December 2013

  • 12th December 2013: The second HexMat Steering Board meeting took place in Manchester on 12/12/13. HexMat project members gave updates on progress and future plans.

November 2013

  • 29th November 2013: Prof. Fionn Dunne and Dr Saira Naeem (Imperial College) met with Prof. Birgitte Andersen from The Big Innnovation Centre (BIC) to establish a new partnership with the HexMat Programme and Imperial College. BIC aims to facilitate in making the UK a global innovation hub and to transform the UK economy. Industrial uptake of research and influencing policy were both discussed together with the potential impact of the HexMat programme.


  • 26th November 2013: Mitch Cuddihy, Dr Saira Naeem (HexMat Programme Manager) and Professor Fionn Dunne (PI, HexMat) led a group of HexMat and related researchers, together with Rolls-Royce Engineering Fellows David Rugg and Steve Williams, to Penwortham primary school, Tooting, on 26/11/13 to run a half-day introduction to "How do aeroplanes fly?" This continues what is planned to be a long-term relationship with Penwortham to bring applied science events to primary-level pupils. Those also contributing were Dr Jun Jiang, Tomi Erinisho, Bo Lan, Tiantian Zhang and Victor Wan.

    The students were given the opportunity to discover how engineers design and build aeroplanes. Through an interactive approach, basic principles of aerodynamics were introduced. Students learnt about lift, air resistance and how different variables such as shape, wing flap design and elevation can influence the flight of a plane. The workshop covered key engineering concepts, including design, test and modification.

Penwortham Visit






  • 15th November: Paul Stein, Chief Scientific Officer, Rolls-Royce, met with Professor Dunne on 15th November 2013 to discuss nuclear engineering research and potential Rolls-Royce future needs.


  • 6th November: Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North & Shadow Treasury Minister, discusses with HexMat academics and students, the industrial uptake of Hexagonal metals research.


MP Visit

October 2013

  • Hex Mat team members met with Alastair Ripley, Science Coordinator of Penwortham Primary School, based in Southwest London. Plans for the School Engagement Programme will include HexMat PDRAs and postgraduate students visiting the school on a termly basis to carry out thought-provoking and inspiring mini-projects with 8-11 year old students. The Programme is due to commence in March 2014.

Penwortham School

August/September 2013

  • PDRA recruitment in progress at Imperial, Oxford and Manchester.

July 2013

  • The first Steering Board meeting took place on 1st July 2013 at Imperial College London. The Principal Investigators, Industrial Partners and Collaborators met to discuss project plans.

June 2013

  • Appointment of Dr Ananthi Sankaran, the first HexMat PDRA to be recruited.

May 2013

  • The HexMat Programme Grant commenced on 27th May 2013. Project members met in Oxford to celebrate the start of the 5-year programme.