The Student & Early Career Committee (SECC) represents the views of student, younger and early career* members to the Institute's Executive Board and Advisory Council. We aim to represent the diverse range of members by ensuring Advisory Council representatives cover the different disciplines, regions and career pathways of student and early career* members.
Since the Committee was founded in 1967 (as the Younger Members' Committee), we have developed a range of events to encourage networking and early career members' involvement with IOM3. Our greatest successes to date include the Young Persons' Lecture Competition, Matopoly, Art Lecture, Road to Chartership and Professional Development events, Future Materials Conference and Materially Challenged. While we have been successful in the past, we aim to provide more events in the future. These include regular informal networking opportunities, along with new skills seminars, conferences and regional events.
We also want to ensure that we are raising with Executive Board the major issues affecting younger members. To do this successfully, we need to communicate more with members and obtain feedback from events.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected the entire world, and yet each individual experience is unique. Below are a series of testimonies from the IOM3 Student & Early Career Committee (SECC) detailing their experiences – from PhD students, to furloughed industrial workers, to those who have remained in work throughout. It is an interesting insight into the challenges this crisis has brought to the table.
Iro is currently working as a Research Scientist in the Advanced Materials group at National Physical Laboratory. Her current research focus is on fabric permeability and composites processing, modelling and analysis of out-of-autoclave manufacturing techniques and the investigation of composites performance under Intermediate Rate testing.
Iro joined NPL, after completing her MSc in Composite Materials at Imperial College London during which she had the opportunity to be part of the Structural Power Composites team and investigate the Mechanical Characterization of spread-tow Carbon fabrics for multifunctional materials under the supervision of Prof. Emile Greenhalgh. During her MEng in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics at University of Patras she discovered her passion for the study of composite materials and spent a semester as a Composites research intern at Element Materials Technology.
Outside work, Iro is an active volunteer for City Harvest. She enjoys bouldering and keeping fit but most of the time she can be found in parks playing with her dog.
Tomasz Zalewski TIMMM
Ordinary Member, Rolls-Royce plc.
Tom is currently a Failure Investigator working in the Materials Department of Rolls-Royce. The role requires him to perform investigative analysis techniques on component and assembly failures to determine their root cause. He started this role following completion of the Rolls-Royce Specialist Science Apprenticeship programme which he undertook alongside a part-time foundation degree, followed by a Bachelor's top-up degree, in Materials Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating with First Class Honours.
For his accomplishments on the foundation degree, Tom was awarded the IOM3 2017 Technician of the Year Award. For accomplishments on the Bachelor's degree and for his work conducted at Rolls-Royce whilst a TIMMM, he was awarded the IOM3 Royal Charter Prize and the Technician Medal respectively in 2019, alongside several accolades awarded by Sheffield Hallam University upon graduation.
Tom is also a proud committee member of the East Midlands Materials Society (EMMS) and holds a position on the IOM3 Advisory Council representing Technician members. He enjoys learning about all fields of materials engineering and science, but is especially interested in light alloy fatigue failure mechanisms.
Tom's hobbies include swimming, photography and spending time outdoors whilst walking the dog.
Dr Aimee Goodall CSci MIMMM
Chair, SECC, TATA Steel
Aimee works as a Process Technology Specialist at TATA Steel in Llanwern, South Wales. Her work is focused on the ZODIAC galvanising line.
Aimee studied for a Forensic Science undergraduate degree at De Montfort University, Leicester. She realised she was interested in material science, confirmed by a 3-month summer placement at TATA Steel, Corby. She then completed a PhD in the Phase Transformation and Microstructural Modelling Group at the University of Birmingham looking at the heat treatment of high strength low alloyed steel.
In her spare time, Aimee is a keen gardener and reader. In 2019, she re-started the Cardiff science communication group.
Dr Ilija Rasovic MIMMM
Vice-Chair, SECC, University of Birmingham
Ilija is a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. He earned his MEng in Materials Science from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, followed by a DPhil in Materials from St Cross College, Oxford. His primary research interests focus on fullerenes and supramolecular systems with particular application in biomedical contexts.
Ilija is an award-winning science communicator, having won IOM3’s international Literature Review Prize in 2016 and finishing second in the Young Persons’ World Lecture Competition in 2017, amongst receiving other best talk prizes at international conferences and scientific meetings. He is also currently Advanced Materials Engineer at P1 Graphene Solutions, having previously worked on placement at Jaguar Land Rover and as a CNC miller for Lesk Engineers.
Ilija is involved in numerous outreach and engagement activities as a STEM ambassador and is committed to both championing Materials Science as a subject and inspiring students of all backgrounds to pursue further study at university. He is a trustee of the newly formed charity, Break Off Labs, whose aim is to widen participation in STEM research.
Ordinary Member, Innoval Technology Limited
Michael works for Innoval Technology as a Materials Engineer. Innoval provide consultancy to the global aluminium industry, with expertise in materials characterisation and process improvement across all sectors. Day to day, Michael examines microstructures of numerous aluminium series within the automotive, aerospace and packaging industries. Michael particularly enjoys characterising aluminium structures by utilising optical, scanning and transmission electron microscopes.
In addition to client work, Michael is heavily involved with Innovate UK funded projects, providing metallurgical development and characterisation support. Michael finds collaborative projects incredibly rewarding, working alongside universities and commercial partners, contributing to projects that will increase the awareness and usage of sustainable aluminium for future materials.
