The Research Team

What's In My Stuff? Is a Sheffield Hallam University, Engineering for Life research network project, sponsored by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council) and Harsco Metals. It is a collaborative project between Dr Hywel Jones and Dr Karen Vernon-Parry from the Material and Engineering Research institute (MERI) and Maria Hanson, Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery in the Art and Design Research Centre (ARDC).

Maria Hanson

Maria Hanson is Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery at the Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC) at Sheffield Hallam University.

She has a BA in Three Dimensional Design and an MA in Silversmithing and Jewellery from the Royal College of Art. During her 20 years of professional life she has combined teaching and research with her practice as a designer and maker. She has participated in many national and international exhibitions, including 6 solo shows with work represented in many public collections including the Crafts Council, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Goldsmiths’ Company. Her research topics include exploring the relationship between rituals and craft objects, the reading of craft objects in the context of contemporary visual culture and how issues connected to material sustainability and product durability can be informed by an understanding of the emotional attachments formed between people and objects. She is an exhibition curator and has instigated and managed many public centred projects and symposiums.

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Dr Hywel Jones

Dr Hywel Jones is a materials scientist at the Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) at Sheffield Hallam University.

He has a BSc in Physics, an MSc in Materials Characterisation, a PhD in Advanced Ceramics and 15 years postdoctoral experience in materials research. He has worked on other interdisciplinary projects such as the study of the metallurgy of decorative Japanese alloys and the chemistry behind their patination with Dr Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill, a silversmith with an international reputation. He has worked on the development of tarnish resistant silvers with partners across Europe and is currently developing new ceramic composite armour materials and has recently formed a spin-out company to exploit this. He also works extensively with industry as a consultant, solving industrial problems using university equipment and knowledge.

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Dr Karen Vernon-Parry

Karen gained her degree in Metallurgy and Science of Materials and a DPhil from the University of Oxford more years ago than she cares to remember. She has researched the effect of structure on the properties of materials as diverse as aluminium beverage cans, ceramic superconductors, steels and semiconductors.

An ongoing attempt to explain what she does at work to family and friends have engendered a strong interest in Public engagement with Science.

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