Stuff Matters (Miodownik)

Author Bio
Birth—April 25, 1969
Where—N/A
Education—B.A., Ph. D., Oxford University
Currently—lives in London, England


Professor Mark Andrew Miodownik is a British materials scientist, engineer, broadcaster and writer at University College London. Previously, he was the head of the Materials Research Group at King's College London, and a co-founder of Materials Library. He recently appeared in The Times' (UK) inaugural list of the 100 most influential scientists in the UK. His book, Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World, appeared in 2014.


Miodownik attended Emanuel School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in metallurgy from St Catherine's College at the University of Oxford in 1992, and a D.Phil in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford in 1996, specifically oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloys. He says that his interest in materials came from an incident when he was stabbed in the back with a razor, on his way to school. Realising that a small piece of steel had done him so much harm started his interest in materials.

Research
Miodownik's scientific research is primarily in Materials Science, Metallurgy and Biomechanics. He has also been key to the development of the concept of Sensoaesthetics, which is the "application of scientific methodology to the aesthetic, sensual and emotional side" of materials.

Science outreach
Miodownik is widely known for his broadcasting and outreach work. In 2001 he gave a series of talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on aesthetics in the arts and sciences. In 2003 he co-founded the Materials Library, a website for people working in materials science, with a grant from NESTA.

In 2005 he organised two talks at Tate Modern on the influence of new materials on the arts. In 2006 he and two other scientists produced AfterImage, an installation that explores light and colour perception, which was exhibited at the Hayward Gallery. In 2007 the Materials Library made a podcast "What can the matter be?" hosted by the Tate. He appeared on Jim Al-Khalili's "The Life Scientific" in March 2014.

He was one of the judges of the 2008 Art Fund Prize. He often gives talks at the Cheltenham Science Festival, of which he is a member of the advisory group. In 2010 he placed 89 in a Times list of the 100 most influential people in science and delivered that year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. The three-part series, "Size Matters," looked at how size influences everything, including the shape of the universe, and aired on BBC Four in late December 2010.

Miodownik has done work with the Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery, and the Wellcome Collection. He has close ties to the Royal Institution of Great Britain and presented a Friday Evening Discourse in February 2013 entitled "Strange Material." His television appearances include Wonderstuff on BBC Two in August 2011, The How it Works series on BBC Four in 2012 and The Genius of Invention on BBC Two in early 2013. He also appeared as a regular guest on Dara O'Briain's Science Clubon BBC Two in late 2012. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 6/9/2014.)

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