Researchers in the Materials and molecular modelling (MMM) Hub are carrying out groundbreaking research to better understand the properties of existing and new materials. Some of this work is focussed on developing more energy efficient catalysts, lighter, stronger, smarter materials, improved sensors, batteries, membranes and so on. Work also focusses on better understanding how the material world functions, such as the inner workings of the earth’s core, the formation of ice in the atmosphere, the fracture of rocks, and more.
Why do research into materials?
Materials have an enormous impact on the UK economy: according to the former Minister of State for Universities and Science, UK businesses that produce and process materials have a turnover of around £170 billion per annum and represent 15% of UK GDP. At the heart of almost every modern technology, including energy generation, storage and supply, transportation, electronic devices, defence and security, healthcare, and the environment, it is materials that place practical limits on efficiency, reliability and cost.
Why Materials Modelling?
Materials and molecular modelling (MMM) is an inherently interdisciplinary ‘field’ of physicists, chemists, engineers, materials scientists, biologists, geologists, and more who use high performance computing to enable transformative discoveries of importance to science and industry. The predictive capability of MMM has increased significantly in recent years. MMM can provide fundamental insights into the processes and mechanisms that underlie physical phenomena and has become an indispensable element of contemporary materials research.
It is no exaggeration to state that MMM is changing how new materials-based technologies are developed, acting as a guide for experimental research, helping to speed up progress and save resources. It is a rapidly expanding field and one in which the UK has consistently been world-leading.