California finalist wins Young Persons' World Lecture Competition

6 Jul 2012

finalist, Brian Weden, has been awarded first prize in the Young Persons’
Lecture Competition with his talk, High Performance Impact-Tolerant and
Abrasion-Resistant Materials: Lessons From Nature.

nine finalists from the Young Persons' Lecture Competition across the globe gathered at the Institute of Materials,
Minerals and Mining in London on 5 July 2012 to present their lectures, which won them first
place in their national finals earlier this year. Later in the evening,
competitors and guests gathered at IOM3 London HQ for the Institute's Premier Awards ceremony, and enjoyed
entertainment from singers of the Royal College of Music.

In his winning lecture, Brian discussed chitons and he investigated the structure and
mineralisation process in cryptochiton stelleri, the largest of the chitons. Using various microscopy
and spectroscopy techniques as well as synchroton analyses, he has uncovered
critical structure-function relationships in the mineralised teeth as well as
insights into the mineralisation processes in these unique structures.
Investigation of the mechanical properties of the fully mineralised teeth have
revealed that the combination of ultrahard minerals and templating organics,
architected in a unique microstructure, led to a damage tolerant composite that
is one of the hardest biominerals known to nature.

Brian is currently a
fourth year student at UCR and will be co-author of a biomineralisation paper
that is set to be published later this year. He will be graduating with a BSc
in 2013 and intends to apply to graduate school to pursue a PhD in Materials
Science and Engineering.

Second place went to Jesse Manders from Florida with his talk, A Bright Future with Scalable and Flexible Materials for Harvesting Solar energy. South African finalist, Ross Burnham's talk, Flying into the Future: The Effect of Fuel Composition on Seal Performance in Jet Engine Applications, won him third place.


Full details of this year's finalists and their presentations