I’m currently a post-doc research fellow at the Institute of Making, funded by the Centre for Nature-Inspired Engineering. My research is focused on 4D printing – using 3D printing to make smart materials which move in response to changes in their environment. These environmental stimuli could be heat, light, moisture, pressure or magnetism. We aim to make fabrics with controllable stiffness, moisture and temperature control for biomedical applications.
My EngD project was focused on solid state hydrogen storage materials for portable applications and was sponsored by industrial partner Cella Energy. The central material studied was a composite made from ammonia borane and polyethylene oxide. This energy storage solution offers significant weight advantages over battery storage, which is particularly attractive in the fields of aerospace and portable electronics. A working power system using this material has been demonstrated in a prototype UAV (see above). The challenge was to understand both the science of how this unique material works and to streamline the engineering required for workable systems powered by it.
Freeze-dried ammonia borane-polyethylene oxide composites: Phase behaviour and hydrogen release: A.R Ploszajski, M. Billing, A.S. Nathanson, M. Vickers and S.M. Bennington, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2018, 43, 5645-5656