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Michael De Volder, Engineering Department - IfM

Studying at Cambridge


PI, Post-docs and PhDs

The Nanomanufacturing group's Principal Investigator, Post-doctoral Researchers and PhD Candidates.

Principal Investigator


Dr Michael De Volder

Michael performed his PhD research on MEMS actuators at the University of Leuven in Belgium and in part at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan. He then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, and Harvard University as a postdoc researcher in the field of nanotechnology. He also worked for several years at imec - an industry funded microelectronics research institute - before joining the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He is a recipient of an ERC starting grant, and holder of several industrial and academic awards including the Iwan Akerman Award, the Barco High-Tech Award and the Robert M Caddell award. He is a Laureate of the Belgian Royal Academy, vice president of LIAM - a North Carolina based nanotech company and Co_founder of Echion Technologies (UK). Michael is a Reader (Associate Professor) at the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St John's College.


Post-Doctoral Researchers


Dr Davor Copic
Davor received his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He investigates carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposite and polymer microstructures and actuators for use in microtextured and active surfaces under Dr. A. John Hart. Actuators were fabricated using capillary driven infiltration of CNT microstructures with various active materials and replica molding (REM) of master templates in both thermally and optically active liquid crystal networks (LCN). His long term interests include synthesis of carbon nanomaterials, nanomanufacturing, additive manufacturing of structural and active composites, novel sensors and microactuators.



Dr. Nicoló ChiodarelliNicoló recently obtained a Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship to join the Nanomanufacturing group, led by Dr. Michael De Volder. Nicoló is specialised in the electronic applications of carbon nanotube (CNT). During his PhD at the University of Leuven (Belgium) he defined the first European industrial technology for making vertical interconnects in microchips using CNT instead of copper. This technology is implemented nowadays at IMEC (Belgium), a leading research centre in Nano-electronics. In 2011 he joined the CEA of Grenoble (France) for a post-doc project to identify the best way to fabricate horizontal CNT-interconnects and to make reliable electrical contacts to Carbon nanomaterials. Nicoló then worked for 2-years at Alstom-Transport (Lyon, France) where he gained industrial process development and optimisation experience.


Hsin-Ling Profile Pic

Dr Hsin-Ling Liang
Hsin-Ling received her BSc and MSc in the Department of Engineering and System Science from National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan). She then worked as an R&D engineer at the Taiwan-based polyimide film manufacturer Taimide Technology, after which she moved to Germany for doctoral studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Her thesis focused on studies of nematic and smectic liquid crystalline order in the spherical shell geometry, involving microfluidic fabrication of small molecular and elastomeric liquid crystal shells. She carried on liquid crystal research in device applications in the Photonics and Sensors Group (CAPE, Cambridge University), where she worked on dye-doped liquid crystals and the roll-to-roll production of switchable liquid crystal panels. Her current project concerns roll-to-roll manufacturability of nano-materials.


Changshin Jo profile pic

Dr Changshin Jo
Changshin Jo has joined the IfM in October 2017 as a research associate in both Dr. Michael De Volder group (Institute for Manufacturing) and Dr. Adam Boies group (Division of Energy). He received his B.S. degree (2010) and Ph.D degree (2016) in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea. The main themes of his Ph.D. project have been i) synthesis of nanoporous inorganic materials and ii) applications of those materials in energy storage applications. In the Nanomanufacturing group he is working on CNT based electrode materials for energy storage applications.


Dr Jung Tae Lee profile pic

Dr Jung Tae Lee
Jung Tae earned his Ph.D. in School of Materials Science Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and his primary research goals were developing novel battery materials including chalcogens with high energy/power density and prolonged cycle life based on fundamental mechanism understandings. He worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral associate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics for 2.5 years to develop thermally drawn Li-ion battery and supercapacitor fibers. He is currently a research associate at the University of Cambridge in the laboratory of Dr. Michael De-Volder. His current research focuses on developing novel hierarchical electrode structures ranging from nanoscale to macroscale for advanced Li-ion and next generation batteries.



