MERI Symposium 2019

MERI Symposium 2019

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Material and Engineering Research Institute's 9th annual Symposium held on 20th and 21st May 2019 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 Andy Alderson, 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. 

A highlight of the first day was a professorial lecture on The Glass Age - From Antiquity to Ubiquity' by Professor Paul Bingham. Paul’s talk explored how and why glass has become so ubiquitous in our modern everyday lives: arguably we are now living in the Glass age. Using case study examples from his own research and other sources. Prof. Bingham explored the journey of glass from ancient Rome and earlier, to the present day. 

Congratulations to all students who presented posters and delivered a talk. This year we are proud to introduce a new award for best PhD talk, The Professor Chris Breen Memorial Prize for best PhD student talk

Professor Chris Breen’s eminent research career spanned 42 years of which 26 years were spent as a dedicated and pivotal member of the Materials and Engineering Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University.  He was welcomed and often sought as an invited, keynote or plenary speaker at many national and international conferences.  He had the ability to pitch his presentation at the right level ensuring it was accessible and relevant to the whole audience.  With a smile and occasional, light-hearted touch (often comical) he intrigued and captivated his listeners.  The naming of this ‘best student oral presentation’ prize in memory of Chris reflects the hard work and skill he shared whilst communicating scientific knowledge.  It is indeed an honour for past and future student recipients to be associated and recognised with this prize for their high quality presentations.

This year the prizes are as follows; 


The Professor Chris Breen Memorial Prize for best PhD student talk 

Joint 1st Prize to;- 

Rebecca Chadwick - The design, preperation and characterisation of polyurethane nanocomposite membranes 
Shruti Mandhani - Using a biomimetic approach to work towards developing molecular-level auxetics


PhD - Judges Vote

Jessica Rigby - Understanding feed-to-glass reactions in continuous melter systems for vitrification of nuclear waste at the Handford site

PhD - Public Vote

James Eales - The effects of high-Fe2O3 concentrations in borosilicate radioactive waste simulant glasses

Undergraduate - Public Vote

Matt Harris - Aerodynamics around aerofoils under Mars' Atmospheric Conditions

A special thanks to the presentation and poster judges and the planning committee: Prof. Andy Alderson, Dr. Hywel Jones, Brian McCarthy, Dr. Xu Xu,  Dr. Lyuba Alboul,  Dr. Francis Clegg,  Prof. Fin O'Flaherty,  Dr. Sima Aminorroaya Yamini,  Dr. David Asquith,  Gail Hallewell and Clare Mills Roberts.   

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