Imperial College London

Expanding business and advancing manufacturing: News from the College

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An expandable shirt made for children by Imperial startup Petit Pli

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From major funding for an Imperial clothing startup, to an exploration of Imperial’s advanced manufacturing expertise, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Expanding business

An expandable shirt made for children by Imperial startup Petit Pli
Petit Pli make clothes that grow with children

Imperial startup Petit Pli, who make clothes that grow with children, have been picked to receive a share of £6 million from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and Sky Ocean Ventures, the campaign which backs the development of new ocean-saving technologies.

Petit Pli turns recycled plastic bottles into clothes that expand with the child who wears them.

Founder Ryan Mario Yasin said: “We are using a patent-pending structure embedded within the garment which gives them mechanical properties. You can fit seven sizes within a single garment and this allows you to reduce the waste within the fashion industry. It's trying to make sustainability desirable through innovation.”

Images: PetitPli.com

Brain science boost for MRC

Professor Paul Matthews
Professor Paul Matthews

Imperial’s head of Brain Sciences will spearhead the Medical Research Council’s efforts to address the challenges of mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases.

Professor Paul Matthews, head of the Department of Brain Sciences, will take up the new role with the MRC from September, chairing its neuroscience and mental health board for the next four years.

During his tenure, Professor Matthews – who is also director of the UK DRI at Imperial – will play a key role in delivering MRC objectives across the research portfolio.

Commenting on the appointment, he said: “There are great opportunities to make a difference both for basic understanding and for transformative approaches to the promotion of mental health and the management of diseases of the brain.”

Sunshine solutions for India

Dr Efstratios Batzelis
Dr Efstratios Batzelis

Over a billion people lack access to cheap and reliable electricity in developing countries like India. The lack of access is a major barrier to economic and social development. Now, Imperial’s Dr Efstratios Batzelis, of Imperial’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has received an ‘Engineering for Development’ Research Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to address this.

He said: “During my fellowship, I will explore how to bring more energy from the sun to communities in India. I will investigate how to make the solar energy systems more “friendly” to the electrical network and how to use the solar technology to improve electricity access in isolated communities of rural India.

“This research will contribute to a more sustainable and affordable energy sector in developing countries with direct benefits to their economic and social development.”

Advanced manufacturing

Dr Nicolas Rojas working with robotic hand
Dr Nicolas Rojas, Dyson School of Design Engineering

Manufacturing practice evolves naturally within companies, but to make a significant leap forward, you need advanced manufacturing.

Imperial academics are pioneering advances in robotics, metal forming, 3D printing, synthetic chemistry and optimisation algorithms and other areas that could transform the manufacturing industries.

You can learn more in the latest Enterprise long-read, Making for the future: Advanced manufacturing at Imperial.

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Reporters

Ryan O'Hare

Ryan O'Hare
Communications and Public Affairs

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2410
Email: r.ohare@imperial.ac.uk

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David Silverman

David Silverman
Enterprise

Joanna Wilson

Joanna Wilson
Communications and Public Affairs

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3970
Email: joanna.wilson@imperial.ac.uk

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Andrew Youngson

Andrew Youngson
Communications and Public Affairs

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