Embracing multidisciplinarity

Manufacturing immortality is an EPSRC funded research collaboration between the University of Bristol, University of Exeter, Heriot-Watt University, Lancaster University, University of Manchester, Northumbria University Newcastle and Sheffield Hallam University. Each university is bringing a different specialist expertise to the research, and so we are group of chemists, biologists, scientists, engineers and designers all working together to explore the feasibility of developing, manufacturing and designing with self-healing materials.

We are currently exploring initial applications such as, batteries, nuclear safety and consumer products, but we think there are much more potential uses to be investigated. To ensure our research is applicable to real-world problems we are engaging with industrial collaborators and developing new partnerships with organisations as we examine these ideas further.


Our current industrial partners include:

Industrial partners.png
Our Team

To find out more information about our researchers read their short bio below or click on their images to visit their profiles at their respective institutions.

Paul R.jpg
Dr Paul Race

Principle Investigator

University of Bristol

nicolette new.jpg
Dr Nicolette Moreau

Research Associate

University of Bristol

I am a Reader in Biological Chemistry in the School of Biochemistry, University of Bristol (UoB), a founding Director of the Bristol BioDesign Institute and previously (2014-2018) served as Co-Director of the >£14M BBSRC/EPSRC funded Bristol Centre for Synthetic Biology Research (BrisSynBio). I vacated this role in early 2018 to lead the ‘Manufacturing Immortality’ project. I am a former Royal Society University Research Fellow and now lead an active research team focused on the exploitation and manipulation of enzyme complexes, pathways and networks, en route to the development of new bioactive molecules, drug leads and biocatalysts. This activity is underpinned by fundamental studies of natural systems performed using an inherently multi-disciplinary approach. I am co-founder and non-Executive Director of the UoB spinout company Zentraxa Ltd., which uses computational bio design and high-throughput cellular manufacturing to develop peptide-based biomaterials.


I’m a research biochemist at the University of Bristol, investigating how synthetic biochemistry can mimic or

utilise the biological components involved in natural self-healing for the development of advanced materials. This project is interesting to me because I get to work in a multi-disciplinary research group where I can get a different perspective and learn something new from my colleagues in other fields everyday.

I am also drawn to the research area because it is directly applicable to everyday life and has the possibility of making the world safer and more sustainable.  I am intrigued by the potential of creating materials that heal as well as nature has evolved to do, and enjoy working at the interface between academia and industry.


Dr Wei Pang


Heriot-Watt University

I am Senior Lecturer in Computing Science and my research interests centre around machine learning and data mining, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. From the theoretical perspective, I am interested in developing bio-inspired approaches to machine learning and data mining, and I am particularly interested in how immune-inspired algorithms and swarm intelligence approaches can facilitate developing more effective machine learning and data mining tasks. From the application perspective, I am interested in applying machine learning and data mining to solving problems in biology, health, and most recently, material design and discovery in this project. 


Assoc. Prof Fiona Charnley,

University of Exeter

I am an Associate Professor in Circular Economy at the University of Exeter Business School. My expertise and research interests lie at the interfaces of Design, Manufacture and new Business Models for the transition towards a Circular Economy. I lead a number of research projects and have worked with multiple organisations across industrial sectors to implement circular approaches to design and innovation. I am excited to be investigating how self-healing materials and products can become an important part of the circular industrial system of the future.


Richard dawson.jpg
Dr Richard Dawson

Lancaster University

I am Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Lancaster University but previously held R&D positions in UK fuel cell companies; Ceres Power and AFC Energy. My research and engineering expertise lie in electrochemical engineering applications to energy devices. I really enjoy working with industry on real work problems and innovations and have a number of Innovate UK, BEIS, research council project working directly with industry partners.  I am really excited to be working with the ‘immortal team’ and keen to see how we can take these novel approaches and apply them in practice.


Prof Paul Mativenga


The University of Manchester

Paul M.jpg

I hold a Chair and Professorship in Multi-scale & Sustainable Manufacturing and am Vice Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at The University of Manchester. I am excited about developing engineering science solutions to the major challenges of resource efficiency and industrial sustainability. We are researching and understanding the failure of components and embedding innovations in self-healing capability in product manufacture to support our vision for immortal products. I collaborate internationally as a Member of the International Academy of Production Engineering, College International pour la Recherche en Productique (CIRP).


