Beatriz Mingo - North West & North Wales

Beatriz graduated in Chemistry (2011), completed her Masters in Materials Science Technology (2012) and defended her PhD thesis (2016) at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM, Spain). During her PhD she studied different strategies to improve the corrosion resistance of aluminium and magnesium alloys with potential application in the transport industry. She paid special attention to the development of surface treatments based on Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation which laid the foundations for her subsequent research project based on active protective coatings with smart functionalities, in which she is currently involved as a Research Associate at the University of Manchester.

Her research has resulted in 18 SCI journal publications and 15 contributions to conferences. In 2013 the British-Spanish Society granted her a scholarship to complete her academic training in cutting edge 3D characterisation techniques at the University of Manchester, and in 2016 the European Federation of Corrosion awarded her with the Eurocorr Young Scientist Grant, which is aimed at promoting knowledge exchange between young and international senior scientists.

In parallel, she has been a teaching assistant for four academic years with more than 200 hours of experience. Her interest in Education led her to enrol in a Master's degree in Teacher Training in Secondary and Upper Secondary Education (2014). Additionally, from 2012 to 2016 she was the Masters and PhD students representative for the Materials Science department at the UCM.

Smart Coatings: Challenges and Opportunities

Unlike inert coatings providing a physical barrier against environment, smart coatings are able to interact with it and respond to certain triggers. The smart function relies upon material ability to release on-demand active species. Heretofore, this has been achieved in organic or hybrid coatings, including self-healing films that restore damaged polymeric matrix and anti-corrosion coatings that mitigate corrosion attack by releasing encapsulated inhibitors when detecting pH changes from electrochemical activity. However, applicability of such coatings is limited by their poor thermal and mechanical properties. Attaining smart functionality to ceramic coatings could overcome this limitation, although the inert nature of ceramics hinders incorporation of active species.

We discuss how this problem can be resolved using advanced electrolytic-plasma surface treatments of lightweight metallic materials, expanding their application towards high-performance components in transport and aerospace as well as new generation of biodegradable metallic implants loaded with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic drugs.


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