MERI Research Symposium 2017: Celebrating diversity, research and innovation

MERI Research Symposium 2017: Celebrating diversity, research and innovation

Sunday 02 July 2017

The Materials and Engineering Research Institute's 7th Annual Symposium was held on 16th and 17th May 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University. Students and staff from MERI and the Department of Engineering and Mathematics had the opportunity to get together and discuss current research projects and innovation.

More than 100 delegates attended a varied programme of talks over the course of the two days. The event was opened by Professor Alan Smith, Director of MERI, who hailed the event as an excellent showcase for the broad range and high quality of research which takes place across the Institute. 

The highlight of the first day was a professorial lecture on 'Negative reactions: auxetics and related materials which do the opposite of what you expect' by Professor Andy Alderson. Andy’s talk provided a historical overview and future prospects in aerospace, healthcare and sporting goods sectors for his research into negative Poisson’s ratio materials (so-called auxetic materials which expand when stretched), and in the process pointed out similarities and differences with other unusual materials such as negative stiffness (become longer in response to a compressive force) and negative thermal expansion (contract on heating).

As part of the Symposium, prizes were awarded to students who gave presentations and presented posters at the event. Congratulations go to


1st Prize

Mirjam Skof – Doped TiO2 as substitute for indium tin oxide in transparent conductive coatings

Runner-up – 2nd place

Patrick Saleh – Vision navigation system to control and manoeuvre unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)

Runner-up – 3rd place

Hadi Al-Sagur – Development of biosensors using graphene-based composites


PhD 1st Prize – Judges Vote

James Dodwell – The role of the catalyst in the oxygen evolution reaction in proton exchange membrane water electrolysis

PhD Runner up – Judges Vote

Matthew Haire – Bio-inspired artificial nest-site selection swarm simulation and potential applications

PhD - Public Vote

Prince Rautiyal – Radiation stability studies of nuclear high level waste glasses

Undergraduate – Public Vote

Luke Beale – Ultrasonic walking stick

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