Imperial College London

Philanthropic boost for materials science

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Mike Goulette, Master of the Armourers and Brasiers' Company, signs a deed creating a new Chair in Materials Science at Imperial.

The deed creating the new Chair was signed by Mike Goulette, Master of the Armourers & Brasiers' Company, during a virtual signing ceremony.

A new academic Chair is to be created in the Department of Materials, thanks to a major donation from the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company.

The Department of Materials has announced the creation of the Armourers & Brasiers’ Chair in Materials Science, a new professorial post that will have significant impact on research and teaching in the Department.

The post secures additional academic leadership in materials science, enabling existing research themes to be strengthened and new challenges to be taken on. The Department of Materials is internationally renowned for its research, which spans biomaterials and tissue engineering; ceramics and glasses; engineering alloys; functional materials; nanotechnology and nanoscale characterisation; and the theory and simulation of materials. The Department has prioritised efforts to inspire the next generation of materials scientists through school outreach initiatives, and the post-holder will strengthen the Department’s links with the Company, which shares this aim

The donation, which is the largest ever in the Department’s history, establishes an endowment that will fund the Chair indefinitely, with the title passing from post-holder to post-holder in perpetuity. The exceptional generosity of the gift will make it possible to offer the Chair with an enhanced salary and access to funding for the post-holder’s research, factors which will make the opportunity attractive to the world’s best materials scientists. Attracting and retaining top academic talent is a priority for the Department of Materials, and this post will play an important part in realising this goal.

Composite image showing in top left sixteenth century armour and in bottom right an image of titanium alloy. The concept is progress in materials science.
The sixteenth-century Lee Armour in the collection of the Armourers & Brasiers’ Company was made by company member Jacob Halder. It is a master-piece of materials technology for that time. It is shown here with an image of the microstructure of a contemporary titanium alloy used in the aerospace and power generation sectors, obtained in a scanning electron microscope by Dylan Hall, a Materials undergraduate student supported by the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company.

The donation marks the 700th anniversary of the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company, which was founded in 1322 to oversee standards in the production of arms and armour. The Company has a longstanding association with Imperial, having been one of the founders of the City & Guilds of London Institute, one of the three institutions that were merged to form Imperial College in 1907. Promoting materials science is one of the Company’s primary purposes and it has generously supported materials research and education at numerous universities and schools, including Imperial, through its Gauntlet Trust.

View the virtual gift signing ceremony hosted by Imperial as an expression of gratitude to the Armourers and Brasiers' Company.

Professor Peter HaynesProfessor Peter Haynes, Head of the Department of Materials, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company for their support. This post will make a huge difference to materials science at Imperial, enabling us to retain and recruit rising stars in the field, and bringing new ideas and energy to our research programmes. By endowing this post in perpetuity, the Company has ensured that the impact of their gift is felt not just today, but for generations to come.”

Mr Mike Goulette CEng, FREng, FRAeS, FIMMM, Master of the Armourers and Brasiers' Company, said: “Imperial is a global leader in its teaching and research in materials science and we are delighted to recognise our longstanding partnership with the College by endowing the Armourers and Brasiers’ Chair in Materials Science. The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company is now one of the largest private sponsors of materials science in the UK.  Throughout its 700-year history it has supported scientific education and innovation, initially in working with metals in its historic craft, but more recently in promoting education and leading-edge research in materials science. We are delighted to enrich the research and learning opportunities of current and future generations of materials scientists.”

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Daniel Mapp

Daniel Mapp
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