Dr Rebecca Boston: Facilitating High Quality Interdisciplinarity Science on an International Stage

BCFN Alumni Dr Rebecca Boston joined the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials (BCFN) in the 2010 cohort. She undertook her PhD with Dr Simon Hall in the School of Chemistry, in the use of biological templates to direct nanoscale crystal morphology in complex functional oxides, primarily the high temperature superconductor yttrium barium copper oxide.

During her PhD, Rebecca had the chance to visit the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS), in Tsukuba, Japan and use highly specialised equipment through the Nanotechnology Platform Japan (NTPJ), an equipment access programme run by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). This led to a publication in journal Science and in 2015 the work was chosen by MEXT as one of the “Best Six Pieces of Nanotechnology Research FY2013-14” and she was invited to present her work, and collect the award, at JapanNano in Tokyo, Jan 2015. The work is also being included in a forthcoming Monotsukuri Hakusho, a white paper on manufacturing for the Japanese Government. Her final year PhD presentation won the prize for best talk in the Inorganic and Materials section and she was invited to speak at the Peter Timms Symposium (UoB) in February 2015.

Building on this success, she moved to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield and in 2016 had two successful fellowship applications, from Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition 1851 which was ultimately turned down, due to the subsequent award of a five-year Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in December 2016. 

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