Dr James Murray is a Postdoctoral Research Engineer at AIT specialising in processing, characterisation and prototyping of polymer and composite materials. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a PhD from The University of Edinburgh. His PhD involved the design and development of a process to produce nylon composite laminates, characterisation of laminate properties, and studying their potential as a material in semi-structural automotive parts. This work was carried out in collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Composite Materials (CACM) at The University of Auckland (New Zealand), who have renowned expertise in processing and testing of automotive and marine composites, and where James spent six months working as an Honorary Research Assistant.
James has a strong background in mechanical testing and thermal analysis of polymers/composites, impact testing, and process design/development. His primary research interests are in the development of circular polymers and processes (mechanical recycling, biodegradation, depolymerisation-repolymerisation), and liquid composite moulding of thermoplastic composites. James is currently working on two EU projects: BioICEP, a Horizon 2020 project which aims to create sustainable routes to a circular economy by transforming plastic waste streams to high market demand biopolymers; and Curcol, an EU Interreg NWE project to develop a sustainable method of extracting the curcumin spice and incorporating it into biopolymers as a bio-colourant. James’ role in these projects is to process and characterise materials, and apply them in protype parts to demonstrate their potential.
James has been involved in a number of other high profile projects including “Novel Composite Materials and Processes for Offshore Renewable Energy” (MARINCOMP), where he worked as a Marie Curie Researcher developing novel powder epoxy materials as a matrix in composites for tidal and offshore wind turbine blades. He was also responsible for testing/analysing the world’s first rotationally-moulded PEEK material at NUI Galway as a researcher working on a European Space Agency project to develop composite overwrapped pressure vessels for hydrogen fuel storage.