Lectures and Seminars

Degree-course lecture lists are published termly under Teaching section of this website.

Materials Colloquia

Research seminar series organised by the Department of Materials
Thursdays 4pm Hume-Rothery Lecture Theatre (please note, Professor Banerjee's colloquium will be held on a Wednesday).

The dates of the colloquia for 2023/2024 are:

Michaelmas Term 2023:

Week 2 (19 October 2023) Professor Warren Scott (University of North Carolina)  *Hybrid* - 'Expanding Boundaries in Layered Solids: New Materials, Structures and Properties'.  

Week 3 (26 October 2023) Professor Theresa Davey (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Tec) - in-person- 'Thermodynamics of Cr-Zr-X systems towards design of new accident tolerant fuel systems'.

Week 4 (2 November 2023) Dr Adam Clancy (UCL)   *Hybrid*   'AsP Ribbons: Quasi-1D Nanomaterials with an Element of Danger'.

Week 6 (16 November 2023) Dr Takuya Matsui (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) - in-person only - 'Advanced passivating contacts for silicon photovoltaics and their application to perovskite/silicon monolithic tandem architectures'.

Week 7 ( Wednesday 22 November 2023)  Professor Tamalika Banerjee (University of Groningen) - in-person only 'Oxide Spintronics and Ethics in Scientific Research'.


Hilary Term 2024

Week 1 (18 January 2024) Professor Rachel Oliver (University of Cambridge) - in-person: 'Engineering porous nitrides via defect-related channels'.  

Week 3 (1 February 2024) Professor Katharina Marquardt (Oxford Materials) - in-person: 'Microstructure Evolution Studies: ceramics for extreme conditions'.

Week 7 (27 February 2024)  Professor Arash Mostofi (Imperial College, London) - In person: 'Symmetry, negative thermal expansion and superconductivity in layered perovskites oxides'.

Week 8 (7 March 2024) Professor Louis Piper (University of Warwick): in-person: 'It can be done!  Lessons from operando X-ray studies of real-format pouch cells without windows or Synchrotrons'.


Trinity Term 2024

Week 1 (25 April 2024) Dr David Payne (Macquarie University) *Hybrid*: 'Innovative Pathways to Accelerate the Solar Energy Revolution - an Australian Perspective'.
Week 3 (9 May 2024) Professor Joanne Etheridge (Monash University) - in-person: '101 Things to Do with an Energetic Electron'.
Week 4 (16 May 2024)  Professor Dr Steve Albrecht (Kaust Research Centre) - in person: 'Highly Efficient Monolithic Tandem Solar Cells with Metal-Halide Perovskites'.

In addition there are numerous seminars by visiting researchers advertised via email.



Archive of the most recent biennial public lectures hosted by the department

Hirsch Lecture: Friday 12 January 2024: Professor Anthony J. Ryan OBE     

Head and shoulders of Professor Ryan, smiling

Image kindly provided by Professor Ryan, OBE

We were delighted that Professor Anthony J. Ryan OBE, of the University of Sheffield was able to speak to us about his exciting and innovative research.  

Title: Neofossils: bio-based plastics to sequester CO2.

Abstract: 'We have recently been focussed on a circular economy for polymers, but came to the conclusion that we need to turn the problem on its head.  Make more single-use plastic, but using C fixed by photosynthesis taken from the atmosphere this year, not millennia ago.  Neo-carbon, not fossil-carbon, to make into plastic and keep it safe - through incorporation in our infrastructure or through curated burial.

Bio-based plastics from agricultural waste become sustainable when produced using renewable energy, not the current mix of >70% fossil energy.  Life cycle assessment can identify the tipping point, as the energy system defossilises, when making durable, bio-based plastics makes sense.  COP27 aimed to 'keep 1.5 oC alive' by removing 12 billion tonnes of CO2 per year (>25% of current emissions), yet there are no scalable technologies to do this.

Plastics consumption could be a good thing, maintaining the environmental benefits of plastic (eg reduced food waste).  The petrochemicals industry could continue to benefit from its capital assets, leaving the oil underground, with a new income stream from carbon sequestration.  We could use durable (ie nondegradable) bioplastics to sequester carbon, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere, and we could bury that plastic.  In fact, if we converted all the current 300 million tonnes of annual plastic production to non-degradable, fossil-identical, bioplastics, using 100% renewable energy and agricultural waste as the feedstock, we would be able to remove 1 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere every year.

I will present the evidence to support a new plastics economy to deliver neofossils and remove CO2 from the atmosphere'.


This lecture was held on Friday, 12 January 2024.


Hume-Rothery Lecture 2023

Title: 'Multicomponent High-Entropy Cantor Alloys'.

Professor Brian Cantor.

Oxford University and the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST) Brunel University,

This lecture was held on Friday 21 April 2023.

Hirsch Lecture 2022

Title: 'From Batteries to Solar Cells: Exploring Energy Materials on the Atomic Scale' .

Professor Saiful Islam FRSC FIMMM.

Chair of Materials Modelling, University of Oxford

This lecture was held on Friday 14 January 2022.

Panopto recording (requires an Oxford account log-on) https://ox.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c93a81b8-bda8-4d74-8919-ae1500d17ed6.

Hume-Rothery Lecture 2021

Title: 'Microscopy and Magnetic Materials: Exploring Energy Landscapes at the Nanoscale' 

Professor Amanda Petford-Long FREng.

Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University.

This lecture was held on Friday 15 January 2021. 

Hirsch Lecture 2019

Title: Triboreacted materials as functional interfaces in internal combustion engines and medical implants
Professor Anne Neville OBE, FREng, FRS, FRSE
RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies, and Professor of Tribology and Surface Engineering, University of Leeds

This lecture was held on Friday 8 February 2019. 

Hume-Rothery Lecture 2018

Title: Damage-tolerance in engineering and biological materials
Professor Robert O. Richie FREng, ForMemRS.
Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Departments of Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, University of California Berkeley.

This lecture was held on Wednesday 24th January 2018. 


Other Seminar Series in Oxford

Additional seminar series of interest organised elsewhere in the university include: