Alison Davenport


I am delighted to introduce this latest edition of the School’s alumni newsletter.

This year, as last, the School has expanded and we have made some exciting new appointments to the academic staff. Dr Sandy Knowles has joined us as a lecturer specialising in nuclear materials with a particular interest in superalloys. He has also recently been awarded a very competitive and prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship for five years to develop his research. Dr Richard Sheridan, who is an alumnus of the School, has been appointed a lecturer in magnetic materials and contributes to the burgeoning research activity in magnets recycling as well as being Deputy Senior Tutor. Professor Emma Kendrick has been appointed to a Chair in Energy Materials and brings both academic and industrial experience in advanced battery development and manufacturing. Dr Dan Reed is another new lecturer who brings expertise in energy storage and materials chemistry. He is also Director of the EPS Foundation Year. Another alumnus Dr Sam Cruchley has returned to the School as a lecturer after spells in industry. His interests include oxidation, mechanical properties of materials and materials education. Sam is also currently Deputy Head of Education in the School as well as National Chair of the Younger Members’ Committee of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. Finally we are very pleased to have appointed Professor Andy Haasz to a part-time chair where his many years of senior design experience with Rolls-Royce will help us greatly with our Aerospace Engineering course. Within existing staff Alessandro Mottura has been promoted to be Professor of Physical Metallurgy and Dr Mayorkinos Papaelias has become a Reader in NDT and Condition Monitoring. We are also sad to announce the passing of Professor Hugh Evans this Spring. Hugh was an outstanding researcher in the field of high temperature oxidation, and is very much missed.

Our students have also succeeded across a broad front. In addition to performing well in our three undergraduate programmes of Materials Science and Engineering, Nuclear Engineering and Aerospace Engineering they have contributed and led activities in the many EPS student societies. Details of Societies' Awards won in 2019 are included in the newsletter, congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted. This year we also instituted a new prize in memory of Professor Ray Smallman (through the generosity of his family) for the best student in the undergraduate programmes with an interest in physical metallurgy. The first award was won by Tim Williams.

We received an interesting note from 1990 MEng alumnus Dr Kate McKenna (formerly Currie) occasioned by the imminent arrival of her son George as an undergraduate in the School this autumn. She notes that lawyers and medical doctors often produce children who follow the same career as their parents but wonders about materials engineers. In her case, after some years in industry as an engineer, Kate retrained in medicine and is now a GP in Hampshire – however George will study Materials!

In terms of research: Help and advice to commercialise your research

In January our Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, Dr Adrian Burden, started a series of Tech Entrepreneurship seminars at which invited guests have been speaking about their own experiences of starting and growing technology-based ventures.  

Adrian explains, "Often the best way to learn about entrepreneurship is to hear about the mistakes, the strategies and the successes of other founders and business leaders. Even if they have been involved in very different businesses to the one you are working on, their insights will be invaluable and much of what they have learnt will translate usefully to your own unique situation."

Research Grant - SUSMAGPRO

Allan Walton, Rustam Stolkin, Mike Jenkins and Richard Sheridan are co-investigators on this Horizon 2020 funded project, due to commence mid-2019. The core aim of the project will be the production of permanent magnets made of recycled material. SUSMAGPRO will provide the technology to mine the tons of magnets present in millions of devices in Europe and ensure that they are recycled effectively and competitively. Four pilot plants that cover the entire value chain of reprocessing - from robotic sorting, separation and magnet / alloy production to new permanent magnets made of recycled material - will be developed. 

The project consists of 20 European partners and will run for 4 years, with total consortium funding of almost €15m. The project bid scored 15 points when evaluated by the European Commission, the maximum score available.

And finally, a big thank you to the 35 Metallurgy & Materials alumni who have kindly volunteered with the School over the last academic year. This includes 12 mentors, 9 guest speakers offering careers advice and 4 graduates featuring at Open Days or outreach events. Thank you, you've made a real impact here! If you'd like to get involved too, please get in touch with our Alumni Relations Manager, Grace Surman on

With very best wishes,

Alison Davenport
Head of School

Read the 2019 Metallurgy and Materials Alumni Newsletter here.