Prof Justin Perry


Northumbria University Newcastle

I’m a Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Applied Sciences at Northumbria University. I’m interested in interfacing synthetic and analytical chemistry with other subjects, and been working across discipline boundaries into biotechnology and materials science for most of my academic career. This project is particularly exciting because we have such a broad base of expertise working together on approaches to self-healing and material responsiveness which apart from being fundamentally interesting could have broad application and impact.


Paul b.jpg
Prof Paul Bingham


Sheffield Hallam University

I'm a materials engineer with research, industrial engagement and consultancy in the fields of glasses, ceramics, energy and the environment. I manage a large research group, and have built many lasting national and international collaborations with academia, industry and national laboratories. I sit on several national and international panels, committees and advisory boards. This project is particularly exciting for me because it is so multidisciplinary - we are really pushing the boundaries of possibility in self-healing and extreme environments. 


wenjun .jpg
Dr Wenjun Wang
Research Associate

Heriot-Watt University

I’m a research fellow working with Dr. Wei Pang in school of computing science, University of Aberdeen. I am interested in machine learning and data analysis approaches. In my point of view, material design is amazing, especially when chemists and material scientist do many experiments to find new material. As experimental data grows more, either the data of success or failure are valuable, since we can train machine learning models by these data, in order to increase possibility to find new material or to reduce meaningless attempts.



MHG profile pic colour_small.jpg
Dr Merryn Haines-Gadd
Research Associate

University of Exeter

I’m a designer and sustainability researcher at the Exeter Centre for Circular Economy at the University of Exeter tasked with investigating the design applications and Circular Economy implications for self-healing in Product Design. This project is exciting to me because not only do I get to design with newly invented materials, but also contribute to mitigating the premature disposal of products because wear and tear. It is also giving me the opportunity to learn lots of interesting things from my colleagues regarding the synthesis of biological and synthetic materials.


Dr Harald Schlegl
Research Associate

Lancaster University

My work for “Manufacturing Immortality” is in the function of a research associate for the engineering department of Lancaster University. My former experience is in the field of electrochemistry, I see my role within the consortium in supporting my colleagues with electrochemical tasks. That could be measuring conductivity and impedance of different battery and fuel cell materials or fabricating and testing electrodes and electrolytes. The cooperation with colleagues from seven other universities and with industrial partners is interesting, apart from that I like the fact that self-healing materials sound like a topic of a science fiction novel.


DSCF0284-2 (2).jpg
Dr Akos Cseke

Research Associate

The University of Manchester

I am a research engineer at the University of Manchester,

School of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering and

my task is to design, manufacture and test bio-hybrid based healing systems. From my point of view Manufacturing

Immortality brings biological inspired engineering together

with a number of different disciplines creating a powerful

platform for sharing knowledge and collaboration. I am

very excited to be part of this team and I believe that

new self-healing materials have the potential to change the

way we look at product safety, life cycle and functionality,

just to name a few. 


Rob D.jpg
Dr Robert Downs

Research Associate

Northumbria University Newcastle

I’m a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Applied Sciences at Northumbria University. I’m interested how we can incorporate either biological or biologically inspired components into a more traditional material to create the next generation of self-healing materials. With incorporation of self-healing functionality we can increase the useful lifetimes of materials and possibly prevent waste. I enjoy working as part of a larger interdisciplinary team as it means I get to try experiments and ideas that I might not ordinarily get to do.


Dr Tzu-Yu Chen

Research Associate

Sheffield Hallam University

I am a Materials Scientist in Materials and Engineering Research Institute in Sheffield Hallam University to study the materials which might possess self-healing features. The main focuses are the applications in energy and critical environment. This project greatly excites me because it involves a wide variety of materials to explore and great characterisation techniques to understand their properties in order to make them more efficient and safer. It also gives me the opportunities to work with industry closely and shape my research from the viewpoint of product design and manufacturing.


Charlene Linton

Project Manager

The University of Manchester

I joined the Manufacturing Immortality project in August 2018. I am responsible for effective management of the non-research aspects of the project including finance, reporting and communication.  I have held a variety of roles both at The University of Manchester and at other Higher Education Institutions and I have a long term interest in collaborative, multi-organisational activities. I act as the first point of contact for external organisations wanting to make connections with the Manufacturing Immortality project - so please feel free to contact me.



Seen something interesting? Want to get involved?
If there is a researcher you want to speak to directly contact us on our individual email
accounts or via our project manager!