Tech Foresight 2040 - Malleable Matter

Malleable Matter – 25th June – 10:00 – 12:00 BST

Whether in clothes, buildings or consumer goods, modern materials shape the fabric of our everyday lives. Advanced materials are now being developed in labs to enable clothes that function as energy-harnessing devices and products that move by themselves due to their meta-crystalline structures. Geometry, process and movement are all being reinvented in the lab by harnessing new ideas and methods of development. This session will consider how material science could unleash a new wave of positive disruption.

Meta-crystalline materials: From invisibility cloaks to programmable matter

Meta-crystalline materials: From invisibility cloaks to programmable matter

Dr Minh-Son Pham

What if we could bring a secret in materials to life? One that is shared between aero-engines and invisibility cloaking, developing materials that surpass their original properties—making lightweight materials robust, creating static structures that dynamically respond to their environment and building materials that seamlessly blends into our bodies. Dr Minh-Son Pham will share how we in the next 20 years might teach materials to learn and react to their surrounding environment, sharing the intersection between advance manufacturing and artificial intelligence. By being inspired by nature, we can create materials that can learn, self-optimise and sense their surrounding environment. What might be the future limit of self-learning and adjusting materials?

A new era of wearables: Embedding advanced technology into our lives

A new era of wearables: Embedding advanced technology into our lives

Dr Felice Torrisi

Wearable electronics have great potential to create better health and wellbeing for the many through the application of new technologies. However, rigid electronics still dominate the wearables sector, making them unsuitable for daily use. Truly wearable devices need to match the elasticity of the skin, show breathability, comfort and be easy to clean. What if we could develop breathable, washable, energy-harnessing and biocompatible electronics that meet these criteria? Dr Felice Torrisi’s research aims to develop a new class of washable, breathable and skin-compatible electronic components based on natural fibres such as cotton and cellulose. These materials are engineered by using techniques from nanomaterials, 2D materials and organic electronics, creating new platforms for intuitive sensing. These novel textiles have applications in broad areas such as healthcare, wellbeing, IoT, lighting and sensing. However, these technologies are also migrating into our bodies. What might be next?

Ethical battery revolution: Making our energy revolution sustainable and safe

Ethical battery revolution: Making our energy revolution sustainable and safe

Dr Ola Hekselman

What if we could create new materials that allow our batteries to last longer, be more powerful and safer? Batteries have helped to transform our lives and the technological development in this field has been ground-breaking. However, we are still waiting for a battery revolution to make them cheaper and recycled at scale following emerging regulations and demands. Dr Ola Hekselman will share her vision on future battery technologies and their applications, and in particular how we can take a more proactive stance towards recyclability. If we are building gigafactories, then what about the gigarecycling plants? In her session, she will share what might be needed to power the next 20-years of battery revolution and how to make it ethical and safe for the user.
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