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New director appointed by bp-ICAM as partnership expands low carbon agenda

12 Jun 2020

Professor Sarah Haigh will take up the role of Director of bp-ICAM on July 1 – and lead this international centre of research excellence as it looks to further support low carbon technologies

Sarah, a leading materials exert at The University of Manchester, will succeed Professor Allan Matthews, who will now take up a national research leadership role within the Henry Royce Institute.

Sarah’s joins bp-ICAM at a pivotal time as the centre sets new ambitions to develop low carbon technologies.

Professor Haigh said: “I am really impressed by what has been achieved by bp-ICAM in the past 8 years. So I’m looking forward to working with such a dedicated team to support bp-ICAM in the next phase of its delivery, particularly at this challenging time for both bp and universities more generally.

“I hope that many positive changes will come as we work together to overcome the difficulties facing everyone this year – and work towards delivering new technologies to support a better future.”

Sarah added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Matthews for his contributions and commitment to the bp-ICAM.

“Allan will continue to be involved in the bp-ICAM through projects and as a key expert in surfaces and tribology. He will be taking up the directorship of the new EPSRC NetworkPlus in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing and will be based in the Henry Royce Institute.”

bp-ICAM is an international partnership with the ‘hub of the partnership at The University of Manchester and includes the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign based in the USA.

This partnership aims to provide game-changing capabilities in materials science and engineering for energy.

Professor Haigh will bring her experience in leadership and academic excellence to the partnership. She currently leads a research group at The University of Manchester which pioneers cutting edge electron microscopy characterisation in the field of 2D material heterostructures and inorganic nanoparticles.

Sarah has won several awards for her work including IOM3 Rosenhain Medal in 2017, the RMS Medal for Innovation in Applied Microscopy in 2016, School award for best undergraduate teaching scores in the material science and engineering programmes (2015), and the IOM3 Silver award in 2013.

Her research interests and teaching are complemented by a strong commitment to outreach. For example her appearance in the BBC2 documentary ‘Inside the Factory: Pencils when eight  months pregnant, attracted an audience of 2.54 million when first aired in 2018, and her demonstration of carbon bonding using Pokemon to 300 children at the Royal Institution in 2019. She is also committed to equality, diversity and inclusion having led the Department of Materials’ successful Silver Athena Swan application.

Professor Haigh completed her undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Material Science at The University of Oxford, after which she worked as a consultant application specialist to JEOL UK and then moved to The University of Manchester in 2010. Alongside her work with the bp-ICAM, she is a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers and sits on their Materials Science Committee.  She was Chair of the Institute of Physics EMAG group (2016-2018), Honorary Secretary and Treasurer (2014-2016), a member of council for the RMS (2014-2018) and is on the advisory board for the EPSRC’s SuperSTEM laboratory.