Aim and Vision

Materials science is an interdisciplinary approach to science that brings together tools in science, technology, and mathematics to bear toward the solution of critical societal needs. The UCL Institute for Materials Discovery (IMD) collaborates with three faculties within the BEAMS school: the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MAPS), the Faculty of Engineering Science, the School of the Built Environment (The Bartlett) and also with the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. 

UCL's world-leading research on functional and sustainable materials such as liquid crystal and organic light-emitting displays, fiber optics, magnetic data storage, energy storage, photovoltaic materials, sensors, medical implants and devices covers a wide range of disciplines with the following aims:

  • To incorporate fundamental chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering, computer science and biological principles across all disciplines
  • To create new opportunities in materials creation, discovery and exploitation for the development of clean energy, nanotechnology, energy storage and biomedicine technologies
  • To accelerate and integrate materials discovery in sustainable and cost-efficient ways through new products and applications

The Expertise

Focus of delivery

The IMD is focused on delivering novel advanced materials to address global challenges relevant to technology, society and the environment, including:

  • The environment and climate change
  • Renewable and sustainable energy
  • Healthcare
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Biotechnology
  • Products and Technology
  • Materials efficiency

The People

To carry out this research, the IMD has a core team of researchers and a wider community of collaborators and partners. Find out more on our People page.


Core Strategies

With five core strategies, the IMD intends to deliver step-changes in advanced materials:

  1. Integrate the fundamental principles of chemistry, physics, materials science, computer science, engineering and biology
  2. Utilise a combination of computational, experimental and engineering research    
  3. Combine sustainability with economic viability to improve existing and develop new processing technologies
  4. Work alongside industry to account for commercial impact and meet current and future needs
  5. Optimize materials development from theory to scale-up while maximising efficiency