Materials World January 2019

Happy new year, readers. I hope you enjoyed the holidays, are refreshed from the break and still holding on to some of that festive good feeling. Sticking with the trend of last year, we are once again going through changes and are sad to say that our News Editor, Khai, left us at the end of December. So we’re currently recruiting and look forward to introducing a new team member soon.
Also undergoing a long and drawn-out transformation is the UK, as we finally approach the deadline for Brexit, whatever that will mean by the time we get there. But rather than dwell on speculation, we’re assessing the strength of our assets with a series of regionally focused issues, kicking off with the home country of three of the Materials World team – Wales.

We take a look at the virtual factory concept developed to support innovation in the UK steel industry, led by Swansea University, on page 28, hear the origins of an advanced plastics company in South Wales which makes skin-safe and recyclable plastic products on page 38, discover why the University of South Wales has setup an aerospace academy in Dubai, UAE on page 41, and zone in on Wales’s thriving commodities in the monthly mining report on page 43.

Also, we look back over 100 years of the Women’s Engineering Society, consider the real-world applications of graphene, examine the use of microwaves for copper extraction, and learn about the benefits of stitching carbon sheets. This, plus all of the regular items, and a professional development section that explores training.

Hwyl fawr, diolch!

Ceri Jones, Editor

News this issue:

Smart hazmat suits based on cactus skin

Saudi mining city brings diversity

FAME 2018

Patent of the Month

Financial benefits to carbon management

Diamond Light Source hosts synchrotron school

Self-sensing components paves way to functional soft robotics

Country report: Chile

Bamboo houses aims to solve the housing crisis in Manila slums

Hydrogel to aid wounds heal

Magnetic nanosprings might be the key for drug delivery agents

Experiments in space

Melting gold without heat

Slate landscape for world heritage

Features this issue:

Microwaves for copper

Sewing carbon

Spotlight: How to... use intelligent metal tubes in industrial processes

A virtual factory for steel

A centenary celebration for women’s engineering

Graphene in the real world

Making materials

Q&A: Paul Davies

Welsh mining’s comeback

Material Marvels: Matewan, West Virginia

Q&A with Bethany Holroyd

Training and the STEM skills gap