On Tuesday 8 December 2015 the College welcomed over 650 guests to hear Professor Mark Midowonik, materials scientist and engineer, broadcaster and author, deliver the second annual EPS Christmas Lecture. In his lecture Mark reveals the changes to the material world that are coming our way, from bionic people with synthetic organs to living buildings and objects that heal themselves.
Whatever people think about the rapid pace of change of technology, our most fundamental categorization of stuff on the planet has not altered: there are living things that we call life, and there is non-living stuff that we call rocks, tools, buildings and so on. As a result of our greater understanding of matter, this distinction is now becoming blurred and is likely to usher in a new materials age. Bionic people with synthetic organs, bones and even brains will be the norm. Just as we are becoming more synthetic, so our man-made environment is changing to become more lifelike: living buildings, and objects that heal-themselves are on the horizon. Here Mark reviews the changes to the material world that are coming our way.
The lecture has been recorded in full for your enjoyment:
Professor Mark Miodownik
Professor Mark Miodownik is the UCL Professor of Materials & Society. He received his Ph.D in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials engineer in the USA, Ireland and the UK. For more than ten years he has championed materials research that links the arts and humanities to medicine, engineering and materials science. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making where he is Director and runs the research programme (www.instituteofmaking.org.uk). Prof Miodownik is a well known author and broadcaster. He regularly presents BBC TV programmes on engineering which have reached millions of viewers in more than 200 countries and was a resident scientist on Dara O'Briain's Science Club. In 2013 he was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke Medal, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014. He is author of Stuff Matters which won the Royal Society Winton Prize in 2014.
The EPS Christmas Lecture
The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) launched its Christmas lecture in December 2014. The annual series welcomes esteemed scientists and engineers to speak to students, staff, alumni and friends of the University of Birmingham to celebrate the enormous impact of scientific innovation.
The lecture series is organised by the College Alumni Relations team. More information on the EPS Community is available online here.