Top awards for plastic and ceramic research at Queen Mary

Two top scientific prizes have been awarded to academics from the School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary University of London.

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Professors Mike Reece (far left) and Ton Peijs (second right) with research team
Professors Mike Reece (far left) and Ton Peijs (second right) with research team

At a ceremony later this year, Professor Ton Peijs will receive one of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining's (IOM3) Premier Awards; the Swinburne Medal and Professor Mike Reece the Verulam Medal and Prize.

Presented not more than once every two years, the Swinburne Medal recognises outstanding contribution to the advancement and knowledge of any field related to the science, engineering or technology of plastics.  Since 1960, its esteemed winners have been celebrated at the Swinburne Lecture, named after Sir James Swinburne (1858-1958) who is regarded as the 'Father of the British Plastics Industry'.

Professor Peijs' research interests cover the processing, performance and potential applications of polymers and their (nano)composite materials - new plastics designed to be stronger, lighter and more durable than current materials. He focuses his efforts on structure and physical properties of novel plastics, including multi-functional nanocomposites, high performance fibres, 'green' composites based on renewable resources, and fully recyclable single-polymer composites. These materials have uses in applications ranging from automotive to smart packaging and textiles.

The Verulam Medal and Prize is awarded in recognition of Professor Mike Reece's distinguished contributions in the field of ceramic materials, specifically for his work on the processing and properties of structural and functional ceramics. This includes the development of materials that are used in computer memories, fusion reactors; and thermoelectric generators that convert waste heat energy into useful electrical energy.

Professors Peijs and Reece are also directors of Nanoforce Technology Ltd., a spin-out company owned by Queen Mary, University of London. They are working with researchers at the company to commercialise the results of their research.

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Mark Fuller
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