Keynote Speakers

Prof. Alexander Korsunsky
Trinity College, Oxford University, UK

Alexander Korsunsky received his degree of Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) from Merton College, Oxford, following undergraduate education in theoretical physics. His current appointment is Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford and Trinity College. He has given keynote plenaries at major international conferences on engineering and materials. He has developed numerous international links, including visiting professorships at Universitá Roma Tre (Italy), ENSICAEN (France) and National University of Singapore.

Prof Korsunsky’s research interests concern developing improved understanding of integrity and reliability of engineered and natural structures and systems, from high-performance metallic alloys to polycrystalline ceramics to natural hard tissue such as human dentin and seashell nacre.

Prof Korsunsky co-authored books on fracture mechanics (Springer) and elasticity (CUP), and published over 200 papers in scholarly periodicals on the subjects ranging from neutron and synchrotron X-ray diffraction analysis and the prediction of fatigue strength to micro-cantilever bio-sensors, size effects and scaling transitions in systems and structures.

Support for Prof Korsunsky’s research has come from EPSRC and STFC, two major Research Councils in the UK, as well as also from the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), NRF (South Africa), DFG (Germany), CNRS (France) and other international and national research foundations. Prof Korsunsky is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Strain Analysis published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK (IMechE).

Prof Korsunsky is consultant to Rolls-Royce plc, the global aeroengine manufacturer, whom he advises on company design procedures for reliability and consistency. He spent a period of industrial secondment at their headquarters in Derby, UK (supported by RAEng), and made recommendations on R&D in structural integrity.

Prof Korsunsky plays a leading role in the development of large scale research facilities in the UK and Europe. He is Chair of the Science Advisory Committee at Diamond Light Source (DLS) near Oxford, UK, and Chair of the User Working Group for JEEP (Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing) beamline at DLS. These activities expand the range of applications of large scale science to problems in real engineering practice.

Prof Korsunsky’s research team at Oxford has involved members from almost every part of the globe (UK, FR, DE, IT, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, South Africa).


Prof. Denis Fichou
Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore / Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris, France

Dr. Denis Fichou is a Research Director at CNRS (1st class) and a Professor at NTU, Singapore. He is the current Head of the Organic Nanostructures and Semiconductors laboratory that he founded in 2001 at Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, France. From 2005 to 2015, D. Fichou has been a Visiting Professor at NTU including a Tcheng Tsang Man Chair at the School of Material Science & Engineering in 2005-2008. He is now at the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences where he setup a research lab to develop novel organic and hybrid solar cells. In the late 80s D. Fichou has pioneered organic electronics. In particular he is the co-inventor of the first organic transistor on a flexible substrate (Adv Mater 1990). Since then, he has been developing organic semiconductors and devices, in particular the oligothiophenes family. Today his research is oriented towards the design of organic and hybrid photovoltaic solar cells as well as new oxide-based photoelectrochemical systems for water splitting and energy storage. He has published more than 190 articles in prestigious international journals such as Nature, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, JACS, etc. Besides, he is the holder of 10 patents and the editor/author of several books including the successful Handbook of Oligo & Polythiophenes (Wiley-VCH, 1999) that has received over 2.200 citations as of today. Finally, his publications in academic journals have received a total of more than 10.200 citations (h-index=43, Google Scholar).

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Prof. Mikio Ito
Osaka University, Japan


Mikio Ito is associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Osaka University, Japan. Professor Ito obtained his master’s(1994) and Doctor’s degrees(1997) in Engineering from Osaka University. His research focuses on development of materials processing, mainly powder processing, for functional materials with excellent performances, such as hard magnetic materials, thermoelectric materials etc. So far, he has produced nearly 140 publications. His resent research also focuses on SPS processing, and he is trying to clarify the effects of directly applied current sintering using SPS on densification behaviors of metal and ceramic powders.


Speech Title: Synthesis of thermoelectric materials by directly applied current sintering process

The SPS (spark plasma sintering) is a well-known sintering process for rapid densification of powder compacts. In the conventional SPS process, a powder sample is packed in graphite punches and a graphite die and then heated. In this talk, “direct applied current sintering process”, where an electrically nonconductive quartz glass die is used instead of the conventional graphite die, is proposed. The effects of this modified SPS process on densification behavior of a thermoelectric powder sample wewe investigated. When the thermoelectric β-FeSi2 was sintered by directly applied current heating, the densification of a powder compact was significantly promoted and the density of a sintered body became higher than that of the sample sintered by the conventional SPS. It was also found that the sintering process in a quartz glass die was progressed by applying lower power consumption as compared to sintering in the conventional graphite die. The sample sintered by this modified SPS process showed the thermal conductivity smaller than the sample prepared in the conventional SPS process because of its finer microstructure. On the other hand, the electrical resistivity and the Seebeck coefficient of this sample were slightly reduced and enhanced, respectively, resulting in the significantly lager figure of merit as compared to the conventionally sintered sample. These results of this study indicate that the directly applied current sintering is expected to be an effective way of synthesizing thermoelectric materials.