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Dr Stuart Coles

I am an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Materials here at WMG and the basics of my role are to supervise current research projects and students, develop further ideas for future research and deliver teaching across our undergraduate BEng / MEng and postgraduate MSc programmes. There are some other more detailed parts to it but they are the essential areas!

Across WMG, Materials and Manufacturing research is highly integrated and we all work closely, but there is also a large amount of synergy to Prof. Paul Jenning’s Energy Storage group. Outside of the department, I collaborate with a number of groups in Chemistry (Drs Stefan Bon, Andrew Clark, Andrew Dove) and Life Sciences (Dr Guy Barker) on various multidisciplinary projects and also share teaching responsibilities for a 4th year undergraduate module with Dr Colin Oram of Engineering. Looking further afield from the University, I am on the EPSRC Early Career Research Forum in Manufacturing, so I am developing working relationships with a number of fellow forum members.

My early career

My background is in Chemistry which gives me a different perspective on manufacturing problems when compared with traditional Engineering. I studied at Cardiff University for my BSc but spent a my third year (of four) in industry working for Johnson Matthey in Royston, Hertfordshire. After completing my course, I came to Warwick and studied for my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Peter Scott. Whilst writing up my PhD, a short-term research project became available in 2006 here at WMG working on plant oil chemistry and production and I have remained ever since!

The variety of the job; working with different disciplines on interesting problems means that no day is ever the same. Our group spans Engineering, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Economics and Social Sciences to solve challenges in sustainability. It is incredibly enjoyable simply bringing a group of likeminded individuals together to develop a solution whilst learning areas in different subjects.

My favourite thing is the people. We are a large department in size spread across a number of buildings, yet you can sit down in any of the coffee areas and have a conversation with anyone about any area of the department just off chance. Everyone is very friendly and will happily give you a few moments of their day.

Life at Warwick

We are very lucky to have such a wide range of facilities on campus, as well as some excellent grounds to sit and enjoy when the weather’s nice. I probably use the sporting facilities as much as anything else; we have a departmental cricket team, I play football on site as well. I have previously been involved with the University’s US football side as well in a coaching role, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in something “extra-curricular” that you will be interested in.