Department of Materials


31 Jul 2018

Smallpeice Biomaterials Taster Course 2018

Biosuits smpc 2018 x 670

During the week commencing 9th July, 39 students interested in Biomaterials Engineering arrived at the Department of Materials for a university taster experience for four days with Loughborough University academic staff and staff from the Smallpeice Trust.

The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby D P Smallpeice who set up the Smallpeice Trust to give young people the support they need to bring their ideas to life through science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM.)

The Department of Materials at Loughborough University have been offering taster courses in partnership with the Smallpeice Trust for the past seven years.

Lucideon logo 2018 x 300


Students took part in lectures and labs on campus and visited Lucideon. 


Lucideon is a development and commercialisation organisation (DCO), specialising in materials technologies and processes.

Over the week, students drew on their experience with us to create a poster and this resulted in a group prize for their efforts, pictured below right.

poster winners smpc 2018 x 300


Students received inputs in respect of:

  • Biomaterials - Dr Elisa Mele
  • Drug Delivery - Dr Paul Roach
  • Simulations - Professor Steven Kenny
  • Tomorrow’s Materials - Dr Simon Martin
  • Ceramics – Dr Sina Saremi-Yarahmadi
  • Bioinspired Materials – Professor Gary Critchlow


As well as attending lectures with academic staff, students also had the opportunity to create ‘bionic arms’, which promoted student understanding of the difficulties that are endemic in replacing fully functioning limbs.

In the evenings, students took part in more relaxing activities, such as a campus “treasure hunt”, where students had to identify and photograph different parts of the campus, with the winners gaining prizes.

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Part of the experience involved a visit to the University Centre for Biological Engineering, (CBE), with Dr Elizabeth Ratcliffe, (pictured left.)

Students got a taste of what it is like to work in ‘clean lab’ conditions, (top photograph taken following the experience), and in making composites, (photo below.)

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A highlight of the week was a formal dinner in the University Council Chambers with the Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison and a variety of academic staff, (pictured below.) 

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We hope that all of our visitors gained valuable insight into biomaterials during their visit and that they use this insight to inform their decisions in respect of university courses in the future – you never know, we may have been working with biomaterials engineers of the future!

Smpc logo 2018