Nacho was born and raised in Madrid, where he gained a Materials Physics BSc, a MSc on Polymer Science, and finally a PhD on polymer nanostructures in December 2013.
He headed to the UK to join the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey in 2014. There he spent two and a half years developing environmentally friendly coatings to protect steel from corrosion. During this time, he proved a self-assembly method in dispersions of large and small particles in water by which the small ones stratify in a layer above the large ones, enabling him to control the final architecture of the film. The work, published in Physical Review Letters, had extensive media coverage (more than 80 news outlets including the BBC) and kickstarted a new modelling and experimental field on stratification.
In 2016, he was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s fellowship at Loughborough University. Now his group is working on the self-assembly of polymer and composite colloids to obtain surfaces with various functionalities, e.g. antibacterial, abrasion resistant.
From 2020 he was appointed as a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, starting a 7-year project to exploit diffusion and self-assembly processes in colloidal dispersions for the development of soft products such as coatings, inks, or adhesives. Recently, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Materials Science.
Nacho has received several prestigious awards, including the Polymer Lecture Exchange Award by the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics and the Award for the Best PhD Thesis from the Spanish Association of Synchrotron Users (AUSE).
Yichen Dong – PhD student
Yichen obtained and BEng degree in Polymer Materials and Engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University in China in 2016. Then, she obtained and MSc Polymer Science and Technology from Loughborough University in 2017 through the Loughborough-China materials partnership programme. Her PhD project involves the design and fabrication of novel antibacterial colloidal films.
James Tinkler – EPSRC sponsored PhD student
James graduated from Loughborough University in 2018 with an MEng in Materials Engineering. During his time at Loughborough, he conducted a summer research project, sponsored by BP, on stimuli responsive membranes for oil-water separation. James is now undertaking a PhD in the group in collaboration with Helen Willcock. He is studying the self-assembly of colloidal films, focusing specifically on the addition of functionalised silica nanoparticles to latex films.
Boshen He – EPSRC sponsored PhD student
After receiving a BSc in Polymer Materials and Engineering (Beijing University of Chemical Technology) and a MSc in Materials Science (Loughborough University), Boshen started his PhD to work on the computational modelling of binary colloidal systems. His project involves collaboration with Andrew Archer and Gyula Toth at the Mathematical Sciences Department.
Former group members
Paveena Tangudom, Visiting PhD student (2019-2020) from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand.
Panupong Srimalanon, Visiting PhD student (2019-2020) from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand.
Stavros Drakopoulos, PhD student (2016-2019), currently postdoctoral research associate at Birmingham University.