I have been teaching in Oxford for 22 years. The main subjects I cover in tutorials concern the links between materials processing, microstructure and mechanical properties. I give lecture courses in the Department of Materials on Engineering Ceramics (3rd year), Fracture and Fatigue (2nd year) and Creep and Superplasticity (2nd year). I also run a workshop for research students on how to write and publish scientific papers.
I studied Natural Science at Cambridge and after a few years in the electronics industry came to Oxford to do a Doctorate in superplastic metals. After five years of a permanent position at Manchester University, I returned to Oxford to take up my present post in 1999.
I received the Pfeil Award of the Institute of Materials 2001 for published work in ceramics, the Verulam Medal and Prize of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2012 in recognition of distinguished contributions to ceramics, the Stuijts Award of the European Ceramic Society 2019, in recognition of outstanding contributions to ceramic science, and the Ross Coffin Purdy Award of The American Ceramic Society 2019 for the most valuable contribution to ceramic technical literature during the year of consideration. I am a Fellow of the European Ceramic Society – ECerS (2013) and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the European Ceramic Society (2011- present).
My research concerns the mechanical properties and processing of ceramics and metals. Current interests include ceramic – carbon nanotube composites and ceramics with microstructures inspired by natural materials such as bone and seashells, mechanical testing and stress measurement in ceramics at the microscale so that the properties of the individual building blocks of materials can be understood, the impact performance of ceramics for use as armour for personnel and vehicles, polycrystalline diamond for the ultimate hard cutting tool, new methods of making ceramics such as “flash sintering” and “cold sintering” for energy saving and greener production, probing of internal stress and structure using neutrons and synchrotron radiation, improved metal forming for automobiles and mechanisms of superplastic deformation.
I supervise graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the above areas of research interest.