Jon Binner FIMMM, IOM3 President 2013-2014

Jon Binner is Professor of Ceramic Science & Engineering in the School of Metallurgy and Materials, and Deputy Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, at Birmingham University. He took up both of these posts in January 2014. He was formerly Professor of Ceramic Materials and Dean of the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering at Loughborough University. He is also a Visiting Professor at both Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Kunming University in China. He obtained his Bachelors and PhD from the Ceramics Department at Leeds University and has since worked as an academic at the Universities of California at Los Angeles, Leeds, Nottingham and Brunel; he was also Head of Department at both Brunel and Loughborough.

The focus of his research is the generation of both the necessary scientific understanding and the required engineering solutions for the development of processing routes for ceramic materials that display technical and/or financial advantages over existing processes and which yield new or improved materials. Due to the complexity of the work and the requirements of industry, a multidisciplinary approach is often adopted. Within the field of ceramic processing, his work has mainly focused on colloidal processing, where the aim is to understand and hence control the rheology of ceramic suspensions, and microwave processing, where the aim is to generate a detailed understanding of the interaction between microwaves and advanced non-metallic materials and then to use this to develop improved process routes. Over the past few years, the work has increasingly focused on producing nanostructured ceramics from a ‘top-down’ approach. The work has already led to the ability to produce a range of fully dense ceramic components with uniform nanostructures with average grain sizes of <100 nm. Some very interesting properties have been identified, including monolithic toughness values of around 14–15 MPa m-2  and a zirconia ceramic that is completely resistant to attack by moisture even after 2 weeks at 245oC (conventional zirconia disintegrates after just 1 hour). He is also working on metal-ceramic interpenetrating composites (where both phases are fully three dimensionally connected), and novel materials for both armour and ultra-high temperature applications. With respect to the latter, together with colleagues at Imperial College and Queen Mary he is the Principal Investigator for a recently won 5 yr, £4.2M research grant from EPSRC for working on Materials Systems for Extreme Environments.

Jon Binner has published over 170 research papers, as well as editing or contributing to 19 books, given over 40 keynote, plenary and invited talks at international conferences and holds seven patents with another recently submitted. He has won 120 research grants totalling in excess of £15.3M, many have been international in nature. 26 PhD and 2 MPhil students have been supervised to successful completion; 8 more PhD students are currently being supervised. A total of 24 Postdoctoral research projects have been supervised with 4 more currently ongoing.

Jon Binner is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), the Institute of Nanotechnology and the American and European Ceramic Societies. He is a Council Member for both the IOM3 and the ECerS and the UK representative of the Permanent Executive Council for the latter. He is also a member of the EPSRC College. He received the Institute’s Holliday Prize in 1995, the Ivor Jenkins Medal in 2007 and the Verulam Medal and Prize in 2011.


Interview with Jon Binner January 2013 (PDF 848k)

Presidential Address March 2014 (opens in new window)