Natalie Stingelin

Imperial College London

Natalie Stingelin FRSC is a Professor of Organic Functional Materials at the Department of Materials, Imperial College London. Prior to this appointment she conducted research at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, the Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich and as junior staff at Queen Mary, University of London. She obtained the degree of Engineer in Materials Science in 1997 from ETH Zürich, and in 2001 completed her doctoral studies, for which she was awarded the ETH Medal. She has published more than 140 papers and holds 6 issued patents. Her current research interests encompass the broad field of organic functional materials, including organic electronics, multifunctional inorganic/organic hybrids, and smart, advanced optical systems based on organic matter. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Materials Chemistry C. She received a €1.2 Million ERC Starting Independent Researcher Award in 2011.

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Cool Plastics For A Greener World

With seabirds trapped in multipack drink rings, and mid-ocean islands of indestructible rubbish, the idea that plastics could play a big part in a sustainable future world might seem far-fetched. However, new smart plastics may yet rescue the reputation of this all-consuming 20th century material. Research into so-called ‘cool plastics’ for cars and buildings could reduce the need for air conditioning and, thus, improve their energy efficiency. We will present recent efforts to design plastics of desired functions targeted for a greener world. One line of our enquiry is to explore the potential of plastics that can offer the same flexibility, softness and light weight but can control the flow of light and heat therefore assisting energy harvesting but also reducing the energy we waste to keep buildings at the temperature we want.