Published: 01 November 2016

Surrey-NPL PhD student wins IET Travel Award

PhD student Greg (Grigorios) Rigas has won a prestigious IET 2016 Travel Award for his work on innovative printed electronics.

Grigorios Rigas

As winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology Travel Award, Greg will be funded to attend the 2016 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting in Boston (USA) in November to present his research on ink-jet printed biomedical sensors to an audience of leading figures from academia and industry. The MRS meeting is one of the largest and most prestigious conferences in the field.

During his PhD in Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI), sponsored by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Greg has contributed to overcoming one of the key challenges in printed electronics by creating  tiny ink-jet printed nanowire transistors that can easily fit on a cross section of a human hair.

Early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer could save millions of lives and dramatically reduce healthcare service costs, but current tests are still expensive and time consuming. Printed nano-electronics could potentially enable innovative diagnosis techniques at a fraction of the cost of mainstream approaches – however tackling the engineering challenges associated with the manufacturing and quality control processes for this new class of printable devices is essential for bringing nanoelectronic solutions into a reality.In the MRS talk, Greg will present perhaps the world’s smallest fully printed nanowire transistor sensor, which has the potential to enable low cost detection of cancer related markers at an early stage of the disease. The technology could also be used in the development of hazardous gas sensors and nano-photovoltaic energy harvesters.

Greg said, “I felt deeply honoured when I heard about this award from the IET. During challenging economic times, having the largest multidisciplinary professional engineering institution to enable my conference participation is a very exciting prospect.

“I believe this is a unique opportunity to share the results of my research with the best scientists in the field, promoting the outstanding work conducted by NPL and the ATI at Surrey.Most importantly, it will show how engineering and technology link science with real world applications.”

The IET Travel Award funds exceptional researchers to broaden their professional experience by undertaking a study tour, working in industry or attending a conference.

Greg was previously invited to present his work to MPs at the House of Commons as part of the Set for Britain 2016 competition.

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