Ceramics and Glasses theme at Imperial College London

The Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC) is a major focus for ceramics research in the Department. The experimental facilities cover processing and characterisation and we have particular expertise in thermo-mechanical testing including nanoindentation and outstanding thermal analysis capability to > 2000oC. Much of this research is carried out in collaborative projects with industrial and academic partners from the UK, Europe, USA and Japan.

We have pioneered research on lowering the operating temperature and cost of SOFCs, on their mechanical reliability and on the mechanisms of electrode reactions. This has resulted in facilities (unique within Europe) for isotopic studies of surface exchange kinetics and diffusion in oxides. Surface chemistry of ceramic materials can now be accessed through state-of-the-art low energy ion scattering (LEIS) providing unparalled information on atomic structure of functional ceramics that is essential for device development.

We are also examining ceramic systems for aerospace applications (the thermal protection system for the next generation of space shuttle type vehicles) which involves testing and characterising non-oxide composites at temperature approaching 4000oC. Much of our work is underpinned by multiscale modelling enabling us to improve understanding of ceramic materials and predict new materials having improved properties for a wide variety of applications.

Projects

Research projects within Ceramics and Glasses include:

  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs)
  • Nuclear fuels
  • Ultra high temperature composites
  • Graphene and graphene based materials
  • Bioceramics
  • Ceramics for body and vehicular armour

Network and centres

 Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC) logo Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC)

CASC started in July 2008 and has since become an industrial consortium to continue long-term and fruitful relationships between CASC-associated academics and the UK’s industrial structural ceramics community.

Ceramics and Glasses Staff

Dr Ainara Aguadero

 Dr Ainara Aguadero is a lecturer in the Deparment of Materials at Imperial College London

Her work is centred upon the study of the relationship between the defect structure and transport, electrochemical and catalytic properties of ceramics in order to design materials with improved properties. Through this she has developed new materials with substantial increased in the performance than those of the current state-of-the-art. She has published over 45 research papers in this field and holds 1 patent on their applications.

Her current research activity is mainly focused in the study of the bulk and surface properties of three main types of materials: i) Selective ion-conductive membranes (Li, Na , H and oxygen conductors), ii) Mixed ionic-electronic conductors and iii) Bi-functional electrocatalyst for oxygen evolution and reduction reactions

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Next Generation Solid-State Batteries Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Dec 2016
Sincere: Selective ion-conductive ceramic electrolytes Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Apr 2016
Professor Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez active research porfolio

Professor Alan Atkinson

Professor Alan Atkinson is Chair in Materials Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Institute of Physics, and is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Physicist.

His current research topics include solid oxide fuel cells, mechanical properties of films and coatings and ceramic processing.

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Electrodes By Design Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Jan 2015
Production and reliability oriented SOFC cell and stack design, ProSOFC Commission of the European Communities  May 2013
Professor Alan Atkinson active research porfolio

Dr Finn Giuliani

Dr Finn Giuliani is Senior Lecturer within the Structural Ceramics Centre, a position shared between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Materials.

His research interest is in small scale plasticity particularly of brittle materials.

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Silicon doped boron carbide a lightweight impact resistant material Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Dec 2013
Silicon stabilised boron carbide armour (SiBA) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Oct 2013
Professor Bill Lee active research porfolio

Professor John Kilner

Professor John Kilner is B.C.H.Steele Professor of Energy materials, former head of the Department of Materials and former Dean of the Royal School of Mines.

Professor Kilner is primarily interested in studying the exchange and diffusion of oxygen in oxide ceramic materials for applications in devices such as fuel cells, oxygen separators and sensors, and has been instrumental in the development of isotopic exchange-SIMS techniques to study these phenomena. Much of his work is now centred upon the development of the Intermediate Temperature Fuel Cell, Solid Oxide Electrolysers and Lithium batteries. He is now working on an  improved understanding of surface and interfacial phenomena, which is crucial for further development of these devices. In 2012 John was awarded the IOM3 Platinum medal for his outstanding services to the discipline.

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Quantifying exchange kinetics of SOFC electrodes in ambient environments Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Jul 2016
Professor Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez active research porfolio

Professor Bill Lee FREng

Professor Bill Lee FREng is Chair in Ceramic Engineering. He is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London,a William Penney Fellow,a member of the Government advisory committee The Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisoty Board (NIRAB).Bill is a member of the Leverhulme Trust Panel of Advisors,the Royal Academy of Engineering International Activities Committee, the Scientific and Environmental Advisory Board Tokamak Solutions plc and the Institute of Materials, Prize Awards panel.

