Month 25 Presentation Prize Winner Announcement

We are delighted to announce that third year PGR Benjamin Pearce has won the Month 25 Presentation Prize- a £50 Amazon voucher. The Month 25 presentations are given each October, where the PGRs give a presentation on their work to date and feedback scores are given by their peers. Ben’s presentation was titled ‘Mode Interference and Directional Acoustic Stop Bands in Solid-Fluid Superlattices’. Please find the abstract below.

‘Mode Interference and Directional Acoustic Stop Bands in Solid-Fluid Superlattices’

Whilst there is a large amount of work on one-dimensional phononic crystals (superlattices) consisting of alternating layers of solid materials, there is comparatively little investigation of the properties of the equivalent solid/fluid system. These systems are predicted to exhibit a directional transmission response not available to solid/solid systems. This response stems from an interference between the symmetric and anti-symmetric modes of a submerged plate. This effect can lead to pronounced, angularly dependent reductions in transmission, for even a single solid layer submerged in fluid [1,2]. Extending this system from a single plate to a multilayer structure offers an interesting avenue for phononic crystal design [3]. Existing work largely neglects to consider the interaction of this interference with the Bragg modes of a such a periodic structure. Here we present a numerical and theoretical consideration of the effects of this interaction and how the choice of crystal geometry offers routes for the creation of large bandwidth directional stop bands.

[1] M. Seiji, “Phononic Bandgaps Pecuiar to Solid-Fluid Superlattices,” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys, 2015.
[2] Z. Sai, X. Bai-qiang and C. Wenwu, “Controlling The Angle Range in Acoustics Low-Frequency
Forbidden Transmission In Solid-Fluid Superlattice,” J. Appl. Phys, 2018.
[3] S. Zhang, Z. Y, L. Wei, G. Hu, X. Bai-qiang and C. Wenwu, “Low Frequency Forbidden Bandgap
Engineering Via A Cascade of Multiple 1D Superlattices,” J. Appl. Phys, 2018.

Welcome to our new cohort for 2020!

We have seven new students this year, who have just finished the first week of their projects! Having attended a busy virtual induction week, they were pleased to meet the rest of the CDT face-to-face in a socially-distanced outdoor treasure hunt across the city.

Our new students are:

2020 XM² cohort Theme Project Supervisor 1 Supervisor 2
Kyle Arnold  Radiofrequency and microwave Artificial Magnetic Conductor Surfaces for Conformal Antenna Design Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
George Braid  Visible, Infra-red and Terahertz Laser implosion fusion for clean energy generation David Wright Jacopo Bertolotti
David Bruce  Acoustics and Phononics New metasurfaces for acoustic control (Leaky Waves) Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
Jenner Gudge-Brooke  Radiofrequency and microwave Miniaturised helical antennas for superdirectivity Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
Dan Moore  Acoustics and Phononics Making the world sound better – acoustic metamaterials for manipulating sound in air and underwater Alastair Hibbins Roy Sambles
Tom Moynihan  Radiofrequency and microwave Effect of Material Conductivity and Architecture on Electromagnetic Surface Wave Propagation Alastair Hibbins  Roy Sambles
Lee Worgan  Acoustics and Phononics RF and mm-wave imaging using optical modulation Euan Hendry  Nick Stone

Tom is based in Cambridge working with TWI and David is based in Dorset, undertaking his PhD part-time whilst working at Qinetiq.

XM2 Minerva Prize Colloquium Winner Announcement

We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s inaugural Minerva Prize Colloquium is Louisa Brotherson, a PhD student at University of Liverpool. She will be giving a talk on “Absolute acoustic sensor calibration for quantifying lab-generated earthquake sources”, delivered via Zoom on Friday 2nd October 2020. Congratulations Louisa!

Louisa Brotherson, Minerva Prize Winner 2020

The Minerva Prize is a new initiative, created and organised by a committee of CDT PGRs. Two committee members- second year PGR Connor Sait and third year PGR Emily Glover– discuss the ethos of the prize and the experience of implementing their idea into practice.


The time spent organising the first XM2 Minerva Prize has been very valuable to me. I would like to thank the XM2 management board for giving the Minerva Prize team of postgraduate students the freedom and support to organise the prize in a way that represents us.

We are delighted with our choice of prize winner Louisa Brotherson, whose application for the talk was incredibly strong. I am very excited for the chance to chat with Louisa and we are confident that her talk on the use of acoustic sensors for earthquake quantification will be a hit with the XM2 CDT!

Connor Sait

Being a part of the Minerva Prize organising committee has highlighted to me the important aspects of being part of an effective team. We have worked hard to build this event and shown great teamwork in the process. Our third year member Emily Glover in particular has worked very hard to bring things together and brought a positive and optimistic attitude to the group dynamic.

