The design of multifunctional materials to address energy and sustainability challenges


The design of multifunctional materials to address energy and sustainability challenges

Wed, 11/10/2017 - 14:00 to 15:15


Dr Camille Petit
Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London

Access to clean water along with sustainable energy and the protection of the environment are probably the greatest challenges of our society but also a formidable opportunity to reshape our technology landscape. To this end, researchers must propose transformative approaches to energy production and environmental remediation. In that endeavour, multifunctional materials have a key role to play. Indeed, relying on the increasing complexity and sophistication of materials, we are now able to design materials that can perform multiple functions (hence multifunctional materials) as a way to integrate multiple processes (e.g. carbon capture and conversion).
This seminar will provide an overview of our research – past and current – in that direction. I will discuss selected examples of our work from the design of multifunctional materials (e.g. metal-organic frameworks, nitrides) to their applications in areas such as carbon management or air/water treatment. Our approach encompasses not only materials synthesis but also characterisation and testing, thereby enabling us to have a global perspective on materials structure-property relationships and to envision avenues for the design of next-generation materials in key sustainability focus areas. I will also discuss how materials development can be accelerated through a multi-scale approach combining molecular simulation, lab-scale materials testing and process system modelling.


Dr. Camille Petit is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, which she joined in September 2013. She currently leads the Multifunctional Materials Laboratory. Prior to this appointment, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Alissa Park's group at Columbia University. She received her PhD in Chemistry in 2011 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York working with Prof. Teresa Bandosz. Her research interests broadly encompass the development of nanomaterials for applications relevant to the energy and environmental sectors. Specifically, she focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and testing of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)- and nitride-based nanomaterials for gas and liquid separations as well as photocatalysis. She received the 2017 AIChE’s 35 under 35 award, the 2017 IOM3 Silver Medal in ‘recognition of an outstanding contribution from an early career researcher to a field of interest within the Materials sector’, and the 2015 IChemE Sir Frederick Warner medal for ‘showing exceptional promise in the field of sustainable chemical process technology’.