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Home > Press > London Centre for Nanotechnology appoints new co-Director

Imperial's David McComb takes up role alongside UCL professor.

The London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) has appointed Dr David McComb New Window, Reader in Materials Characterisation at Imperial College London, as its new co-Director, it is announced today.

London Centre for Nanotechnology appoints new co-Director

London, UK | Posted on May 10th, 2007

Dr McComb will work closely with Professor Gabriel Aeppli, his co-Director from University College London, in leading the LCN, a joint venture which brings together the nanotechnology expertise of Imperial and UCL.

Established in 2002, the London Centre for Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary research organisation structured to bridge the gap between the physical and biomedical sciences with a focus on exploitation and commercialisation. It brings together researchers from Imperial and UCL across a range of disciplines including medicine, chemistry, physics, electrical and electronic engineering, materials and earth science. Its main research areas are healthcare, information technology and the environment. The LCN's most recently awarded grant is GBP 5.5 million from the EPSRC, to develop new tools for measuring on the nanoscale.

Dr McComb welcomed his appointment, saying: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to join Professor Aeppli at the head of what I believe is the UK's most dynamic nanotech research organisation. It's an exciting time to be working in this field in the UK and my colleagues at the LCN are committed to developing nanotech solutions across a broad spectrum of physical and biomedical sciences."

Professor Gabriel Aeppli, Co-Director of the LCN and Quain Professor of Physics at UCL added: "David has been a leader in the development of the LCN, notably in securing the funding that led to the acquisition of the new Titan Transmission Electron Microscope. I am looking forward to working with David to continue our major successes in both research and knowledge transfer."

Recently created LCN facilities at Imperial's South Kensington Campus include the installation of the UK's first GBP 2.4 million Titan Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) in Imperial's department of Materials. This facility was funded by the EPSRC and installed in a specially developed suite renovated by Imperial at a cost of GBP 500,000. Forthcoming GBP 1.8 million investment by Imperial will also create additional lab space and computer modelling facilities at Imperial for the LCN and the Thomas Young Centre - a collaborative group bringing together Imperial, UCL, King's College, Queen Mary and the Royal Institution to work on the theory and simulation of materials. In November 2006, the LCN opened a new building with state-of-the-art laboratory space, situated on UCL's central London campus, representing a GBP 25 million total investment from UCL and Imperial.

David McComb joined the Department of Materials at Imperial College London as a senior lecturer in 2003. His current research concentrates on the development and application of nanoanalytical electron microscopy techniques for the study of chemistry, structure and bonding at the interfaces of atoms. His work also includes the synthesis of novel, multifunctional three-dimensionally ordered solids. He leads a research group of seventeen people and has published 90 papers and patents.


About Imperial College London
Rated as the world's ninth best university in the 2006 Times Higher Education Supplement University Rankings, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 11,500 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.

Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

With 62 Fellows of the Royal Society among our current academic staff and distinguished past members of the College including 14 Nobel Laureates and two Fields Medallists, Imperial's contribution to society has been immense. Inventions and innovations include the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of our research for the benefit of all continues today with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to tackle climate change and mathematical modelling to predict and control the spread of infectious diseases.

The College's 100 years of living science will be celebrated throughout 2007 with a range of events to mark the Centenary of the signing of Imperial's founding charter on 8 July 1907.


About the London Centre for Nanotechnology

The London Centre for Nanotechnology is a joint enterprise between University College London and Imperial College London. In bringing together world-class infrastructure and leading nanotechnology research activities, the Centre aims to attain the critical mass to compete with the best facilities abroad. Furthermore by acting as a bridge between the biomedical, physical, chemical and engineering sciences the Centre will cross the 'chip-to-cell interface' - an essential step if the UK is to remain internationally competitive in biotechnology.

About Dr David McComb:

A Chemistry graduate from the University of Glasgow, he obtained his PhD in Physics in 1990 at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge working under the supervision of Professor Archie Howie FRS. After graduation he continued his research in Cambridge, concurrently holding research fellowships from the Royal Commission for the 1851 Exhibition and from Corpus Christi College. Subsequently, he was appointed as a senior research associate at Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences at the CNRC in Ottawa, Canada working in the field of scanning tunneling microscopy. Dr McComb returned to nano analytical electron microscopy when he moved to the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research at McMaster University. He returned to the UK as a faculty member at the University of Glasgow in 1996.

bout UCL

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. In the government's most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 59 UCL departments achieved top ratings of 5 * and 5, indicating research quality of international excellence.

UCL is the fourth-ranked UK university in the 2006 league table of the top 500 world universities produced by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. UCL alumni include Mahatma Gandhi (Laws 1889, Indian political and spiritual leader); Jonathan Dimbleby (Philosophy 1969, writer and television presenter); Junichiro Koizumi (Economics 1969, Prime Minister of Japan); Lord Woolf (Laws 1954, Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales); Alexander Graham Bell (Phonetics 1860s, inventor of the telephone), and members of the band Coldplay.


For more information, please click here

Danielle Reeves, Imperial College London Press Office,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2198
Mob: +44 (0)7803 886248

Dave Weston, UCL Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7678
Mob: +44 (0)7733 307 596

Copyright © Imperial College London

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