Juan José Vilatela

Multifunctional Nanocomposites

Dr. Juan José Vilatela García has a BSc in Physics Engineering from UIA, Mexico (2005) and a PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy of the University of Cambridge (2009). In 2011 he founded the Multifunctional Nanocomposites Group (http://www.materials.imdea.org/groups/mng/ ) at IMDEA Materials Institute. He is the author of over 60 papers (> 1600 citations), 10 patents (2 industrially exploited) and has an h-index of 19. He has coordinated several European projects, industrial contracts (e.g. Airbus) and is currently the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant to develop structural energy haversting composite materials. He has been awarded the “Juan de la Cierva” and “Ramón y Cajal” fellowships by the Spanish Ministry of Economics, and the 2016 young investigator award by the European Society for Composite Materials. Since 2014 his is an associate lecturer at the Carlos III de Madrid University and at the Technical University of Madrid in its Airbus-UPM master’s programme. He is currently editor of the journal Scientific Reports.


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His group’s work is largely focused on the development of macroscopic materials made up of nanobuilding blocks in a way that the unique properties at the nanoscale are preserved through the assembly process and a new generation of high-performance engineering materials is produced. He was involved in early developments of a process to make continuous macroscopic fibres made up of CNTs, at Cambridge. Later he took part in the transfer of this technology to industry. His more recent work includes studying hierarchical structures by advanced X-ray techniques, reinforcement at multiple length-scales and the electrochemical interactions of CNT fibres with liquids and polymers. His research has helped establish the unique combination of properties of CNT fibres, particularly for multifunctional composites that can store energy or have sensing functions.

  • Since 2011 Head of Multifunctional Nanocomposites group at IMDEA Materials Institute, Spain.
  • 2009-2011 Postdoctoral research associate, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • 2005-2009 PhD, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • 2004-2005 Research laboratory manager, Advanced Additives Laboratory, Jumex, Mexico
  • 2004 Research internship with Prof. P. Ajayan, Department of Materials Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US. (3 months)
  • 2003 Research internship with Prof. M. Terrones, Department of Materials Science, IPICYT, Mexico. (3 months)
  • 2016 “Young Investigator Award granted by the European Society for Composite Materials
  • 2015-2020 “Ramón y Cajal Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Economy”
  • 2011-2013 “Juan de la Cierva Fellowship from the Spanish Ministery of Science and Innovation (MICINN)”
  • 2005-2009 “PhD scholarship from the Mexican Science Council (CONACYT)”
  • 2004 “Research internship scholarship from the US government, RPI, US”