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David Grant

Professor of Materials Science and Head of Advanced Materials Research Group, Faculty of Engineering


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    Jubilee Campus
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David Grant studied Physics at the University of York, then three years later obtained a PhD for his research on permeation studies of hydrogen in steels and the effect of surface oxides while at the Oxford Research Unit of the Open University. He then spent three years at the National Research Council of Canada in the Division of Chemistry as a post doctoral Research Associate working on metal hydride systems. He returned to the UK for a research position at the Oxford Research Unit and then joined Nottingham University as a Lecturer in Materials and started the Biomaterials group while expanding his portfolio into coatings and shape memory materials. He was then promoted to Senior lecturer, then Reader in Materials Science and then Prof of Materials Science.

David Grant heads the Advanced Materials Research Group at The University of Nottingham and has wide ranging research interests in (1) Energy storage systems from alloy and intermetallic hydrides to complex light metal hydrides and multi-component systems for storing hydrogen and also using these materials as thermal stores; and in (2) Biomaterials such as surface modification, coatings, nano-composite structures, degradable materials, cell surface interactions. He has worked on over 100 projects both fundamental and applied with industry translating IP through patents and collaborative projects and has spent a secondment with industry for two years. From 2017 to 2023 he was the Director of the University of Nottingham's Beacon in Propulsion Futures. He is currently the director of the University of Nottingham Energy Institute.

Expertise Summary

David Grant has wide range of expertise on all types of materials from bulk to thin films to nano-materials. His work is based on fundamental and applied studies based on metal, polymer, ceramic and composite structures in a wide range of applications such as energy storage systems, functional coatings and biomaterials.

Research Summary

I have a wide interest in Materials Science and head up the Advanced Materials Research Group in the Faculty with 24 academics and 100 researchers.

One of my two main research areas is in energy storage systems working on light metal hydrides and complex systems, multicomponent systems. The work is both fundamental looking at new systems and practical such as developing thermal and hydrogen storage systems with industry. Projects are funded by UKRI, Innovate_UK and Industry. I am also an active member of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Task 32 and now 40 on Energy Storage and Conversion Based on Hydrogen. I also am Director of the University of Nottingham's Energy Institute.

The other main area is Biomaterials where I am working on novel coatings and structures using physical vapour deposition, new approaches to degradable composites for bone integration, degradation behaviour and mechanical behaviour of isotropic and anisotropic structures/composites tissue engineering, nanocomposites and biopolymers, toxicity and cell surface interactions of nanoparticles and multicomponent structures funded by EC, EPSRC, BBSRC and industry.

Recent Publications

Future Research

Hydrogen storage systems: cost effective metal hydrides and complex systems, hydrogen and thermal energy storage systems, coatings and catalysts for hydride systems, and investigating other candidate hydrogen storage materials. Developing prototypes with industrial partners into practical tanks and thermal stores and demonstrators..

Biomaterials: bioresorbable and antimicrobial coatings, surface modifications, degradation and mechanical behaviour of isotropic and anisotropic structures, new structures and cell surface interactions, nanocomposites and scaffolds for tissue engineering and orthopaedic applications.

Nanostructured surfaces: Using PVD and other methods for nanostructured and multilayer coatings for a range of materials applications such as biomaterials, thermally conducting, electrically insulating surfaces for electrical components.

World-class research at the University of Nottingham

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