Jenni Tilley, UK finalist
Having abandoned biology after GCSE, Jenni became interested in the physics and chemistry of 'How Stuff Works' and went to study Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Oxford. However, during her degree she became fascinated by biomaterials and all things biological - not exactly what her GCSE biology teacher would have predicted!
After spending her Masters year sticking proteins to plastics at Sydney University, Jenni returned to Oxford to do a DPhil on tendon characterisation and shoulder disease, which basically involves trying to explain the properties of 'goo' to engineers, surgeons and scientists. Jenni is passionate about the role of science in society and hopes to pursue a career in science communication when she finishes her DPhil.
Faster, higher, stronger: hero materials of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Olympic fever is building as the nation anticipates the thrill of watching top athletes push their bodies to the limit at the London Games. Those who will compete in 2012 must be talented and dedicated to have a hope of winning medals. But would they break so many records without the help of materials scientists? This talk will explore three seemingly mundane materials - polyurethane, carbon fibre and tendon - that could make 'faster, higher, stronger' an exciting, and possibly controversial, reality at London 2012.