Some of our key achievements to date include:

Over 110 students received Doctoral Degrees

Since its establishment in 2005, to date over 100 M3S CDT’s students have received Doctoral Degrees.

A spin-out company, Cella Energy Ltd

The research of EngD student Zeynep Kurban on novel nano-structured hydrogen storage materials for carbon-free alternative fuels, in collaboration with the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, has led directly to the set-up of a spin-out company, Cella Energy Ltd, for safe and low-cost hydrogen storage materials that encapsulate hydrogen at ambient temperatures and pressures. Cella Energy has won the 2011 Shell Springboard competition: http://www.shellspringboard.org/previous_winners/solid-state-hydrogen-storage-cella-energy

A number of patents granted from the CDT's research work

A number of patents have been granted from work of the CDT, including

  • New precursors for CVD and new methods of aerosol delivery (Patent number WO 2016/132100 A1);
  • EngD student Anna Ploszajski is an inventor on the patent  “Hydrogen Storage Pellet” http://patents.justia.com/patent/20140178292.
  • EngD student Andrew Mellor’s research work led to a new patent on ‘Method of Metallic Clusters Fabrication with Desired Size Using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Tip Induced Reactions’.
Launched the Centre for Computational Materials Science

As the outcome of successful collaboration between the M3S CDT and Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the  CDT and AWE jointly launched the Centre for Computational Materials Science(CCMS) in December 2014, who’s goal is the establishment of a centre of excellence in materials science and simulations and foster UCL-based research by AWE.

Eight successful sixth form events

The CDT's students conducted seven very successful Sixth Form Events since 2012. Over 300 students and their teachers from London based second schools, including both comprehensive schools and independent selective schools, have been benefited from this one-day event. The event runs by the CDT's cohorts and takes place in later June each year.


In order for our students to succeed in today's highly competitive environment, supporting and enhancing the student experience is critical.
The  M3S CDT sixth form event is aimed at providing a platform for our students to apply transferable skills in a real-life situation. The event is the complete responsibility of the cohorts with help and guidance from the CDT’s director and manager. For the event, the students are given a budget and are in charge of all arrangements: promotion, registration, programme design and printing, exhibitions, catering, outside sponsorship, entertainment, etc. To date seven very successful events have been conducted, which involved 6 London based sixth form colleges, including both comprehensive schools and independent selective schools.  Around 300 students and their teachers have participated the events. The events received high praise from the participants.

A core umbrella agreement with GSK

GSK have signed a core umbrella agreement with UC, which is associated with the CDT, that streamlines Consultancy, student and PDRA sponsorship.

Over 150 research papers

The CDT's students have published over 150 international research papers, with over 30% of the papers having international or industrial co-authors.

Establishment of an  international research programme

The CDT currently runs one international collaborative research programme jointly with Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore, Singapore.

Built strong connections with UK central facilities

Through co-funded studentships, the CDT has built strong connections with Central facilities, such as the Diamond Light Source Ltd, Harwell UK Catalysis Hub, ISIS/STFC. Since 2014, the CDT has received 4 studentships from Central facilities. Furthermore, a number of CDT’s academics are directly involved in the research and teaching activities at the Diamond/Catalysis Hub: e.g.Professor Catlow, Professor Scanlon, and Professor Beale.

Contributions in the establishment of a local
computational research group in Africa

The CDT’s students and staff have made huge contribution to help in the establishment of the local computational research group at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Ghana . Our students and staff  have traveled to Ghana on multiple occasions over the last two years to set up computer infrastructure, to give a series of lectures and workshops. Our team also worked closely with local people within the research group to implement the techniques into their projects.
With the help of the CDT and its students, the computational projects in KNUST are now up and running smoothly

Modelling studies enable accurate estimates of the key defect reactions

Modelling studies on semiconducting oxides and nitrides with Accelrys Ltd have allowed them to obtain accurate estimates of the key defect reactions, controlling the extent of electronic doping in these materials, which will provide direct assistance in optimising their properties for device applications.

    OpenAFM Summer School

    As a member of UCL’s OpenAFM team, Amy Lai, a CDT (2015 cohort) PhD student, went to Beijing in August 2016 for a summer school themed around the UN’s sustainable development goals. The aim of the project was to design a low cost atomic force microscope that could be accessible to people at home or in secondary schools. The team worked with high school children, business incubators and accelerators to gauge the viability of the idea on both the market and within an educational setting.

    The team held public open days to explain the science behind the AFM. The events were carried out in iCenter Tsinghua University, Beijing as well as in Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab.

    Ramsay Medal

    Toby Gill, a student of CDT’s 2012 cohort, was awarded the prestigious Ramsay Medal for his research on “Controlling the electronic and magnetic properties of the two-dimensional material silicene” in June. Toby is a student on the CDT’s one international collaborative research programme, JAIST. The UCL-JAIST programme is a 3-year PhD

    programme co-funded by UCL MAPS faculty and the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), Japan. Toby is supervised by Dr Cyrus Hirjibehedin and co-supervised by Professor Yukiko Yamada-Takamura of JAIST.
    The Ramsay Medal has been awarded annually at UCL since 1923 to the top postgraduate student or students studying in their final year within the Department of Chemistry.  It is awarded on behalf of the department, upon the recommendation of a jury of academics where preference is given, other things being equal, to a student whose work has been distinguished in those departments of Chemical Science with which the researches of the late Sir William Ramsay were especially associated.

    Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2017

    The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition was a week long festival celebrating the very best of UK science.  The exhibition brings a selection of cutting-edge research exhibits to life.  During the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2017, the CDT presented two exhibits, namely, “Smart Surfaces” and the ‘Zoom for improvement’.  More than 10,000 people visited the exhibition over the week.  Ten CDT students were part of the core teams for the exhibitions and they showcased work from the CDTs.

    The Smart Surfaces: showcasing work on light-activated antimicrobial surfaces and super water-repellent materials while the Zoom for improvement: using state of the art characterisation techniques to reveal the intricacies of heterogeneous catalytic materials and how this information can be utilised for improving their performance.  
    The CDT’s students and staff were the key players of these two exhibits.  The CDT’s students were involved with the early stage preparation and presentations during the exhibition period. Training sessions were organised to prepare students for their duties for the exhibition.

    The exhibits attracted a lot of public interests and generated significant media interest. The “Smart Surfaces” was covered in BBC breakfast, BBC world service radio programme “Health Check’, Sunday Times etc.

    The Centre for Computational Materials Science (CCMS) Annual Review Meeting 2016

    The Centre for Computational Materials Science is jointly managed by M3S CDT and Atomic Weapons Establishment, which launched in December 2014.

    This year’s CCMS Annual Review Meeting was held on the 25th November. The aim of the meeting is to review the progress of ongoing research projects sponsored by Atomic Weapons Establishment and to discuss any issues in the management. During the meeting, six CDT students, who are associated with AWE, did a 15-minutes oral presentation each. Discussion was followed. Both UCL supervisors as well as three representatives from AWE attended the meeting. The sponsor is very happy with the progress of all ongoing projects and considered the quality of these research works is excellent. During lunch break, the students had an opportunity to interact with the sponsor closely and ask some questions.

    During the meeting, future collaboration was also discussed. Both sides are very keen to extend the research collaboration agreement beyond its first phase.

    The Royal Institution Family Funday

    Anna Ploszajski, a second year EngD student, was invited to give a talk at the Royal Institution Family Funday on 15th May. Anna used her trumpet to demonstrate sound waves using the Rubens’ Tube which she made at the Institute of Making and has done demos with this at the Bloomsbury Theatre and Institute of Making open day.