Materials move in many systems, in many, the fine scale material structure influences the movement. Understanding the underpinning science of the interactions is fascinating for its own sake and can point us towards routes for altering a system for better, or – simply – better routes.

Jane Blackford’s background is in metallurgy and materials science. She obtained her PhD at the University of Sheffield (Processing and characterisation of aluminide coatings for high temperature applications); was a postdoc at the University of Erlangen, Germany (Castability of nickel based superalloys); and has been in Edinburgh since 2000. The essence of her approach is in understanding how fine scale structure influences large scale behaviour.

She leads a research group in the School of Engineering in Edinburgh that has expertise in materials, and ice and snow in particular; the work has applications in vehicle traction, avalanche behaviour, and winter sports.

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