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Queen Mary University of LondonQueen Mary University of London
Research menu
Current research funding in the Division of Materials Engineering
£10,209,265

Division of Materials Engineering

Research Projects

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

Cells growing at the surface of oil dropletsEngineered 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).

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 ...

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 ...

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


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

Rb-based energy materials


Principal Investigator: Haixue YAN
Funding source: CSA - China Central South University
Start: 11-07-2019  /  End: 10-07-2021
Amount: £11,500

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: 01-06-2018  /  End: 31-05-2021
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.

Development of mechanically enhanced osteoinductive synthetic bone graft substitutes


Principal Investigator: Karin HING
Funding source: Apatech Ltd
Start: 01-10-2017  /  End: 31-03-2021
Amount: £87,500

The aim of this project is to develop and test a series of bone graft substitutes with novel pore structures using a perfusion based bioreactor system with flow to waste and closed loop capabilities, that is also able to subject real bone graft substitute granules to direct mechanical perturbation. This system has been validated using human mesenchymal stem cells seeded on BGS with varied strut porosity and will be further optimised to enable screening of new structures.

Conductive ink printed on paper.All-printed thermoelectric generators


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 01-10-2017  /  End: 31-03-2021
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

HYPERTHERM - Hybrid organic-inorganic Perovskite Thermoelectrics


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 11-03-2019  /  End: 10-03-2021
Amount: £146,764

HYPERTHERM will investigate new thermoelectric materials, specifically hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites, which are solution processable (printable), abundant and low cost. These materials are well-known in their undoped form in solar cells, and there are good indications that their superb electrical and thermal properties are well-suited to thermoelectric applications. However, to become good thermoelectric materials, they must be electrically doped to increase their conductivity. The principle scientific aim of this proposal is therefore to learn how to control doping in these exciting materials to boost their thermoelectric performance.

Understanding the excited states in carbon dots and hybrids for solar fuels production


Principal Investigator: Magdalena TITIRICI
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 01-03-2018  /  End: 28-02-2021
Amount: £111,000

Cells proliferating on nanosheets self-assembled at liquid-liquid interfaces2D composites with controlled nano-mechanisms


Principal Investigator: Julien GAUTROT
Funding source: Leverhulme Trust
Start: 01-03-2018  /  End: 28-02-2021
Amount: £231,825

A long standing dogma in cell-based technologies is that bulk mechanical properties of solid substrates are essential to enable cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. However, the use of solid materials for cell culture constitutes an important hurdle for the scale up and automation of processes. We recently discovered that protein assembly at liquid-liquid interfaces results in mechanically strong protein layers sustaining cell spreading and directing fate decision. For long term culture, such interfaces lacked toughness and ruptured. This project will develop tough 2D nanocomposites assembled at oil-water interfaces and sustaining long term stem cell culture for applications in regenerative medicine.

ISCF Wave 1:Designing Electrodes for Na Ion Batteries via Structure Electrochemical Performance Correlations


Principal Investigator: Magdalena TITIRICI
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physcial Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-01-2018  /  End: 31-12-2020
Amount: £1,049,962

ATHLETE Energy Entrepreneurs Fund


Principal Investigator: Mike REECE
Funding source: BEIS Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Start: 14-05-2018  /  End: 31-12-2020
Amount: £128,015

ATHLETE will develop and demonstrate innovative thermoelectric technologies for waste heat recovery that achieves increased energy efficiency through power generation.

Facility for Materials Engineering


Principal Investigator: Mike REECE
Funding source: E.P.S.R.C.
Start: 01-04-2015  /  End: 31-12-2020
Amount: £313,840

MagMat is a unique capability in the UK for the synthesis and processing of materials in strong magnetic fields (SMF) known at MagMat.

3D Printed Osteogenic & Hierarchal Bio Mineralizing Scaffold


Principal Investigator: Alvaro MATA
Funding source: AO Foundation
Start: 01-06-2017  /  End: 30-11-2020
Amount: £114,082

The project will look to develop 3D printed polymeric scaffolds capable of acellular mineralization for enhancing integration of implants in maxillofacial applications.

