Departmental News and Press Articles from before 2010


Press Articles

  • Probing mind - Article from The Engineer, 11 March 2005 - PDF~900kb PDFlogo
  • 3-D atom probe wins award for innovative measurement, Oxford University News, 24th Nov 2004
  • Researchers in record books by creating the smallest 'test tubes' known to science. BBC news, 24 November 2004, PDF~ 75kb PDFlogo
  • Commercial and military funding could jeopardise benefits of nanotechnology, from BA PDF~ 2.7Mb PDFlogo
  • Working on the Edge - Article from The Engineer, 23 July 2004 - PDF~178kb PDFlogo
  • No more Moore's Law? From BBC World, 22 July 2004 - PDF~102kb PDFlogo
  • Oxford Materials top again! - Article from The Times May 2003
  • Enterprising future for Oxford - Article from Materials Today March 2002 PDF~1Mb PDFlogo

Department News

Biannual newsletter - OCAMAC News PDFlogo

May 2007

Dr Vlado Lazarov awarded one of the Royal Academy of Engineering/EPSRC Research Fellowships for 2007.

March 2007

Richard Beal has won the South East IOM3 Student Lecture Competition and now goes through to the national final.

January 2007

James Minshull from St. Edmund Hall has been awarded by the IOM3 the A T Green award for the best ceramics graduate of 2006.

July 2006

In the University's 2006 Recognition of Distinctions exercise two members of the department have been successful. Steve Roberts has been promoted to Professor of Materials and Peter Wilshaw has been promoted to Reader in Materials.

March 2006

Helen Marsh is the winner of the 2006 Hetherington Prize for her talk entitled 'Strontium Titanate Nanophases'.

Professor George Smith has been awarded the Platinum Medal for 2006 from The Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining.

Professor George Smith has been elected as a member of the European Academy of Science and Arts.

February 2006

Emeritus Professor Sir Peter Hirsch has been awarded the highest prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the 2005 Lomonosov Large Gold Medal, for his distinguished work on the 'Physics of solid state strength and plasticity'

Mark Jones has won the Ironmongers' Prize of £200 for the best poster in the 'Public Understanding' category for his poster entitled 'Atomic Cages, Peapods and the Carbon Nanoworld'.

Denys Wahl has won the Rolls Royce Prize of £200 for the best poster in the 'Scientific Conference' category for his poster entitled 'Collagen-Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds for Hard Tissue Engineering with a predefined architecture and shape'.

Dunstan Barnes and Sarah Haigh are the 2 winners of the local heats of the IOM3 Lecture Competition.

September 2005

Dr. Martin Castell appointed as University Lecturer in association with Linacre College.

The Department of Materials has recently been awarded a £1.7m grant from the DTI MNT Capital Programme to enhance the capabilities for the characterisation of micro and nano scale materials and will build on the facilities already available at Begbroke. Equipment already delivered includes an imaging infrared microscope and a nano test platform for mechanical measurements. Further installations of equipment are expected in the coming months, and will include new XPS and XRF facilities.

Oxford Materials Characterization Service (OMCS) has been awarded a UK Micro and NanoTechnology Network (MNT) Quality Mark. The objective of the Quality Mark is to benchmark development and implementation of best practice and to set standards of performance and achievement for micro and nanotech involved companies. Five companies have achieved this 'Seal of Approval' and Dr Alison Crossley will accept this award on behalf of the OMCS team on Thursday 29th September at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.

August 2005

Dr Marino Galano and Dr Catherine Bishop appointed as Career Development Fellows.

July 2005

Professor Amanda Petford-Long has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

David Deak, a PhD student from the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford, has won this year's Institute of Materials Literature Review prize. David's research project uses scanning tunnelling microscopy to investigate linear nanostructures on the surface of strontium titanate. A modified version of his review will be published in the leading Institute journal, Materials Science and Technology. As an undergraduate, David specialised in NanoEngineering, which was a new stream of study within the Engineering Science programme at the University of Toronto, Canada.

June 2005

Professor David Pettifor has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list 'for services to science'.

Dr. Angus Wilkinson appointed as University Lecturer in association with St Cross College.

