Devesh Mistry

I’ve just submitted my thesis, so I’ve almost finished my PhD. Leeds was a natural fit for my work. The Physics department here is globally renowned for its soft matter and polymer physics activity. Also, when I joined the group there were brand new facilities and a lot of new resources, which was great for my research!

The industrial sponsor for my PhD is UltraVision CLPL, a company headed up by two University of Leeds alumni. We’ve been researching auxetic materials, which can behave in similar ways to biological tissues. I’ve been looking at how these materials work and applying them to next-generation devices for biomedical use, in particular devices to help treat certain aspects of the ageing eye. 

As part of my research, we found a simpler way to produce the materials and filed a patent. There’s a lot of excitement about the new research avenues we can explore from here. I was lucky enough to receive additional funding from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition for 1851. Using this I built unique and completely bespoke equipment, which allowed me to explore more areas and come up with new applications for our research. 

During my PhD I've attended various conferences, all around the world. At one conference in the US I connected with researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver who had overlapping interests and we identified new research areas where we could combine our different skills. I successfully applied for a fellowship which will allow me to join the Denver group for a year. The group is at the forefront of developing novel soft materials for shock-absorbing systems, including things like American football helmets. It’s an exciting new direction for me!

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