Imperial College London

Professor Mary Ryan awarded RAEng Armourers & Brasiers' Company Prize

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An image of Professor Mary Ryan

Professor Mary Ryan FREng has been awarded the Armourers and Brasiers' Company Prize 2021, by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The prize is awarded every two years to an individual based in the UK for excellence in materials engineering, which is demonstrated by the successful application of novel materials science and technology in practical engineering systems. The prize was established with support from the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.

'A brilliant innovator'

The 2021 prize celebrates the outstanding career of Professor Ryan in Materials Science and Nanotechnology. The Royal Academy of Engineering has recognised Professor Ryan as 'a brilliant innovator in corrosion and interfacial science' and a ‘world-leading researcher in the novel application of advanced techniques'.

It’s a huge honour to receive this prestigious award from the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Mary Ryan

Professor Ryan’s research explores corrosion and electrochemical processes at the nanoscale under complex operational conditions. The RAEng has also highlighted her extensive collaborations with industry, particularly in the energy sector, to achieve greater understanding, risk assessment and solutions. Professor Ryan has previously held an RAEng/Shell Research Chair in Interfacial Science, working to translate underpinning materials knowledge to industry.

At Imperial College London, Professor Ryan is currently the Interim Vice-Provost for Research and Enterprise and Professor of Materials Science and Nanotechnology in the Department of Materials. She also leads several pioneering initiatives, including the College’s sustainability programme Transition to Zero Pollution.

Professor Ryan said: "It’s a huge honour to receive this prestigious award from the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of our interdisciplinary work bridging lengthscales from the nano to the human scale.

Our group aims to develop fundamental understanding of the nanoscale behaviour of materials, and the role that these nanoscale properties play in the observed bulk behaviour of materials. In turn we control these properties to elicit desired properties to improve efficiency and lifetime of devices."

Small things matter - Professor Mary Ryan FREng. A video filmed by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Driving new research projects

Professor Ryan has started two large-scale research projects this year involving novel nanoscale research.

She was appointed the first Armourers & Brasiers' Professor of Materials Science, a new endowed chair in the Department of Materials. In this role, her research will focus on two key themes where nanoscale properties of materials are critical – energy materials for the Transition to Net-Zero and in nano-diagnostics for Healthcare.

In addition to this, Professor Ryan is leading a new £12 million prosperity partnership with Shell and Diamond Light Source. The partnership aims to examine how technologies like batteries, electric vehicles, chemical production, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) can be improved by understanding interfaces in these systems, enhancing sustainability and enabling a transition to a green economy.

Adapted from a press release from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

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Kayleigh Brewer

Kayleigh Brewer
Department of Materials

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