Bill is a member of the Leverhulme Trust Panel of Advisors,the Royal Academy of Engineering International Activities Committee, the Scientific and Environmental Advisory Board Tokamak Solutions plc and the Institute of Materials, Prize Awards panel. He was from Jan 2006 to Sept 2010 Head of the Department of Materials. Bill was Deputy Chair of the Government advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) from 2007-2013, has acted as special advisor nuclear to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (2013) and is an IAEA Technical Expert. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, IOMMM, ACerS and the City and Guilds Institute

Bill studies the relation between processing, properties and microstructures in a broad range of ceramics.

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Advanced Waste Management Strategies for High Dose Spent Absorbents Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Nov 2015
CAFFE: Carbides for Future Fission Environments Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Jul 2015
Development of Coating Materials to Improve Efficiency for High Temperature Furnace SCG Chemicals Co Ltd May 2015
Nuclear Materials Characterisation, Centre for Doctoral Training Capital Equipment Bundle Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Jul 2014
Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage Solutions for Nuclear Waste Inventories (DISTINCTIVE) Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Feb 2014
Understanding and Designing Ultra High Temperature Material Systems Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Feb 2013
Professor Bill Lee active research porfolio

Dr Na Ni

Dr Na Ni is an Imperial College Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Materials.

She has extensive expertise in high-resolution analysis using advanced electron and ion microscopy and her research is centred on the study of the role of nanoscale structure and chemistry in controlling material properties for improving materials design and processing. Her current research activity is mainly focused on materials for energy applications including nuclear materials, electrochemical ceramics for solid oxide fuel cells and structured nano-carbon composites materials for batteries.


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Professor Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez

Professor Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez is Chair in Structural Ceramics in the Department of Materials. He is the director of the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC). Eduardo is currently the coordinator of BioBone, an Intial Traning Network in the field of bioceramics funded inthe FP7 framework with nine academic and industrial partners.

His research interests include the development of new processing techniques for the fabrication of ceramic-based composites, in particular hierarchical composites with bioinspired architectures, the study of high temperature interfacial phenomena such as spreading, the fabrication of graphene-based structures and composites and the development of new materials to support bone tissue engineering.

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
MAPP-EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub in Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Oct 2016
Turning waste from steel industry into a valuable low cost feedstock for energy intensive industry - RESLAG (H2020-WASTE-2014-two-stage - EASME) - IA Commission of the European Communities Sep 2015
Graphene–based composites for pipeline liners Petronas Research Sdn Bhd Jun 2014
Engineering with Graphene for Multi-functional Coatings and Fibre-composites Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Feb 2013
Graphene three-dimensional networks Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Feb 2013
Professor Eduardo Saiz Gutierrez active research porfolio

Professor Stephen Skinner

Professor Stephen Skinner is Professor of Materials Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, a Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry and also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

His research interests are in materials for new energy technologies and is primarily concerned with the chemical and physical properties of solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes and electrodes and encompasses the electrical and structural characteristics of materials.

He has extensive experience of the use of neutron and synchrotron facilities to undertake in-situ high temperature characterisation of new materials and in relating the structural characteristics of materials to their electrochemical properties

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Solid Oxide Interfaces for Faster Ion Transport (SOIFIT) Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Apr 2017
Control of structure, strain and chemistry: a route to designer fuel cell interfaces Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Jan 2015
Nuclear materials characterisation Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Jul 2013
Professor Stephen Skinner active research porfolio

Dr Luc Vandeperre

Dr Luc Vandeperre is a Reader in Structural Ceramics in Department of Materials at Imperial College London.

He has long experience in processing as well as in measuring and understanding the mechanical properties of ceramics and cements. As a member of the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC), he currently works on a range of ceramic as well as cement related projects spanning processing hard ceramics for armour, tailoring mullite for micro-turbine applications, thermal shock of and conversion from cements of refractories, ultra high temperature ceramics for aerospace, re-use of ashes from industrial processes and cements for nuclear waste encapsulation.

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Research project titleFunding bodyStart date
Transpiration Cooling Systems for Jet Engine Turbines and Hypersonic Flight - 2 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Aug 2016
Ultra-high temperature ceramics: phase III Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL ) Dec 2013
Ceramic materials and shaping technologies for short life propulsion systems Safran Power Unit SAS Nov 2013
Advanced ceramic processing: further work on AlN doped SiC Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Jan 2013
Professor Bill Lee active research porfolio