2019 YPLC - LMS LOCAL HEAT
London Materials Society Young Person's Lecture Competition Local Heat
The LMS invites students and professionals up to the age of 28 to deliver a 15 minute lecture on a topic related to materials, minerals, mining, packaging, clay technology and wood science.
The selected Candidate will compete in the regional final held in London. Competitors must be 28 or under on 1 June 2019.
For more information on the competition, visit the YPLC page on this website
A NEW WEAPON IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SUPERBUGS: ANTIMICROBIAL FIBRES FOR AIR AND WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS
Rupy Kaur Matharu, from University College London
We are losing the war on drug-resistant microorganisms (superbugs)! Airborne and waterborne diseases, caused by inhalation, ingestion or absorption of superbugs pose a serious threat to human health. In fact, approximately 700,000 people die globally each year from infections resistant to antibiotic drugs. This number is set to rise to 10,000,000 by 2050.
The marked effects of these diseases are widespread, with significant impacts on societies, economies and political systems, particularly in developing countries. Insufficient discovery of antimicrobial drugs over the last 25 years has been outlined by the WHO as the biggest challenge to modern medicine.
This talk focuses on application of material science and nanotechnology to create a new weapon in the fight against superbugs. Novel nanocomposite fibrous filters discovered in my doctoral research are a viable means of preventing the spread of superbugs in air and water currents, whilst simultaneously avoiding excessive human consumption of antimicrobial drugs.
FEAFOG: USING FEATHERS TO TACKLE LONDON FATBERGS
Zexiang Brady Han, from Imperial College London
Fatbergs, which are congealed lumps formed in the sewer system via the conglomeration of nonbiodegradable solid matters and oil, fat and grease (FOG), continue to attract media attention. To tackle the problem of sewage blockages due to FOG, keratin protein extracted from waste poultry feathers are employed to manufacture oil-absorbing sponges that can soak up oil from dishes and water/oil emulsion. The high oil-absorbing abilities are attributable to not only its protein structure but also micro- and macropores created via freeze-drying. Characterisation of freeze-dried keratin sponges was performed at various manufacturing stages, investigating their structural evolution across length-scales as well as the effect of porosity on oil absorption and retention. Future work will be directed to improving their structural integrity – that is, their resistance against hydrolysis upon contact with water.
CHEMICAL-NOSE INSPIRED LABEL-FREE BIOSENSING: MIMICKING HUMAN OLFACTION SYSTEM
Nayoung Kim, from Imperial College London
There exists a pressing need for platform diagnostic technologies enabling facile evaluation of biological samples in a label- and wash-free format without the need of pre-labelling with target-binding receptors. However, challenges remain where the inherent complexity and dynamic nature of biological samples often limit the potential of selective and sensitive label-free sensing in biological environments.
This talk introduces a chemical-nose inspired label-free fingerprinting approach towards improved accuracy in discrimination of closely-related biological samples.
Mimicking the human olfaction system, chemical-nose approaches represent a promising strategy towards increasing information dimensionality by generating patterned outputs. By exploiting label-free surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
(SERS) technique, the work demonstrates an array of self-assembled monolayer modified plasmonic surfaces can increase the dimensionality in SERS fingerprints through selective SERS enhancement of the constituent biomolecules, leading to improved discriminatory accuracy. This versatile multi-dimensional fingerprinting approach holds a great promise for development of reliable label-free biosensing platforms.
2D GRAPHENE/MXENE IN WATER TREATMENT - A NEW GENERATION OF SOLID MEMBRANES
Ioan-Alexandru Bărăgău, from South Bank University
In this work, we designed and engineered high-performance 2D nanomaterials (MXene and Graphene) for membrane separation, for water treatment applications. The materials were synthesized using a Continuous Hydrothermal Flow Synthesis (CHFS) approach as a powerful and green tool in advanced material production. CHFS is a single step process that involves mixing a flow of superheated water with a flow of water-soluble precursor(s) to give controlled, continuous and rapid (within seconds) synthesis of nanomaterials. The as-synthesised 2D materials (Graphene and MXene) were employed to manufacture membranes for water treatment. The performance of the developed membranes (rejection rate and permeance) was evaluated using a continuous flow mode set-up (designed in-house) to filter model solutions (mimicking real water streams containing metal ions, biological samples, dyes).
AEROGEL – THERMAL INSULATOR OF THE FUTURE
Braian Lew, from Imperial College London
Aerogel – thermal insulator of the future Aerogel is a highly porous structure that is among the lightest and finest insulation materials in the world. Its advance structure is a result of a precise and sophisticated process of manufacturing. Silicon dioxide combined with a solvent produces silica gel that is introduced with liquid carbon dioxide. It is then dried using a process known as critical point drying. For liquid CO2 the conditions are around 31°C and 7.4 MPa. This allows to remove the liquid from the silica while maintaining the structure of a gel. Therefore, air molecules cannot travel through aerogel and heat transfer is incredibly low. New ways of reinforcing aerogels with polymers has made them stronger and more durable. Aerogels are mainly used in cosmic industry where harsh environment is the major enemy. However, its uniquely low density, durability and thermal insulation, makes this material suitable in many applications such as cloths, walls or windows.
5.30pm - Tea/Coffee
6.00pm - Lecture competition
7.30pm - Buffet