Dr. David Bucknall appointed by the Division as a Visiting Lecturer.

May 2005

Professor Sir Peter Hirsch has been elected by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in its 225th Class as a Foreign Honorary Member of the Academy.

April 2005

Kyriakos Porfyrakis and Hazel Assender have won the Institute of Materials Alan Glanville Award 'for a paper published by the Institute of particular merit in the field of polymers'. The awrad is for their paper entitled 'Mesoscale modelling of processing rubber-toughened acrylic polymers' which was published in 2004 in the journal Plastics, Rubber and Composites.

Susannah Speller and Amit Kohn have been elected by the Royal Academy of Engineering to prestigious five-year research fellowships.

March 2005

Angus Kirkland awarded the title of Professor of Materials (Image Analysis), because of his international distinction in this field. He has also been pre-appointed to the substantive post of University Lecturer in Materials, which he will take up with effect from 1 October 2007.

Sarah Haigh has won the local round of the IoM3 lecture competition with her talk on 'Magnesium Diboride: the hottest low temperature superconductor'.

Kat Smart has won the IoM3 photo competition, with David Deak and Amit Kohn coming joint second.

Feb 2005

Professor Colin English of BNFL appointed as a Visiting Professor for three years.

Professor Chris Grovenor elected to be Head of Department for five years from 1st October 2005.

Nov 2004

Dr. Ralf Drautz has been apointed the new Materials Modelling Laboratory Research Fellow for five years from a very strong field of applicants. He did his doctorate at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Metallforschung in Stuttgart and is currently funded by DARPA to develop interatomic bond-order potentials for modelling the growth of spintronic materials. He is involved with Professor David Cockayne's group in determining the structure and composition of amorphous intergranular films in silicon nitride ceramics and with Dr. Steve Roberts' multiscale modelling project on materials for fusion reactors.

Oct 2004

Professor George Smith, Professor Alfred Cerezo and Terry Godfrey awarded the 2004 UK 'Innovative Measurement Award', for the invention and subsequent successful commercial exploitation of the 3-dimensional atom probe. Oxford nanoScience, the spin-out company set up for development of this instrument, is now part of Polaron plc, which was floated on the London Stock Market at the end of March 2004. The National Measurement Awards are sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry, and managed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Sept 2004

Alexis Vlandas, a PhD student from the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford, has won this year's Perspectives poster competition at the BA Festival of Science, expressing his concerns over research into nanotechnology. 'Commercial and military funding could jeopardise benefits of nanotechnology', argues award winner PDF~ 2.7MbPDFlogo

Two Part II students , Sarah Haigh and Stuart Boden, were short-listed for the 2004 Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year awards. At the ceremony on 20th September in the Guildhall in London, the Morgan Crucible Award for the best Materials student in the UK, 2004, was awarded to Sarah Haigh.

July 2004

Chris Grovenor awarded the title of Professor of Materials as a result of the 2004 Recognition of Distinction exercise.

TEOX, a new spin-out company from the Department of Materials, was the winner of the £20,000 Apax Prize for presenting the most fundable business plan in the Oxford University Business Plan Competition 2004. This news featured in BBC TV South Today on Wednesday 30 June, and in the 2 July edition of the 'Oxford Times', and also features on the University's website news page at The research for the winning TEOX business plan, led by Dr Jan Czernuszka in collaboration with Dr Terry Sachlos, has developed a new type of bone substitute for grafting operations, which more closely mimics real bone than the products currently available. The business side of TEOX is led by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sandy Primrose, strongly assisted by Dr Goslik Schepers at Isis Innovation. The Oxford University Business Plan Competition is the largest technology-focused competition in the UK and many former entrants have used it as a launch pad to raise investment and form successful commercial ventures. The competition is open to all entrepreneurs and is judged by a panel of specialist technology investors.

Award of a £270k grant from the HEFCE Capital Project Fund for the refurbishment of our undergraduate teaching laboratory.

Successful completion of the first stage of our e-science project on remote microscopy - linking a scanning electron microscope up to the web, and enabling it to be operated remotely (e.g. in schools) by use of a simple PC mouse-based interface.

