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Henry Armstrong Memorial Lecturer: Dr Ian Wilson, Soft Solids are hard work

Dr Ian Wilson

4 Sep 2014

SCI are delighted to announce that that Dr Ian Wilson will be presenting the 2014 Henry Armstrong Memorial Lecture on the 6 November at the University of Chester.

Henry Armstrong, the Society's first Messel Medallist, was a visionary and a pioneer. His life's work was centred on chemistry education within engineering schools, and through it he came to be recognised as a founding father of chemical engineering. He played an important part in establishing the SCI Process Engineering Group. The lecture is given by an authority in a field of process engineering.

Dr Wilson trained as a chemical engineer in the UK and Canada. As an undergraduate he switched courses from chemistry to chemical engineering when he realised that he was really interested in how to make molecules and materials. Ian has been at Cambridge since 1994 and leads the Paste, Particle and Polymer Processing Group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechonology. His research on soft solids and surfaces has been inspired by processing challenges and phenomena, particularly in the food sector. He was awarded a Pilkington Teaching Prize in 2000 and the 2013 Viscoplastic Fluids congress Bingham Fluid Medal. His contribution to the study of fouling and cleaning of process surfaces was recognised by a ScD from Cambridge in 2013.

Dr Wilson will deliver his presentation 'Soft Solids are hard work'. Soft solids are structured materials that do not fit comfortably into classical descriptions of fluids (which tend to flow) and solids (which tend to stay put). Familiar examples are plasticine, MarmiteTM, cookie doughs and cake batters. Their behaviour derives from their multiphase structure, which also imparts their functionality and product properties. Working out how to process such materials, to create or to maintain these structures, requires a fusion of different engineering and scientific approaches to generate workable solutions. There are aspects of art in determining which scientific problems need to be solved. The lecture will be illustrated by examples from the food, pharmaceutical and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sectors, with elements of fluid and soil mechanics, rheology and chemistry, as well as some edible demonstrations.

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