Physical Sciences

Understanding how ‘grain boundaries’ cause the structural integrity of materials fail

After receiving a Young Investigator Program award from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Dr Srikanth Patala and his research team at North Carolina State University have studied the impact of ‘grain boundaries’ on the structural integrity of many materials used in critical applications. This includes materials commonly found in jet engine turbine blades, nuclear power stations and internal […]

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Physical Sciences

Crystal clear: how topography affects crystal formation

Dr Hugo Christenson is a Reader in the Molecular and Nanoscale Physics Group at the University of Leeds. His present research interests lie in crystallisation – an important process across multiple areas of science. Specifically, Dr Christenson’s work provides in-depth insight into why crystals first form in topographical defects, like cracks and crevices. Have you ever sat on a park […]

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Physical Sciences

From ears to engineering

Sometimes the solutions to engineering questions have already been answered – by animals! Rather than ‘reinvent the wheel,’ therefore, Professor James Windmill and his lab team at the University of Strathclyde choose to learn from some of the remarkable feats of engineering found in the natural world. In particular, his research focuses on using ideas from insect hearing to develop […]

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