Tim Stevenson

Once I had completed my undergraduate degree in Engineering, I still didn’t feel I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a career, but I has enjoyed the research element of my dissertation. I spent sometime working at different jobs, but was then offered a place to undertake a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Leeds in the Piezoelectrics group. It has been a decision I will never regret. Postgraduate study is a big undertaking, and at times you certainly feel the pressure, but I really enjoyed my research area, group and relished the opportunity to experience new and developing technology both within the University and internationally, presenting at conferences and through a secondment to the University of Illinois. The diversity and breadth of my experience at Leeds, the opportunities it presented, and the support of the University, allowed me to start a spin out company, aimed at commercialising the research from my Ph.D. In 2010 Ionix Advanced Technologies was born and we have since grown beyond the University in to a fully fledged company, manufacturing extreme environment piezoelectric devices based on the very materials developed during my postgraduate degree.

What have you been doing since finishing your studies? What are you doing in terms of your career?

Since completing my PhD I undertook a Research Fellowship, at the University, which allowed me to develop the commercial aspect of my Ph.D. I am now co-founder and Technical Development Director of Ionix Advanced Technologies ltd, a spin out from the University of Leeds manufacturing extreme environment piezoelectric devices which were developed from the research output of my Ph.D.

 What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?

I really enjoyed my Ph.D and particularly working within the Functional Materials group with Andrew Bell and Tim Comyn. The facilities and research expertise in the field of piezoelectric materials was world class which helped, and offered many opportunities for collaboration both at home and abroad. The University also has a very good commercialisation mechanism which allowed us to progress our research to industry through a well structured route.

Looking back, why did you choose to undertake a PhD at the University of Leeds?

I did my undergraduate at Leeds and loved it so much, I came back for more!