University of Bristol team

Prof. Stephen Eichhorn

Prof. Stephen Eichhorn

Principal Investigator

Professor Steve Eichhorn is Professor in Materials Science at University of Bristol. Prior to this he was at University of Exeter as the Head of Engineering and Professor of Materials Science, within the College of Engineering, Maths & Physical Sciences. For 16 years, Professor Eichhorn was at University of Manchester, both as a PhD student and a member of academic staff in the School of Materials. He originally trained as a physicist, at University of Leeds, working closely with engineers, biologists, physicists and chemists. His research focuses on the mechanical properties and interfaces in natural and sustainable materials, particularly cellulose fibres and composites. He is particularly interested in applying principles from biological structures in engineering applications – or biomimetics – for a variety of applications including composites, smart packaging, energy storage and biofunctional materials. He has expertise in the use of Raman spectroscopy for the characterisation of polysaccharides, nanocellulose and the electrospinning of polymer based fibre.

Professor Eichhorn is both a Fellow of the Institute of Materials and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is also a member of the Institute of Physics, an editor for Journal of Materials Science and is on the editorial advisory board for Biomacromolecules and Cellulose.

Professor Eichhorn was awarded the 2012 Rosenhain Medal from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining for his contributions to Materials Science. He was also awarded the Hayashi Jisuke Prize from the Japanese Cellulose Society in 2017.

Professor Eichhorn was made ACS Division Fellow in 2015 (Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division; >2400 members) and is currently the Chair of the Division.

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Dr. Rinat Nigmatullin

Dr. Rinat Nigmatullin

Research Associate

Dr Rinat Nigmatullin joined the consortia to continue his research in the fields of biodegradable polymers and sustainable polymers from renewable resources. His PhD was focussed on the development of novel semi-permeable membranes based on cellulose and its derivatives. He then held a series of positions in Ukraine, France and UK investigating a range of membrane separations processes. During this period, his research covered development of semi-permeable membranes, trans-membrane mass transfer and applications of membrane separation processes in water purification and treatment of complex fluids of biological origin.

Later Dr Nigmatullin took up research positions at the Nottingham Trent University (2006) and the University of Westminster (2014) working on multiphase polymer systems in several large European consortia. He was exploring micro- and nanostructures composites and blends for the developments of materials with surface antimicrobial activity, implantable biodegradable materials for biomedical applications. This research and development work was focussed on polymers from renewable resources: microbially produced polyhydroxyalkanoates, bio-derived polylactides. He studied blends and composites of biodegradable polymers for the development of materials with the range of mechanical properties and degradation profiles for their applications as bioresorbable coronary stents and nerve guidance conduits.

Dr. Marcus Johns

Dr. Marcus Johns

Research Associate

Marcus recently obtained his PhD, Cellulose-Based Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering, from the University of Bath as part of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies. This focussed on the development of cellulosic gels from organic electrolyte solutions, including the generation of semi-interpenetrating networks with chitosan to support mammalian cell growth. As part of this, he also collaborated with academics at the Physics Institute of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, investigating the interaction between the gels and carbohydrate binding modules.

His research within the GelEnz project currently focusses on spinning cellulosic gels for fibre production and brings expertise in regression modelling, Design of Experiments and confocal microscopy.

Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor

Project Manager

Anna’s background is in business management. She has worked in the higher education sector for over 10 years and prior to that, held a number of administrative and business management roles within the NHS and Welsh Government. Anna graduated from Cardiff University with a BA in English Literature and also holds a Professional Certificate in Management. She has a particular interest in project management and has experience of working on both small and large scale projects over the past few years. These include a coronary heart disease screening programme in the South Wales valleys, implementation of university systems such as HR and Payroll, and equality and diversity initiatives, including project managing applications to the Athena SWAN gender equality charter. Anna has a great deal of experience in developing and implementing operational plans, processes and procedures.

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