Dr Laura Maggini
Laura was born in La Spezia (Italy) in 1984. She obtained her Master Degree in Organic Chemistry at the University of Rome, "Sapienza" under the supervision of Prof. Lanzalunga, working on sulfoxide chemistry. She then secured a Marie Curie Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. in the field of Nanotechnology, under the supervision of Prof. Bonifazi at the University of Namur (Belgium). Her research focused on the preparation of novel luminescent material based on CNTs for photonic applications. After a short stay in the group of Prof. Takuzo Aida at Riken (Japan), she joined the group of Prof. De Cola, at the Institut de Science et d'Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (I.S.I.S.) in Strasbourg (France) as a Marie-Curie fellow. As part of the Nanomanufacturing group she is working on chemical modification of CNTs for next generation devices.


Xiao Zhang profile pic

Dr Xiao Zhang
Xiao Zhang received his PhD degree on Condensed Matter Physics from Prof. Sishen Xie's group, in the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, investigating the preparation of some novel carbon nanomaterials (especially ultralong suspended CNTs). He developed a novel optical visualization method for single tubes, with which intrinsic optical and thermal properties could be characterized. In University of Cambridge, during his research associate period at Department of Engineering, he will focus on the subject of CNT Synthesis and Characterization (especially on the thermal conductivity enhancement) by working together in the group of Dr. Adam Boies in Division of Energy, and the Nanomanufacturing group of Dr. Michael De Volder in Institute for Manufacturing.


PhD Students

Charlie Barty-King profile pic

Charlie Barty-King
Charlie is developing a structurally-coloured, iridescent material for use in various industries. The material is easily formulated compared to other photonic crystals, is fully bio-compatible and can dynamically respond to its environment, observed by a change in colour. Charlie and his supervisor, Michael De Volder (Nanomanufacturing), and advisor, Silvia Vignolini (Bio-inspired Photonics), are collaborating to bring this lab-proven photonic technology into the industrial domain by investigating applications and industrial scalability.

More information on the material can be found here. While a synopsis of Charlie's work before joining the Nanomanufacturing group can be found here.


Maxime Burgonse profile pic

Maxime Burgonse
Maxime Burgonse from EPFL (Switzerland) is visiting the University of Cambridge as a part of his master degree. His research is focused on advanced manufacturing techniques of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) microstructures for space applications.



Simon Engelke profile pic

Simon Engelke
Simon Engelke is PhD Student working with Dr Michael de Volder (IfM) and Prof Clare Grey (Chemistry) on vertically aligned electrode structures. Hereby, he is actively involved in the design of advanced electrode structures, their characterisation with PFG NMR and electrochemical measurement techniques, and scaling up of the research.




Sammy Mahdi profile pic

Sammy Mahdi
Sammy completed his BEng Electronic Engineering in The University of Manchester focusing on developing instrumentation for brain-computer interfaces. Later he joined the Sensors CDT and is currently working on developing novel technologies for infrared sensing. The aim of the project is to develop high performance/low cost infrared imaging system using carbon nanotubes that can be used in future autonomous vehicles. In his spare time, Sammy is working for WaterScope, a Cambridge based-startup aiming to develop an easy-to use, low cost solution for bacteria detection. Sammy is part of Christ's College where he is a member of the MCR committee and is also rowing for the first men's team.


Vinay Malhotra profile pic

Vinay Malhotra
Vinay is a member of Darwin College where he achieved his MRes through the Graphene Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at the University of Cambridge and is now researching 2D nanomaterial structures for improving electrode performance in redox-flow battery systems. The project is jointly supervised by Dr Michael de Volder and Professor Clare Grey, and is an industrial collaboration with Royal Dutch Shell plc. (LON:RDSA). Vinay graduated with a BSc in Physics with Nanoscience and technology at the University of Leicester. Vinay has interests in escape rooms, Japanese language and culture, photography, technology, politics, computers & video games, visual narratives and music.


Angus Mathieson profile pic

Angus Mathieson
Angus is a PhD candidate working collaboratively with the IfM and Cavendish Laboratories using hybrid perovskite organic semi-conductors to develop a novel photobattery device. He is jointly supervised by Dr Michael DeVolder (IfM) and Dr Felix Deschler (Optoelectronics, Physics). 

