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McBain Medal 2017: preview

McBain Medal

McBain Medal: Assembly and pattern formation in complex soft materials

20 February 2017

The McBain Medal is an annual award to honour a younger scientist who has made a meritorious contribution to colloid and interface science – expanding beyond the traditional boundaries of the field to include those applying colloid and interface science in areas such as physics, engineering and biological, medical, formulation, polymer, 'nano' and 'soft matter' science. It is named after James William McBain.

This year’s recipient of the McBain Medal is Dr Joao Cabral from Imperial College London and he has curated the guest lecturers for this year’s presentation, which will focus on recent advances in colloid and interfacial science as a route to materials and processes with societal value. The event will take place on Monday 27 March 2017 and you can book here.


Professor Dame Julia Higgins FRS, Imperial College London
Polymers in Mixtures - Thermodynamics and Interfacial Structures
Dame Julia is a neutron scattering pioneer in the study of the structure and dynamics of soft matter, including polymers, colloids and interfaces of thin films. Julia’s many contributions include the first measurements of a chain conformation in the melt, the interfacial width between polymer films and the polymer tube diameter during reputation.

Professor Tom McLeish FRS, Durham University
Molecular Viscoelasticity in Spaces of Different Dimensionality
Prof Tom McLeish FRS is a theoretical physicist and currently professor and Director of the Durham Centre for Soft Matter, leading a multidisciplinary team that works across physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. Tom’s (many) interests span from the rheology of complex fluids and macromolecular biological physics, to theology, ethics and history of science, and recently published Faith and Wisdom in Science and Let There Be Science.

Dr Eric Robles, Procter & Gamble
The Role of Colloid Chemistry in Every Breakthrough Innovation in Industry
Dr Eric Robles is a Research Fellow at Procter & Gamble and one of its leading technologists in Europe. After a PhD at Ohio State University and a postdoc at Harvard, Eric has been at P&G for over 20 years, focussing on understanding the phase and colloidal behaviour of various complex fluids, including detergents, shampoos, pastes and foams. He is interested in the fundamental understanding of how product microstructure affects process design, product performance and stability across the supply chain.

Dr Lionel Porcar, Institut Laue Langevin 
Recent Advances in Flow-SANS for Colloidal and Interfacial Science
Dr Lionel Porcar is a pioneer of rheo and flow small angle neutron scattering (SANS) approaches for complex and biological fluids. Lionel was previously at Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), before joining the Institut Laue-Langevin (France) as a beamline scientist. His team researches the molecular and nanoscale physical-chemical mechanisms underpinning the response of soft matter to precise external fields.

Dr Alex Routh, University of Cambridge
Strength Development Furing Consolidation in Drying Films
Dr Alex Routh leads the Colloidal Dispersions group at the University of Cambridge and is an expert in film and pattern formation, cracking, encapsulation, in both fundamental and applied contexts. He has co-authored Fundamentals of Latex Film Formation and is a previous recipient of the McBain medal (2010).

Professor Sidney Nagel, University of Chicago
Pattern Formation
Prof Sidney Nagel, from the University of Chicago, is an eminent scientist focused on everyday phenomena, including the science of drops and splashing, the anomalous flow of granular materials (sand grains in a pile) and jamming, and currently leads the international collaboration ‘Cracking the Glass Problem’, which seeks to understand disorder and glassy systems. Sid is the recipient of numerous awards including the Oliver Buckley Prize (APS) and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (US).

Dr Joao Cabral, Imperial College London
Interfacial Instabilities in Frontal Photopolymerisation, Microflow, and Complex Fluid Processing
Dr Joao has been awarded the 2016 McBain medal for his work in understanding the thermodynamics and assembly of colloid and polymer mixtures, from solution to film and particle formation, and the design of functional materials via interfacial instabilities that give rise to unexpected pattern formation. An enthusiast of scattering, his team and collaborators have pioneered the use of neutron and X-rays to study flow processing of complex fluids in complex microfluidic flows. His work is underpinned by strong collaborations with industry, ranging from personal care to photovoltaics to separation processes.

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