Aidan Westwood, senior carbon research fellow, Institute for Materials Research, Leeds University
Advertised: The Times Higher , December 9, 2005
For Aidan Westwood, carbon is more than just the stuff of life, diamonds, soot and climate change. It is a fantastic engineering material. "It's light, strong and it conducts heat exceptionally well, so it often finds use in extreme situations such as brakes and Formula One cars," he said.
"The Achilles heel is that it burns and makes nice coal fires, although by alloying it with boron or silicon it can be made fireproof."
Dr Westwood has been appointed senior research fellow at Leeds University, with a five-year contract leading to a permanent position and a £30,000 development grant.
"The Leeds Carbon Group is almost alone in Britain in focusing on the processing of carbon for applications," he said. "As senior researchers began to retire, the group started winding down. I convinced senior colleagues I had a reasonable vision for renewing it."
Dr Westwood's research covers biomedical applications, carbon-composite materials and using carbon for heat removal in electronic components. One recent project looked at how carbon fibre tapes could be used as scaffolding for arteries during angioplasty procedures.