Mark Miodownik

Professor Mark Miodownik is an engineer and materials scientist at UCL. He received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University in 1996. Before joining UCL in Feb 2012 he worked in engineering research institutions in the USA, Ireland, and in the UK. He was included in the The Times 2010 list of the top 100 most influential people in science. In 2013 he was awarded the Rooke Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Prof. Miodownik regularly gives popular talks on engineering and materials to TV, radio, festival, and school audiences. He gave the 2010 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and presented a three part BBC4 series on materials science called "How it Works" in Spring 2012. He writes for The Guardian and The Times, he has made many radio programmes for BBC Radio 4, he is a regular engineering presenter for the BBC TV and is a member of the RCUK Public Engagement Strategic Advisory Team. His book "Stuff Matters" was published in June 2013.

Prof. Miodownik will be giving an after dinner talk at Hermes 2014 on his experiences of science communication.


Craig Carter

Making Materials from Materials Computations

As computational materials scientists, we can simulate a large variety of materials processes and structures. Our numerical results often produce compelling images and videos which have an aesthetic qualities, and it is generally appreciated that there is an art and craft in transforming numerical results into compelling images. Furthermore, We have a large toolset of algorithms and methods that possess their own aesthetic elegance. In the last several years in collaboration with the artist Neri Oxman, I've been using existing techniques of materials simulation and developing new algorithms to produce material objects created by additive manufacturing and numerically controlled machining. The results have been exhibited at MoMa, the Modern Art Museum in Paris, the Smithsonian, the Paris Haute Couture Fashion show, and many other venues. I will describe some examples of simulation algorithms and numerical techniques that have been used to produce a few of the objects that Neri Oxman and I have produced.

To see an interview with Craig about how to become a professor in Materials Science click here.


Peter Gumbsch

Mechanics of Materials: Where Kinematics and Kinetics Rule

Fracture, plastic deformation, fatigue or wear are all phenomena where materials are driven very far away from thermodynamic equilibrium. The kinematically-limited kinetic (dynamic) evolution of the material microstructure plays the central role in all cases. We analyse in this class the case of plastic deformation of metals and work out the necessary ingredients for a multiscale modelling environment. At the core of a physics-based modelling of plastic deformation is the (materials-specific) description of the motion of individual dislocations. We go through the essential elements of such a discrete dislocation dynamics (DDD) simulation and analyse a few application examples. These will get to the origin of size-effects and phenomena like "anomalous" slip.

Nicola Marzari

Sharon Glotzer

Materials Discovery and Design through Shape and Entropy

Entropy plays an important role in soft matter.  In colloidal matter in particular, entropy maximization can drive the self assembly of complex structures rivaling even the most beautiful of atomic and molecular crystals. In this Masterclass, we discuss entropy and its relation to shape and assembly.  We show how computer simulations predict the emergence of effective entropic forces that are directional and induce "bonding" between neighboring particles. We present examples of experimental instantiations of these predictions, and describe design rules or "heuristics" for particle shape optimized for assembly into target structures.

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Nicola Marzari

Materials from first-principles: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Nicola Marzari currently holds the chair of Theory and Simulation of Materials (aka THEOS) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. Before that, he was at the University of Oxford, as Statutory Professor of Materials Modelling, and at MIT, both as a Toyota Professor of Materials Engineering, and as a Honda driver. Earlier, there were Princeton, Rutgers, Cambridge (PhD), and Trieste (Laurea). Maybe a stint with the US Navy. He speaks fluently Fortran77, and some Italian. He never got any awards, but he rationalizes this by saying he is not really into them - although in 2008 he was named as the first, and last, RP Feynman Professor of Nanoscience at the University of Addis Ababa.

This is what he writes on his official documents: "Understand, predict, and design the properties of complex materials and devices from first-principles simulations: our research is dedicated to the development and application of computational modelling to outstanding problems in materials science, using quantum-mechanical descriptions of interacting electrons and nuclei that are verified and validated against experimental results and higher-order theories. This computational laboratory allows us to characterise or predict materials’ properties directly from first-principles simulations, to screen or design new materials and devices with high-throughput calculations, and to connect microscopic and atomistic structure to macroscopic performance. On the development side, we have focused efforts on moving beyond functional theories of the density in electronic-structure simulations, on large scale or multiscale simulations, on electrical and thermal transport, on high-throughput materials screening, and on computational spectroscopies. On the applications' side, we work primarily on energy harvesting, conversion, and storage, and on nanotechnology, with applications to pristine and functionalised carbon nanotubes, graphene, and other 2D materials, fuel-cell, lithium- battery, and hydrogen-storage materials, ferroelectrics and thermoelectrics, organic photovoltaics, and biomimetic catalysts. We contribute to the development and maintenance of open-source computational infrastructures that are state-of-the-art in first- principles electronic-structure modelling (http://www.wannier.orghttp://www.quantum-espresso.org), and also actively transmit this knowledge to students, collaborators, and the wider scientific community worldwide with an outreach activity of electronic-structure classes, schools, workshops, and online material."