Catharina James is a pioneering material scientist whose revolutionary work on graphene has the potential to reshape the global manufacturing industry and create a more sustainable economy.
Two hundred times stronger than steel, thirty times more thermally conductive than copper, a super-conductor, ultra-thin and lightweight, impermeable, stretch-able…it’s easy to see why graphene has been dubbed the wonder material of the 21st century.
From radiators and loudspeakers you can spray onto walls, to hyper-efficient batteries and detecting structural faults in buildings, the potential uses are huge and will permeate into all areas of our lives.
But it is notoriously difficult to create graphene in large quantities and at high quality. At least, it was until Catharina and her co-founders at Cambridge Nanosystems devised a stable, energy-efficient, single-step process to turn biogas into high-quality graphene powder on an industrial scale.
It’s an innovation that has come closer than any to making widespread use of graphene a reality. And, in making graphene by breaking down harmful greenhouse gases such as methane, it has potentially enormous positive consequences for the environment as well.
Catharina is the Chief Scientist at Cambridge Nanosystems, where she oversees the company’s research strategy and technology roadmap. She has a PhD in Material Science from the University of Cambridge and was recently awarded a Fellowship at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in recognition of her work.
Watch Catharina’s TED Talk here
Image copyright: Catharina James
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