Conductive organic nano-fibres.University Research Fellowship


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: The Royal Society
Start: 10-05-2015  /  End: 18-10-2020
Amount: £491,780

Organic Thermoelectrics in Multiple Structural and Transport Regimes.

Raster scanning the focusing at the tip of an imaging optical fibreTHESIS


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Co-investigator(s): Martin KNIGHT and Luming ZHAO
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 01-10-2018  /  End: 30-09-2020
Amount: £156,364

In this project, the Marie Curie Fellow will develop an optical fibre based image-guided surgery system based on the state-of-the-art optical-fibre laser technologies.

GREENCARBON


Principal Investigator: Magdalena TITIRICI
Funding source: Commission of the European Community
Start: 01-10-2016  /  End: 30-09-2020
Amount: £386,118

Micropatterned siliconesNovel Cross-linking Strategy


Principal Investigator: Julien GAUTROT
Funding source: FormFormForm Ltd
Start: 01-10-2017  /  End: 30-09-2020
Amount: £105,971

This project focuses on the design of novel crosslinking strategies for silicone materials. These will enable the design of a new generation of silicone based composites with controlle mechanical properties and displaying conductive behaviour. The project will explore the use of these materials for 3D printing.

Rb-based ferroelectric ceramics having high Curie pointRb based ferroelectrics


Principal Investigator: Haixue YAN
Funding source: CSA - China Central South University
Start: 16-07-2018  /  End: 15-07-2020
Amount: £17,000

Ferroelectrics are materials characterized by a Curie point and polarization switching. The Curie point sets the upper limit on the application of ferroelectric ceramics for piezoelectric applications. The aim of this project is develop Rb-based ferroelectric ceramics for high temperature piezoelectric applications.

Replacing Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) with next-generation graphene in electronic devices


Principal Investigator: Colin HUMPHREYS
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-01-2019  /  End: 30-06-2020
Amount: £153,002

CNP Comp 2019


Principal Investigator: Emiliano BILOTTI
Funding source: Air Force office of Scientific Research (USA)
Start: 01-07-2019  /  End: 30-06-2020
Amount: £7,658

Asphalt mixture and experiment of fracture.Bimodule material in highway construction and computational study


Principal Investigator: Pihua WEN
Funding source: Changsha University of Science and Technology
Start: 01-07-2017  /  End: 30-06-2020
Amount: £90,000

Finite element method and meshless finite block method are developed to study composites with bimodule materials.

LIGNOCAP - Lignin-derived carbon fiber flexible supercapacitors


Principal Investigator: Magdalena TITIRICI
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 01-06-2018  /  End: 31-05-2020
Amount: £146,764

Investigation of chemotaxis in modulating smart behaviour in synthetic bone graft substitutes


Principal Investigator: Karin HING
Co-investigator(s): Simon Rawlinson
Funding source: Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Start: 01-01-2015  /  End: 31-03-2020
Amount: £66,099

Silicate substituted apatite bone grafts have an enhanced capacity to stimulate bone regeneration. Moreover, altering the level of strut porosity has the capacity to confer osteoinductive behaviour to these graft materials. The aim of this project is to investigate whether these phenomena are related to more efficient cell recruitment and tasking, through (i) exchange of Ca, PO4 and SiO4 ions, and/or (ii) optimal sequestering and enrichment of native signalling molecules.

International Exchanges Scheme: China


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Funding source: The Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2017  /  End: 31-03-2020
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.

Spark plasma sintered nano structuresPerformance Enhancement of thermoelectric MgAgSb based composite from ferroelectric order


Principal Investigator: Haixue YAN
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 01-03-2018  /  End: 29-02-2020
Amount: £12,000

Composites including thermoelectric MgAgSb and ferroelectric nanoparticles (PbTiO3 and BaTiO3) will be fabricated via spark plasma sintering. The spontaneous polarization from ferroelectric ordering can tailor the carrier concentration and mobility of the matrix. In addition, ferroelectric nanoparticles can also scatter long/medium wavelength phonons, and improve the thermoelectric transport properties.

