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Microstructure Engineering Cluster

Microstructure is important

Many materials derive their characteristic properties, performance and value from the way that they are organised at the micron-millimetre scale. Many modern materials are multi-phase, and are manufactured by processes that seek to create particular microstructures. Man with funny accent launches MEC

The Microstructure Engineering Cluster has been set up to support activities in the theme of microstructure engineering. This is an informal grouping of research groups within CEB, representing commonality of interests, linked skill sets and projects.

Within the cluster there are researchers with expertise in measuring microstructures, in processes for manufacturing structured materials, in techniques for modelling the processing or product performance, and in designing micro-structured, functional products.

Some projects are driven by industrial need, focusing on understanding how current materials work and develop the fundamental understanding of processes to support sustainable manufacturing. Others are more speculative, asking how could we create such a structure?  Many are translational, looking at transferring concepts across industrial sectors and scientific boundaries. Many involve collaboration with groups from other Departments at Cambridge and with collaborators across the world.


Upcoming Meetings

 Meetings are open to all members of the university with an interest in microstructure engineering.



Wednesday 7th February 2018, 1pm LT1 - "Vane Rheometer re-visited: effect of viscosity"

Gerald Meeten, Schlumberger Cambridge Research


Wednesday 22nd November 2017, 1pm LT1 - "Modelling cancer invasion as a mechanical instability"

Dr Thierry Savin, Department of Engineering, (


Wednesday 25th October 2017, 1pm, LT1Linking the Pore Structure to the Performance of Pharmaceutical Tablets

Dr Daniel Markl, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, (


Wednesday 11th October 2017, 1pm LT1Designing with defects in metal-organic frameworks

Dr Matthew Cliffe, Department of Chemistry, (


Wednesday 4 February 2015 'Industrial sustainability - a key manufacturing paradigm'

Dr Dai Morgan, EPSRC Centre for Industrial Sustainability, Institute for Manufacturing. Dai gave an overview of activities in the Institute For Manufacturing, which will be one of CEB's neighbours later this year. The challenges faced by manufacturing as it seeks to be sustainable were described, with plenty of links of use to CEB research in the area of manufacturing.


Friday 23rd January 2015 'Bio-mechanical engineering down the road'

Dr Michael Sutcliffe, Department of Engineering, Cambridge. Michael is the leader of the Biomechanics group at CUED and gave us an overview of the different strands of biomechanical engineering with the Department, which frequently brings together folk from different Divisions.


CEB groups active in the cluster are (in alphabetical order)

Analysis facilities:


Building Science Base & Technology Transfer

Many of the projects in the Microstructure Engineering Cluster are sponsored by industry as well as research councils. Examples include 

stability of engine oils

bp logo

drug dissolution


crystallisation of cocoa butter


printing VDU screens

  CDT logo

 paint film sensing

TSB logo

heart valves

valve prototype, produced from mould

pharmaceutical coatings

EPSRC logo

flow in oil wells

bp logo



metal-organic frameworks


extrusion of hardmetal pastes



cake batters

Premier Foods


Read all about it!

Cluster members are regularly publishing results in the following four fields (as well as others!). Click a topic to find a list of recent papers.

If you would like to know more about the cluster, or participate in a meeting, please contact Dr Ian Wilson (diw11 AT