. Also SEMS expertise in polymer processing will be expanded on polymer with drug coating. Further goal would be to make such a coating on various implants and stents. Developments of implants with designed mechanical properties could benefit with extra function added on it such as “micro-packaged” drug what could be used either to proliferate cell grow in case of grow factor encapsulation or, if needed, coatings antibacterial properties.

Advanced Polymer Dielectrics
Advanced Polymer Dielectrics


Principal Investigator: Emiliano BILOTTI
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-12-2018  /  End: 30-11-2021
Amount: £290,276

This InnovateUK KTP project will develop new ultra high energy density polymer film dielectrics for electric vehicles and reviewable energy.