From Micro to Nano and Back Again

Droplet on a natural fibre under the light microscope. Image credit: Dr Beth Mottershead

  • Plymouth Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building

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The speaker for this Engineering Research Seminar is Steve Eichhorn, Chair in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol.

Research into natural cellulosic fibre-based composites has grown significantly in the last 20 years. The potential for using natural fibres as replacements for conventional fibres such as glass presents itself with advantages such as environmental and specific mechanical performance. More recently there has been a lot of interest in cellulose nanofibers for the same purpose. This talk will give a critical assessment of these opportunities as well as some research carried out in the group on developing and understanding the physical and interfacial properties of cellulose fibres, both using materials at the micro and nanoscales. More recently it will be shown that processes, such as layer-by-layer, liquid crystalline self-assembly and aggregation could potentially be used to produce high performance fibres and composites.

Speaker biography

Steve Eichhorn graduated in Physics from the University of Leeds in 1993 and subsequently completed a masters degree in Paper and Forestry Industries Technology at Bangor and UMIST in 1994/95. He then went on to do a PhD degree, graduating in 1999 on the subject of the "Deformation Micromechanics of Regenerated Cellulose Fibres". His academic appointments have been as a temporary Lecturer in the Department of Paper Science (then separate from the School of Materials) in 1997-98 and as a Visiting Research Scientist from 1998-99. After this period he went to work under the supervision of Professor Bob Young FREng FRS as a postdoctoral research associate (1999-2002) and was appointed as a Lecturer in the Materials Science Centre in 2002, and subsequently Senior Lecturer and Reader. In 2011 he took up a position at the University of Exeter as a Professor in Materials Science. He was the Head of Engineering at Exeter from 2014-17. In September 2017 he took up his present position as a Chair in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol. Professor Eichhorn is a Fellow of the ACS Cellulose and Renewable Materials division and its current Chair (2017-19). He is a member of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Institute of Materials and of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Professor Eichhorn was the winner of the 2011 Rosenhain Medal and Award from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He was also the 2017 winner of the Hayashi Jisuke Prize from the Japanese Cellulose Society.

This seminar is open to all and no booking is required. Please contact john.summerscales@plymouth.ac.uk for any queries.

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