Material Matters Conference - 2-3 April 2012, London

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Profile: Martin Kemp

Martin Kemp started his career in materials research on lightweight alloys and carbon fibre composites at DERA (now QinetiQ) and was awarded the Donald Julius Groen Award from IMechE for his work on Aluminium-Lithium alloys. Leading in ‘Smart’ damage detection, he developed novel damage detection and self-repair systems. His interest in marketing and communicating science led to developing an animated ‘Smart’ dragonfly as a demonstrator for the Farnborough Airshow which attracted global press interest, and an all-carbon fibre concept city car which was exhibited at major events. After a secondment to the European Commission, he spent 5 years with DTI Global Watch Service covering Western Europe and specialising technology transfer of applied nanotechnologies. Following a role in materials recycling for NISP, he joined the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) as Theme Manager Engineering Applications. He has set up industrial interest groups for sectors of engineering (HiPerNano), energy (Nano4Energy), and environment (EcoNano) and a group to connect designers and technologists – Nano4Design and is Chairman of the IOM3 Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies Committee.

Talk: Nanoengineering – what can we learn from nature?

Over the past 20 years, the significance of science and engineering at the nano-dimension has become ever more apparent. The world we sense is ‘macroscopic’ and it is hard to imagine how ‘small’ can be important, but as we learn more about the natural world we begin to understand that the amazing properties, structures and effects that nature has developed are often due to ‘natural nanoengineering’. This presentation will examine some examples of surface effects, colour, materials strength, energy control and sensing and see how we can, and are, mimicking these design principles to develop a new generation of materials and structures.