Angus completed his MSc (Physics) degree at Durham University in 2017 during which he developed a new approach to the extraction and deposition of graphene and other two-dimensional materials for thin film applications. In the following year he obtained an MRes (Distinction) degree as part of his Graphene CDT course at the University of Cambridge, during which he undertook a theoretical project using density functional theory to model the changes in the electronic and vibrational properties of layered materials as they approach the two-dimensional limit. He then begun his current work in 2D/3D organo-metal hybrid perovskites for photovoltaic and battery applications and is a member of Wolfson College.

Research interest:

  • Photovoltaics
  • Energy storage
  • 2 dimensional materials
  • Organic semiconductors


Jędrzej Morzy profile pic

Jędrzej Morzy
Jędrzej completed his BSc and MSc in Nanotechnology at Gdańsk University of Technology in Poland. Currently, he is a PhD student within the Doctoral Training Centre in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC) doing a PhD project focused on lithium ion battery cathode materials’ degradation during cycling using in situ electron microscopy. He primary supervisor is Dr Caterina Ducati (Electron Microscopy Group, MSM Dept.) and co-supervised by Dr Michael De Volder.


Kate Sanders profile pic

Kate Sanders
Kate Sanders is an NanoDTC PhD candidate (c. 2016) working on hierarchically structured carbon nanomaterials with a focus on catalysis and water purification applications. Her PhD is is co-supervised by Dr Laura Torrente (Catalysis and Process Integration group). During her MRes year she completed rotation projects in the mechanical properties of CNT films, the synthesis of double perovskite nanocrystals and the organic synthesis of a drug delivery complex. Prior to this, Kate graduated from University College London in 2016 with an MSci in Chemistry, working on biomimetic polymer-clay nanocomposites for her Masters project. She is a member of Wolfson College. 


Chris Valentine profile pic

Chris Valentine
The focus of the work Chris is undertaking for his PhD is on the development of carbon nanotube based electrodes for use within electrochemical sensors. Chris is mainly working on producing structured CNT forests, which can be used as the working electrode within a three-electrode system. He is controlling the structure, porosity and surface area of the CNT forest, as well as the functionalisation of the CNT surface to improve the design of the next generation of electrochemical sensors. Additionally Chris works on disposable paper based electrochemical sensors, again studying the affect structure has on the final sensing capabilities of the devices. Chris is a member of the Sensor Technologies and Applications CDT and a recipient of the Leete Premium award.



Jean was working on gas-phase synthesis of high throughput self-assembled carbon nanotubes under supervision of Dr. Adam Boies and co-supervision of Dr M. De Volder. The project produced novel nanostructured materials by scalable processes, with a focus on energy storage and water purification applications. Jean graduated from the Ecole Centrale Paris with Masters in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics. He is the 2013 George and Lillian Schiff scholar, and is also supported by a CHESS studentship. He is a member of King’s college.


Bo Wen profile pictureBo Wen
Bo Wen is a Graphene CDT candidate who joined NanoManufacturing group led by Dr Michael De Volder in 2018, focusing primarily on Hierarchical rGO-Layered Oxide Composites for High Energy Density Lithium-ion Battery Cathodes. The PhD project is co-supervised by Prof. Clare Grey FRS from Chemistry. His MRes year was finished at Cambridge Graphene Centre, during which he worked on the silicon-graphene hybridised materials for the anodes of lithium-ion batteries. Prior to this, Bo Wen graduated as the 2017 Top Graduate in BEng Chemical Engineering from University of Manchester. He is a member of Clare College.



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We are hiring!

Jul 05, 2018

We are hiring a postdoc to work on Li-Ion Battery Development. Position is described in this advert:

We are Hiring!

Mar 03, 2018

We are hiring a postdoc to investigate degradation mechanisms in NMC cathodes. Position (1) in this advert:

Dr Jung-Tae Lee has joined our group

Mar 03, 2018

Dr Jung-Tae lee joins our group from MIT to work on Li-Ion batteries.

Dr Copic wins 3rd prize at Postdoc business plan competition

Nov 14, 2017

Dr Davor Copic wins the 3rd prize at the Postdoc business plan competition for his work on next generation heat pipes

4 New PhD students join our group

Nov 14, 2017

Kate Sanders, Vinay Malhotra, Charlie Barty-King and Sammy Mahdi joined the Nanomanufacturing group for their PhD research

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