Hierarchical fibre-reinforced composites with nano-engineered interfaces for multifunctional lightweight structures


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Co-investigator(s): Emiliano BILOTTI
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 01-03-2019  /  End: 28-02-2020
Amount: £6,000

The aim of this project is to develop a multifunctional composite with integrated damage sensing, de-icing, and electromagnetic (EM) absorption capabilities based on nano-engineered interfaces, with the emphasis on lightweight engineering structures. The tailored electrical properties are utilised for in-situ damage detection based on electrical sensing method, as well as the EM absorption and de-icing applications.

Thin polymer films and surface functionalisation chemistry.


Principal Investigator: Pankaj VADGAMA
Funding source: Camstech Ltd, Campus Technology Hub,
Start: 15-10-2018  /  End: 31-12-2019
Amount: £3,109

Polymer thin films are being coated on optically active silver and gold nanoparticles for hand held biosensing.

Impact of Physiogel on tribological properties and structural integrity of the skin


Principal Investigator: Julien GAUTROT
Funding source: GSK GlaxoSmithKline UK Ltd
Start: 01-09-2018  /  End: 30-11-2019
Amount: £144,385

Bifunctional Hybrid Electrocatalysts


Principal Investigator: Ana JORGE SOBRIDO
Funding source: E.P.S.R.C.
Start: 01-12-2017  /  End: 30-11-2019
Amount: £101,061

The high cost of the noble metal catalysts employed in energy devices is one of the major drawbacks to their full development and exploitation. There are many reports new materials that can overcome state-of-the-art limitations. However, not much research has been done to understand the structure-property relationships to allow an improved performance. This project aims to create transition metal perovskite/nitrogen-doped carbon electrospun nanofibres as alternative cost-efficient bifunctional electrocatalysts to replace noble metals in energy conversion and storage devices. At the same time, we will develop new in situ studies that will allow a deeper understanding of the structure-property relationships allowing for further optimisation.

MASSIVEMASSIVE Materials


Principal Investigator: Mike REECE
Funding source: E.P.S.R.C.
Start: 31-03-2014  /  End: 30-09-2019
Amount: £702,880

The MASSIVE project will develop scale-up manufacturing capability and know-how for the synthesis, processing and manufacture of un-commercialised thermoelectric, piezoelectric and related materials and devices, which contain volatile and air-sensitive elements and compounds, with engineered nano- and non-equilibrium phases and structures.

EPSRC - MASSIVE - flash-sps of functional ceramics


Principal Investigator: Mike REECE
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 02-07-2018  /  End: 30-09-2019
Amount: £77,525

The MASSIVE project will develop scale-up manufacturing capability and know-how for the synthesis, processing and manufacture of un-commercialised thermoelectric, piezoelectric and related materials and devices, which contain volatile and air-sensitive elements and compounds, with engineered nano- and non-equilibrium phases and structures.

Bridgestone TyreBridgestone Rubber Research


Principal Investigator: James BUSFIELD
Funding source: Bridgestone Corporation
Start: 01-10-2018  /  End: 30-09-2019
Amount: £5,768

This grant supports the work of the soft matter group in investigating the nature of the polymer filler interactions that are present in tyre compounds.

self-assembly of a small-molecule semiconductorInternational Exchanges Scheme: Italy


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: The Royal Society
Start: 01-03-2017  /  End: 31-08-2019
Amount: £12,000

The purpose of this project is to develop a deep understanding of the role selfassembly in tuning thermoelectric properties of organic materials. Organic thermoelectric materials are heavily doped organic semiconductors. Despite their propensity for self-assembly into a range of intriguing morphologies, this mechanism has not been fully investigated and developed in the context of thermoelectrics.