Recent weeks have seen festive engineering in full swing as we constructed wrapping paper masterpieces, calculated how the turkey could fit in the oven and tested out our new gadgets.

The one thing that all our decorations, toys, and even the tape holding everything together, have in common is materials engineering. An often-underrated field, materials engineering brings together countless studies of the ‘stuff’ that makes up our world.

Many of the greatest challenges our world is facing are due to the limits of the materials we have available. By improving how existing materials work, and even creating new ones altogether, we can engineer our future. Throughout January, we are meeting the engineers and innovators who make it their job to get to the bottom of these problems.

We find out about a soap company who are cleaning up their act. Many detergents use long lists of complicated ingredients to freshen our laundry, which drain into waterways with potentially harmful effects. By creating a new soap molecule from natural products, these eco-friendly engineers are changing the way the world cleans.

Later in the month, we hear from an engineer in who is tackling clean energy in sub-Saharan Africa. Made from manure or waste food, this biogas provides a cheap, clean fuel for cooking, lighting and heating in homes across Uganda.

Finally, we meet up with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining’s ‘Women in Materials’ group for a more in depth look at just what materials engineers do!

Join us as we explore the world of materials engineering, and have your say on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Image via GIPHY