The College has a strong tradition in Materials Science, with one of the larger undergraduate intakes as well as a healthy number of graduate students. Alumni include at least nine senior academics in Materials Science at Oxford University, Cambridge University and Imperial College alone, plus Mark Miodownik, author of Stuff Matters and star of many TV science programmes.
There are currently four members of staff in Materials at St Catherine’s. Professor Richard Todd is the Director of Studies and specialises in structural metals and ceramics. The Vesuvius Professor of Materials, Professor Patrick Grant, leads a large research group in advanced processing of materials, such as spray forming of metals, composites and coatings and is currently Head of the Department of Materials. Professor Susannah Speller’s research is centred around high Tc ceramic superconductors. Dr Paul Bagot is a College Lecturer and Departmental Lecturer in the Department of Materials who specialises in atom probe tomography of catalysts and materials for energy. These form a stable and experienced core of academics covering the wide range of topics encountered in tutorials.
There are several Materials-based social events every year and the Materials group within Catz tends to reflect the philosophy of the College as a whole, i.e. a combination of high academic standards with a friendly and sociable atmosphere.
Graduates go on to a wide variety of careers in academia, industry, commerce and many other areas. Recent graduates in Materials Science from St Catherine’s have secured careers or research degrees at the following destinations, among others: BP, The Ministry of Defence, ClearViewIP, e2v, European Space Agency, ABInBev UK, Singapore Airlines, Essex Court Chambers, The Malaysian Government, Imperial College London and the Universities of Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt, Stanford, Cambridge and, of course, Oxford.