Copy Code

Changing the world with sticky-tape and a pencil

Save for later

Favourite

In this era of rapid advancement in digital technologies, we’re used to over-hyped and superlative-laden announcements for new innovative products that promise to transform our lives. One fairly recent innovation has the potential to revolutionise many facets of human life but it still hasn’t made it to mainstream awareness despite deserving all the superlatives and hyperbole you could muster.

Graphene.

Based on my straw poll in the office, about half of you will now be smugly congratulating yourselves for having heard of it and knowing roughly what it is and the other half will be thinking “huh – what?”

At its simplest, but hardest to produce, graphene is a one-atom-thin honeycomb lattice of carbon which has extraordinary properties.

Graphene infographic

Since discovering how to create thin layers following experiments with pencils and sticky tape (yes really) at The University of Manchester (UoM) over a decade ago, the work has earned its pioneers the Nobel Prize in Physics and new fields of graphene research have developed throughout the world’s top institutions.

Potential applications of graphene technologies are wide-ranging; from faster microprocessors and supercapacitor batteries to seawater filtration, ultra-lightweight composite materials and biomedical sensors.  Imagine having a super-flexible graphene tattoo printed onto your skin after surgery to monitor your vital signs or how about a graphene contact lens that helps you see in the dark. Something as everyday as a bendable smartphone with an unbreakable screen would be a major advance for most people.

The next big challenge with graphene is how to commercialise and scale-up its production and this is where the UoM’s National Graphene Institute business engagement team come in. Appointed in 2014 with a remit to attract new strategic commercial partners, Business Director James Baker said, “I am excited by the potential and challenge that graphene can provide for future products and capabilities and look forward to developing the collaborations and partnerships across academia and industry to exploit these future opportunities.”

To find out more about this wonder material you can explore UoM’s website.

James Baker will also be telling the story of graphene and how it is being commercialised at the APM Regional Conference in Manchester on 5th December.

Stewart Longhurst

Posted by Stewart Longhurst on 16th Nov 2017

About the Author

Interim Head of Digital

Association for Project Management

Comments on this site are moderated. Please allow up to 24 hours for your comment to be published on this site. Thank you for adding your comment.
{{comments.length}}CommentComments
{{item.AuthorName}}

{{item.AuthorName}} {{item.AuthorName}} says on {{item.DateFormattedString}}:

Share this page

Login or Register to leave a comment:

Recommended events

Recommended blogs

Future proofing – a step into the future for projects

27 April 2018

APM’s annual conference held in the historic setting of Central hall in Westminster focused on the theme of ‘future proofing’.

Save for later

Favourite

Fingerprint hacking - could this become a concern?

24 November 2017

Cybersecurity, hacking, black hat activities. It's been all over the news lately and many large organisations – for example credit firm Equifax – have been affected heavily including their large customer base.

Save for later

Favourite

Recommended news

Event

Former Cabinet Minister to give keynote address

29 January 2018

APM is pleased to announce Michael Moore, Senior Adviser for PwC and former cabinet minister, will be opening the 2018 APM Project Management Conference Scotland supported by 20|20 Business Insight.

Save for later

Favourite

Event

APM conference 2017 speakers

7 February 2017

Providing an insight into the future of our profession; the people, the practices and the projects and how they will transform the world we live in and the way we work.

Save for later

Favourite

Join APM

Sign up to the APM Newsletter.