EPS: Spring Round-up 2022

Revisiting the achievements within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences from Spring 2022.

The year is halfway through and the Faculty is delighted to have made some excellent progress. From receiving fellowships and winning grants to working on some interesting projects, the academics in this faculty have had a great year so far. 

Below is a round-up of some of the achievements and news of note from this spring: 

  • Following the award of a £1.1m grant from EPSRC, Professor Fiona Meldrum has established a major new national facility for analysis and crystallization in flow systems.

    ‘Flow-Xl’, located in purposebuilt facilities in the School of Chemistry, enables in situ, timeresolved characterisation of crystallisation processes in highly controlled environments. This is achieved by coupling Xray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy to a range of fullyintegrated flow platforms. These analytical techniques are being used simultaneously to study crystallisation pathways from amorphous and poorly crystalline precursor materials, through crystalline intermediates, to the ultimate crystal products.

    This combined capability is not currently available anywhere else in the world.

  • A ground-breaking project to develop a new polyester dyeing technology has beaten more than 240 projects in a competition to win a share of the Circular Future Fund.

    The Circular Future Fund is an initiative run by John Lewis Partnership in partnership with environmental charity Hubbub. Each year the fund awards £1 million to pioneering projects that are working to create a circular economy – one which eliminates waste and pollution, circulates products and materials, and regenerates nature.

    The prize will allow Leeds researchers to further explore the creation of a circular economy for polyester and the ability to recycle it, as well as assessing the economic and environmental benefits of what has been dubbed the “polyester-infinity loop”. It builds on research by The Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour working alongside the Wolfson CO2 Laboratory in the School of Chemistry

  • Professor Dwayne Heard was elected as President of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • Professor Richard Bourne was appointed Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow in Digital Manufacturing and Discovery of Pharmaceuticals. 

  • Shoma Kitayama, supervised by Ornella Iuorio, received a prestigious Alan Turing Institute Postdoctoral Enrichment Award to advance AI in circular economy 

  • Michael Brockdorff (presenter) and the rest of the magnetic tentacle team at the STORM Lab received the Best Paper Award at the 2022 edition of the Conference on New Technologies for Computer and Robot Assisted Surgery (CRAS) in Naples for the work "Dual-Arm Platform for Control of Magnetically Actuated Soft Robots”.

  • Prof. Leon Black, Prof. Susan Bernal Lopez and Dr Alastair Marsh, in collaboration with Imperial College London, the British Geological Survey and seven industry partners have been awarded an £2.1M grant by EPSRC on ‘Engineered UK clays for production of low-carbon cements’.

    In summary, the research team and their industrial partners will develop new cements from locally sourced low-grade waste clays to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of concrete and ensure performance along the entire lifetime of infrastructure. This will help the UK to deliver on its plans to decarbonise and achieve a net-zero economy. 

  • On 2nd March 2022, 16 students from the University of Leeds delivered presentations on their final year Integrated Design Projects (IDP’s) to WSP, a major firm of international multi-disciplinary consulting engineers, at their Leeds office at White Rose Office Park, Leeds.

    This module, which is supervised by David Richardson from the School of Civil Engineering, was co-supervised by staff from the London head-office of WSP who, amongst other buildings, were the structural designers of the ‘Shard’, the tallest building in Europe.

    This year, as part of their IDP, the MEng finalists on all Civil Engineering Programmes had the task, in groups, of designing a brand-new town on the London to Birmingham HS2 route, including the design of an HS2 station, town accommodation, major utilities and transport systems.

    After submitting their holistic design reports, in their groups, the students delivered presentations of their proposals to UoL and WSP staff, with the top three groups selected to deliver their presentations to senior staff from WSP in their Leeds office in a ‘finalist’ event. Groups 4, 10 and 12 were selected as finalists to re-deliver their presentations to WSP, with Group 4 being declared overall winner.

    All finalists received a personalised certificate to celebrate their achievement with the winning group members also receiving a copy of the award-winning book ‘Sketching for Engineers and Architects’ by Ron Slade. After the presentations a drinks celebration took place at Water Lane Boathouse in Leeds.

    This event is one of the highlights for our Level 4 Engineering students and this year, as ever, it lived up to expectations.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.