Dr Ben Britton will leave his position as Reader in Metallurgy and Microscopy to join the University of British Columbia.
Dr Britton has been with the Department for nine years and his last day in the Department will be 5 February 2021.
He has celebrated many achievements during his time at Imperial, including the IOM3 silver medal and being an Engineers Trust 'Young Engineer of the Year' awardee by the RAEng. In 2017, Dr Britton was awarded the Imperial College President's Award and Medal as an Outstanding Early Career Researcher. He was also recognised as a member of the Engineering Alloys Outstanding Research team. This week, he was awarded the 2021 TMS Frank Crossley Diversity Award.
Highlights and challenges
Dr Britton has reflected on his time at Imperial and shared some of his fondest memories, as well as some challenges, from the last nine years. He comments that one of the things he is most proud of is building a sense of community - particularly within the Engineering Alloys group. Within Engineering Alloys, Dr Britton has helped to support their seminar programme and organise the effective sharing of their labs. Another high point is his collaboration with Professor Fionn Dunne, where they drew 30+ researchers together in the Micromechanics Groups and provided a space for everyone to discuss advances and challenges over weekly coffee meetings.
Dr Britton was also Director of the MSc in Nuclear Engineering. He recalls that "as Director of the MSc in Nuclear Engineering – I worked with colleagues and students to improve our understanding of how nuclear fits into the energy mix and its relative value for our society. We also worked hard to improve the fairness and opportunities offered to staff and students via the MSc programmes". He suspects that some of his students "may remember me by the colour of my clothes - as I found that some of them had a WhatsApp group to guess the colour I would wear each day!"
Over the years, both in research and teaching, he has also worked with a number of the administrative and support staff - "with an ever-evolving set of challenges". He comments that "it was remarkable how often people were continually engaged and pushing for us to make things work out well, even in the face of some of the most remarkable challenges."
Graduate students and staff remain amused and sometimes perplexed that I can still use a scanning electron microscope Dr Ben Britton
Furthermore, he has supported the development of Outreach & Engagement in the Department and across the College. Dr Britton ran the Outreach stand at Imperial Festival for several years and recently collaborated with Discover Materials to raise awareness of Materials Science. This was a high point that allowed him to "support and train people to speak about a challenging subject to the wider world".
He summarises with "we also did some research, won some money & awards, graduated students, had arguments, shared drinks & fancy dinners, and more."
Continuing role in the Department
For the next three years, Dr Britton will retain his connection with the Department as a Visiting Reader. He will also continue with research projects and academic teaching for the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year.
We wish Dr Britton all the best with his new role, and we look forward to future collaborations.
We will also continue to keep up with his immaculate breakfast posts on Twitter - even with the -8 hour time difference!
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Department of Materials
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