Engineer awarded prestigious Ivor Jenkins medal

Dr Yuyuan Zhao, from the School of Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious Ivor Jenkins medal for his outstanding contribution to powder metallurgy.

The Ivor Jenkins medal is awarded by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in recognition of a significant contribution that has enhanced the scientific, industrial or technological understanding of materials processing or component production using particulate materials.

Dr Zhao successfully developed and commercialised innovative powder based technologies for manufacturing metal foams. He has also contributed significantly to understanding centrifugal atomisation for metal powder production.

In 2004, Dr Zhao invented and patented Lost Carbonate Sintering (LCS) process – the first commercialised particulate-based process for manufacturing porous metals. This process was licensed to C-Tech Limited who licensed it on to Versarien, a start-up company founded in 2010 to commercialise the process for micro-porous copper in thermal management applications. Versarien floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2013.

Professor Ken Badcock, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science Engineering, said:  “This is deserved recognition of the success Yuyuan has had with the commercialisation of the LCS process. Versarien continues to go from strength to strength. It is an example of the importance of protecting intellectual property arising from research.”   

Dr Zhao is also recognised as an internationally leading expert in metal matrix syntactic foams. He developed methods to manufacture aluminium, steel and titanium matrix syntactic foams and observed for the first time the Griffith-type rupture in metal matrix syntactic foams under compression.

Dr Zhao is currently researching porous metal electrodes for use in fuel cells and batteries for energy applications.

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