Dr Pola G. Oppenheimer is Reader in Micro-Engineering and Bio-Nanotechnology, and a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering and the Healthcare Technologies Institute (HTI).
Dr Oppenheimer’s research interests lie in nano and submicron structure formation (please see the group website: Advanced Nano-Materials, Structures and Applications) at surfaces and in thin films, including pioneering the potential use of hierarchical electrohydrodynamically generated functional structures to develop novel polymer-based nano-detection devices. She brings detailed expertise in creating and aligning a wide range of nanostructures in polymers, carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites, crystalline materials and a synergistic interest in biomimetics, including the use of polymers with 10-nm morphologies as templates to create inorganic functional devices.
She received her PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge in 2012, during which time she received the Springer Doctoral Award, Switzerland, in recognition of scientific excellence of young researchers through an outstanding PhD thesis. On leaving Cambridge in August 2013, she was awarded a University of Birmingham Fellowship at the School of Chemical Engineering. In 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship as well as major funding from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratories to support her pioneering research. Demonstrating her international recognition in the field, since 2013, she has given 13 invited seminars on her work in the UK, 10 invited talks at leading academic institutions conferences and companies across EU and internationally including, at UCL and Imperial College, University of Cambridge, Weizmann Institute, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, MRS, USA, Nice, France and has been invited to act as an external PhD examiner at the Universities of Southampton and Chalmers.
During her career Dr Oppenheimer has also been the recipient of several prestigious awards and markers of esteem and recognition. For instance, in 2017 she was invited to attend the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee, UK Parliament, London representing Early Career Researchers and the Royal Academy of Engineering on an enquiry into ‘Voice of the Future’, including an in-depth session by Government Ministers of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. She has won a number of other awards including, The Royal Academy of Engineering Award (2016), Female Faces of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK (2014) and Award in Leadership and Management, University of Cambridge, UK (2012), awarded by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge as a recognition of excellent leadership and management skills. In 2018, she was featured in the University's Healthcare Technologies Birmingham Heroes campaign.