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 has supervised 7 PhD thesis, is the author of over 100 papers (> 3000 citations), 14 patents (2 industrially exploited) and has an h-index of 30. He has coordinated several European projects, industrial contracts (e.g. Airbus, AFOSR) 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, the 2016 young investigator award by the European Society for Composite Materials and the 2018 "Miguel Catalán" under 40 investigator award by the Madrid Regional Government. 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 a member of the Early Career Researcher Board of IOP Multifunctional Materials.


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His group’s work is 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, and took part in the transfer of this technology to industry. Since 2011 he has led a research group pursuing molecular control in synthesis of nanostructured fibres; methods to hybridize them with polymers and inorganic materials; the use of advanced X-ray and spectroscopic techniques to establish structure-property relations in these complex hierarchical systems; and the study of reinforcement and energy storage/transfer in composites with CNT fibre fabrics. His research has helped establish the unique combination of properties of CNT fibres, particularly for multifunctional composites that can store or harvest energy.

  • 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)
  • 2018 “Miguel Catalán” Award (under 40) granted by the Madrid Regional Government
  • 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”