The University of Southampton

"Living in a Materials World" - Inaugural lecture by Professor Alun Vaughan

Published: 20 January 2012

Some of the critical problems facing the world’s power systems will be discussed by Professor Alun Vaughan in his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 1 February.

Professor Vaughan, Head of the Electronics and Electrical Research Group in ECS-Electronics and Computer Science, will look at the critical role that dielectrics – the materials used for insulation in the storage and transmission of electricity – play in high voltage systems, and will highlight the need for a step-change in materials technology to address such problems.

The lecture will move from reviewing the principles of self assembly that make polymers such a versatile class of materials, to looking at the strategies that are currently being used in the design of next-generation insulation systems and the problems that will need to be overcome if the ambitious targets being set for future plant are to be met.

Alun Vaughan joined the University of Southampton in 2000, having previously worked at the University of Reading’s Polymer Science Centre, and at the Central Electricity Research Laboratories of the Central Electricity Generating Board. His research on the use of polymers in power transmission has developed in different directions but his major research continues to focus on the linkage between the structure of polymeric materials and their properties. He is also involved in nanodielectrics and the developments of thermoplastic cable insulation systems based on polymer blends. He was appointed to a Professorship in the University of Southampton in 2007.

The lecture: “Living in a Materials World: Powering the future through designer dielectrics”, takes place at 5 pm on Wednesday 1 February, in Nightingale Lecture Theatre on the Highfield Campus. All are welcome and no tickets are required. Refreshments are available in the Nightingale Building from 4.30 pm.

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