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- Professor of Materials & Society
- Dept of Mechanical Engineering
- Faculty of Engineering Science
Prof Miodownik is a materials engineer. 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. He is a Chartered Engineer and in 2014 he was elected a Fellow of 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, and he is a regular presenter of engineering TV programmes the BBC. In 2013 he was awarded the Rooke Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering. His book Stuff Matters was published in June 2013 and won the Royal Society Winton Prize.
Prof Miodownik has an international reputation as a materials engineer. His current research focus is the study of self-organising and self-healing mechanisms of materials. The work is being carried out in collaboration with experimental biologists. He has published one book and more than hundred research publications (eg. PNAS, Proc. Roy. Soc). He has obtained research grants from the BBSRC, EPSRC, NESTA, ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust and Sandia National Laboratories.
Prof Miodownik is the Director of the UCL Institute of Making which is a multidisciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to clothes, furniture to cities. Crucially the institute brings together industry and academics across the spectrum of disciplines from the humanities, to art and design, to medicine and engineering. The Institute team has organised exhibitions and events in the Hayward Gallery (18th January - 2nd April 2006, more than 50,000 visitors), Tate Modern (2006 more than 10,000 visitors), Wellcome Collection (Nov 2007, 2008), Victoria & Albert Museum (Sept 2009). The Institute’s materials library which contains more than a 1000 materials, was highlighted as innovative in a six page feature in the Financial Times, June 2009. Prof Miodownik’s report Materials for the Creative Industries, commissioned by the Technology Strategy Board and launched at the House of Lords on the 11th June 2009.
In 2004 Prof Miodownik was awarded a HEFCE Teaching Excellence Award voted for by KCL engineering students. In 2006, he was shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Engineering Innovation in Engineering Education Prize. In 2006 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in Engineering by the UK’s Higher Education Academy. He has given more than a hundred invited seminars in other educational institutions, both in the UK (eg. Oxford University, Royal College of Art) and internationally (eg. Lisboa Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Prague Design Museum). He has published several invited articles on his approach to teaching in journals such as Nature Materials and Materials Today.