Completion of the final stages of the £8 million JIF project at Begbroke, to establish the Institute for Industrial Materials and Manufacturing.

Commissioning of the world's highest performance electron microscope at Begbroke.

June 2004

Dr Jeremy Sloan, has received an FEI European Microscopy Award 2004 for
Physical/Materials Sciences and Optics. This was awarded by the Executive Board of
the European Microscopy Society after deliberation by a Jury of six eminent
microscopists. The award will be presented at the European Microscopy
Congress in Antwerp, in August this year, and, as winner, Jeremy will
deliver a keynote lecture during a special plenary session for the purpose.

May 2004

Professor George Smith FRS awarded the Acta Materialia 2005 Gold Medal.

Launch of the Quantum Information Processing Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, the national hub of which is based in the Department, with Professor Andrew Briggs as Director. This £10 million project officially began on 1st April this year.


April 2004

Dr Angus Kirkland, jointly with Professor Malcolm Green (Chemistry), has been successful in obtaining a £1.006 million Basic Technologies research grant from the UK Research Councils, for a molography project. This is a major success both for our high resolution electron microscopy team, and for our very active and productive partnership with Malcolm Green and colleagues in the Chemistry Department on carbon nanotube research.

Judith Waller, a recent MSoM graduate who did her final-year project on polymers at Princeton University under the auspices of the Oxford-Princeton universities link arrangement, has won two national awards. The first is the National R H Craven Prize for the best graduate in the field of Polymers, awarded by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in November 2003. This is a national competitive prize, awarded annually by the Institute. The second is a runner-up prize in the SET for Europe poster presentation competition for young scientists at the House of Commons that was held earlier in March 2004. The subject of her poster was shear alignment of diblock copolymers.

DPhil student Marina Galano has won this year's Niobium Student Research Award, in international open competition, for her paper and oral presentation on Nb as a refiner and stabilizer of microstructure of new Al-based nanoquasicrystalline alloys. This award competition is sponsored by Niobium Products Co, GmbH, in Duesseldorf, on behalf of its parent company CBMM in Brazil. The award is worth GBP 1,500 to an outstanding student researcher for his/her efforts in the field of niobium, and in addition the University receives a cash prize. The countries to whose students this year's competition was open were: UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece. The award itself was presented in collaboration with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, London. For more information on CBMM and NPC, see their website,

Sarah Haigh, a Part II MS student at St Anne's College,has won the prize for the best poster overall at the UK 2004 Materials Congress for her poster on the topic of high resolution chemical analysis in MgB2 superconductors.

DPhil student Claire Hinchliffe has won an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from Zonta International: 'Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global service organization of executives in business and the professions working together, across political and social boundaries to advance the status of women worldwide. The Amelia Earhart Fellowships were established in 1938 in honor of Amelia Earhart, famed pilot and Zontian, to promote women in aeronautics, science or engineering.' The Fellowship is worth $6,000 and is in recognition of Claire's work in functional materials processing for aerospace applications, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. Claire did her first degree and her MEng here in the Department, and then worked in industry for a couple of years before returning in October 2002 to begin her DPhil research under Professor Patrick Grant, sponsored by Rolls-Royce.

March 2004

A consortium composed of Steve Roberts and David Pettifor (Oxford), Mike Finnis (Queen's, Belfast), David Bacon (Liverpool), Graeme Ackland (Edinburgh), Harry Bhadeshia (Cambridge) and Sergei Dudarev (UKAEA Culham) have been successful in their bid for an EPSRC grant "Predictive modelling of mechanical properties of materials for fusion power plants"; the total value of the grant is £1.1M. The four-year project will involve interlinked modelling at all scales from interatomic bonding to the dislocation mechanics of fracture, It is to run in association with a £750k experimental programme at Oxford, under Steve Roberts and Mike Jenkins, funded by UKAEA Culham. See more...

Dr. Patrick Grant awarded the Cookson Chair of Materials (renamed to Vesuvius Chair of Materials in 2014). He has an outstanding track record of success in the materials processing field and will provide international quality leadership in this important area of our activities.

October 2003

Department of Materials awarded 6* status by RAE interim review.