A deeper perspective on engineering surfaces was provided by Professor Anne Neville FREng, who delivered the Academy’s annual regional public lecture. Her talk, entitled Nature and Nano – it’s all going on at engineering surfaces, took place at Leeds University on Monday 5 March.

Professor Neville’s research has a number of applications from determining the lifespan of hip joints to managing the corrosion of pipelines carrying oil and gas. During her talk, she considered tribology (surfaces in contact), corrosion, fouling, de-icing and surgical surfaces – explaining how her research at the nanoscale is able to reveal what is controlling surface and interface behaviours.

Her work provides an insight into the current controversy over metal-on-metal hip replacements, which she noted was also due to corrosion and not only to wear. Professor Neville also explained that, by understanding surface processes including those that are found in nature, we can produce better engineered designs for industries as diverse as oil and gas, biomedicine and automotive.

The Academy’s President Sir John Parker FREng, who was present for the lecture said: “It was a delight to be here in Leeds this evening and listen to Professor Neville, who is the first holder of the Academy’s Chair of Emerging Technologies. As demonstrated in tonight’s lecture engineering operates at all scales, providing solutions for a number of diverse purposes, from oil and gas pipelines to surgical robots.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  2. Professor Anne Neville FRSE FREng is a professor of tribology and surface engineering at the University of Leeds, where she also holds the position of deputy head of school and is leader of the corrosion and surface engineering research group. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) in 2005 and of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2010. Professor Neville is the first recipient of the Academy’s 10-year fully funded Chair of Emerging Technologies. Her research is focused on three main areas: corrosion and tribo-corrosion; lubrication and wear; mineral scaling.

For more information please contact

Manisha Lalloo at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0683; email: Manisha Lalloo