An exciting programme of research is underway linking fundamental science with fabrication, metrology, characterisation and manufacturability challenges. The application of fundamental scientific analysis is essential when exploring emerging technologies such as nanomaterial-based biosensors or new self-assembled functional polymeric materials for regenerative medicine. Along with this basic research, manufacturing technologies are also being developed and explored to make sure that there is a route to capture value for the UK economy. This involves close cross-disciplinary collaboration with manufacturing management and technology research groups as well as industrial partners. The goal is to leverage these close collaborations spanning the manufacturing system, identify risk factors facing emerging technologies and through scientific understanding of advanced manufacturing drive rapid translation of scientific advances, using a process of “Smart Scale-up”.

 

Our research is currently divided into four aligned themes. These themes have developed from an underlying common interest in the analysis and control of single and multiphase liquid interactions, with a goal of applying this understanding to improving specific approaches to advanced manufacturing.

 

The four themes are:

 

Soft Matter Manufacturing Research

Controlling and manipulating the hierarchical structure of polymers, gels and biological materials to develop versatile materials with different chemical, physical and biological properties.

 

 

Novel Digital Manufacturing Techniques

Our research focuses on using digital fabrication techniques to enable novel platform technologies that can be used in environmental sensing, biosensing, drug delivery and biomaterial design.

 

 

Manufacturing Device Platforms

This  work examines the challenges of integrating novel sensing technologies into MEMS, microfluidic and paper-based devices, with an emphasis on flexible fabrication and configuration at the point of manufacture.

 

 

The Science of Scale-up

Identifying key ‘manufacturability’ challenges facing emerging technologies. Working closely with the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, we aim to develop a systematic process for early identification of manufacturing risk factors.