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Public Lecture Series: Professor Raymond Oliver

Northumbria University


Professor Raymond Oliver, Professor in Interactive Materials, Northumbria School of Design, Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University

Desert Island Design: From rice crispies & cornflakes to the world's largest ink jet printer to Soft Robotics

Refreshments will be available from 6pm


Professor Oliver will take the audience on a journey through his industrial and academic career spanning research, development and design over nearly 4 decades, based on the concept of putting the Human at the centre of technology and not the other way round. 

During the lecture, Professor Oliver will use short interludes of music he has found to be uplifting and which have been important elements to him along the journey. 

Professor Oliver’s main sources of technological inspiration are Natural (Polysaccharide) materials such as Nanocellulose, Chitosan and novel Bio-nanocomposites, Ultra low density materials (X-linked organic aerogels) and Responsive Polymers and gels which are capable of exhibiting multi-functional behaviour when coupled to advanced 3 & 4D additive fabrication tools.

About the speaker

Professor Oliver is a graduate Chemical Engineer with a PhD in Chemical Physics from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. 

He subsequently undertook post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, having previously joined ICI plc, a global materials, chemical products and biotechnology company in 1974. He went on to become an ICI Fellow and Head of Advanced Process Research and Nanotechnology in 1994. 

In 1995, Professor Oliver was elected a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and in 1998 a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

In 2000, he was cited in Debrett’s ‘People of Today’ and in 2001, became visiting scientific consultant to One North East. In 2005, he joined Cenamps, the UK National Centre for Nano, Micro and Photonic Systems as Director, Science and Innovation. 

In 2008, He became Senior Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art and then Visiting Professor at the School of Material researching responsive natural and synthetic textile behaviour and the potential for so-called wearable technology. 

In 2011, Professor Oliver was invited and took up the Chair of Active and Interactive Materials at Northumbria University’s School of Design and Director of the newly created Design:STEM Studio-Lab facilities, researching soft, bio-resilient, programmable material systems with applications ranging from regenerative medicine, to intelligent built environments to sustainable consumer product packaging.

To book a space, please complete the form below or email 

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Event Details

Northumbria University
Presentation Hall, Design Building
City Campus East 2
Newcastle Upon Tyne


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