Michael previously studied for a Masters in Physics (MPhys) at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2014. Following his MPhys, Michael studied for a PhD in Advanced Metallic Systems, investigating the evolution of dispersoids in Al-Mg-Si based automotive alloys with varying impurity levels; a project sponsored by Novelis.
Outside of work, you’ll find Michael with a camera in his hand, focusing on landscape, animal and astrophotography. Michael has been a keen Table Tennis player for many years, playing across the country.
Alice Robinson GradIMMM
Ordinary Member, Rolls-Royce plc.
Alice graduated from Imperial College London in 2018 with a First Class Honours degree in Materials with Nuclear Engineering before joining the Rolls-Royce graduate scheme which she has now completed. Alice has now secured a full-time role at the company working as a Materials Technologist focussing on novel manufacturing technologies. This current role allows Alice to continue to explore areas of materials science and engineering that she particularly enjoys, for instance additive manufacture and tribology whilst she supports programs which work to improve capability in these areas.
During university Alice began to foster relationships with the Armourers and Brasiers and the Tin Plate Workers and still remains involved with both companies today, attending relevant functions whenever possible. In 2019, Alice was one of the first Yeomen to be inaugurated into the Worshipful Company of the Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers.
Outside of work Alice spends the majority of her spare time at the gym or out socialising with friends. You can always guarantee her attendance at the local pub quiz too if she’s not on holiday somewhere sunny!
Maitheya Riva GradIMMM
Ordinary Member, RINA Tech UK Ltd
Maitheya is currently working for RINA Tech UK Ltd (formerly Edif ERA) as a Materials Engineer in the Forensic Engineering and Expert Witness team, where her role within the consultancy focusses mainly on forensic investigations of failed components and assets in the field of industry production and R&D support. Prior to working for RINA Tech UK Ltd, she acquired a BSc in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnologies from Politecnico of Milan in Italy, which included a six-month research programme at the Merate Astronimic Observatory, characterising fatigue resistance of solid state photochromic diaryalethens. This was followed by an MSc in Materials Engineering and Nanotechnologies, also at Politecnico of Milan, including a six-month placement at the University of Chemistry and Technologies of Prague (Czech Republic), in the department of Inorganic Chemistry, working on a thesis project on photocatalysis of TiO2-active carbon composite for air and water treatment from organic pollutants. She has since joined the graduate scheme of RINA Tech UK Ltd where she is now continuing to explore the world of materials, ranging from metallurgy, polymer science and electronics.
In her spare time, Maitheya enjoys music and is currently training as an opera singer, but also keeping active and exploring the outdoors.
Matt Billing ProfGradIMMM
Ordinary Member, London South Bank University
Matt is currently a Research Associate at London South Bank University. His research is focused on energy storage materials. Matt completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Bristol, before moving to University College London (UCL) for postgraduate studies in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science. At UCL his research focused on solid-state hydrogen storage materials, sponsored by the EPSRC and industrial partner Cella Energy.
In his spare time, Matt is a competitive fencer who has represented GBR and England at international events, earning a team silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Championships in Australia. Away from materials science and fencing, Matt can usually be found in or around the ocean in Cornwall, where he grew up.
Dr Alastair Houston IEng MIMMM
Ordinary Member, Minton, Treharne & Davies Ltd.
Alastair is currently working for Minton Treharne and Davies as a Consultant Materials Scientist, where his role is to perform investigations involving materials identification, mechanical testing, and failure analysis for the marine, cargo, and construction industries.
He studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in materials science, during which time he researched laser welding, protective coatings and compositional variations in jet engine turbine blades, and the production of new materials used for low-level nuclear waste storage. He continued his passion for materials science by completing a PhD in the Composites and Coatings Group, University of Cambridge, where his research focussed on the development of novel diesel particulate filters containing fine ceramic fibres. During his PhD, Alastair was heavily involved in the teaching of undergraduate students and spreading the joy of materials science through various outreach events.
In his spare time, Alastair enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, and can often be found hillwalking or cycling, as well as honing his juggling skills.
Liz Scoffins MIMMM
Ordinary Member, Manufacturing Technology Centre
Liz is currently a Research Engineer within the Transformation Team at MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre), focusing on technology, sustainability and alternative fuels support. Having joined the MTC in 2018 on the graduate programme, with placements in Additive Manufacturing, Materials Engineering and the Transformation team. She works with client businesses large and small supporting all kinds of technical challenges from supply chains to root cause analysis.
She studied Materials Engineering at Loughborough University, graduating in 2018 with a First Class Honours Masters Degree. For her placement year, Liz worked at Apple in California, USA focusing on anodising of aluminium, as part of a Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS). Which lead to winning the Armourers and Brasiers’ Industrial Placement Prize at Loughborough University.
Liz enjoys yarn craft including running the Knitting & Crochet Club at MTC, as well as leading a Brownie Guide unit as part of Girlguiding (always trying to encourage STEM). If it’s nice you may find her in the garden tending to the flowers and vegetables.
This year's Young Persons' Lecture Competition UK final took place on 4 May 2022. Competitors gave a lecture of 15 minutes on a topic related to materials, minerals, mining, packaging, clay technology and wood science and engineering.
IOM3 Student & Early Career Group held its biennial Future of Materials Conference on 13 December at University of Birmingham, focusing on disseminating knowledge among early career materials, minerals and mining scientists and present their research.