The Minerva Prize was suggested for the benefit of PhD researchers – whose opportunities to discuss their work are limited in comparison with later stage researchers – and particularly for our own postgraduate students at the Exeter metamaterials group to meet and hear about the work of a researcher at the same stage of academic development.

I would strongly encourage other XM2 postgraduates to bring their ideas for events and opportunities for the CDT to the management team. In this case, I brought the idea for a talk given by a PhD student to our programme manager Anja Roeding, who gave it serious consideration and took quick and effective action to put the foundations for the prize in place and get things off the ground. Our CDT administrator Kelyn Luther has also been a great help to us from the very beginning in organising this event. Thank you Anja and Kelyn!

I would like to thank everybody else who has given their support to the prize. I hope you all enjoy Louisa’s talk in October, and that the 2020 XM2 Minerva Prize Talk will be the first of many talks by PhD researchers, for PhD researchers here at Exeter XM2.

Emily Glover


Being a part of the Minerva Prize Organising Committee has been a great experience for me. I have enjoyed some of the more creative opportunities that it has afforded me, including building a website that we used to advertise our prize. It also taught me how much work goes in behind the scenes, and how stressful waiting for people to apply can be! Receiving our first abstract was so exciting, and I can’t wait to hear the talk from our winner.

Oliver Latcham presents his work at Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM: 2019) Conference

Oliver presents his poster, ‘Hybrid Magneto-Acoustic Metamaterials’

Second year PGR Oliver Latcham discusses presenting at MMM 2019 and attending the SAM 2019: Symposium on Acoustic Metamaterials:

From Oct. 9th-11th I attended a symposia “SAM 2019: Symposium on Acoustic Metamaterials” in Naples, Italy and Nov. 4th-8th a conference “Magnetism and Magnetic Materials (MMM: 2019)” in Las Vegas, Nevada, presenting my work on Hybrid Magneto-Acoustic Metamaterials in oral (SAM) and poster (MMM) formats. The work I presented focused on coupling between Magnon and Phonons in a 1D array of periodically arranged magnetostrictive and non-magnetic media.

Both the symposia and conference were invaluable experiences, allowing me primarily to discuss my own work, and the work of others in the same or similar fields. They were also brilliantly organised, and had packed schedules with plenty of social events. It was a great experience visiting these brilliant venues and talking again to friends and colleagues I had met at other events as well as meeting new ones.


Jess Brown at Acoustofluidics Forum

Jess presents her research

On 16th and 17th October, third year PGR Jess Brown attended Acoustofluidics Forum. She reports on her experience of the event:


This 2-day meeting of the Acoustofluidics Special Interest Group in the UK Fluidic Network took place at Cardiff University, hosted by Dr Chris Yang and his research group (MUSL) – this is the 9th SIG meeting since 2017, and they have been held all over the UK and further afield.
I attended with Caroline Pouya (a post-doc in my research group), and we both gave talks about our current research, discussing how it’s related to Acoustofluidics. This was the first presentation I’ve given outside the CDT, so it was a big confidence boost for me to get some external validation of my work! The other attendees had interesting questions for me to consider, and I also found some potential collaborations.
Since my research is only tenuously associated with acoustofluidics, I found learning about something slightly different a welcome and stimulating change of scene – talks about engineering and medical applications particularly stood out for me, which explored how sound can be used to sense damage in aircraft components and monitor heart function, or filter bacteria from milk and manipulate cancer cells for disease diagnosis. I also appreciated the networking sessions, meeting other PhD students and big names in the field, and sharing ideas and experiences.
Overall it was a very enjoyable event, and I’m keen to attend another soon! Back to my own research in the meantime…

Joseph Beadle submits his thesis!

Joseph Beadle with his thesis

Congratulations to CDT PGR Joseph Beadle, who submitted his thesis last week.

Joseph was supervised by Prof. J. R. Sambles and Prof. A.P. Hibbins, and his PhD project was entitled: ‘An exploration of acoustic metasurfaces’. The aim was to experimentally explore the effect that structuring surfaces had on the near-field acoustic surface waves. The project involved both airborne and underwater acoustics. He published two papers whilst at Exeter: ‘The acoustic phase resonances and surface waves supported by a compound rigid grating’ & ‘Broadband, slow sound on a glide-symmetric meander-channel surface’.

During this time he presented at international conferences such as: ASP DFD (American physics society – division of fluid dynamics) in Denver, USA (2017), and  Underwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition, Hersonissou, Greece (2019). Joseph has been working as a member of TEAM-A based in QinetiQ, where he is expanding on his PhD work and investigating novel underwater metamaterials for the absorption and manipulation of acoustic energy.

New Publication: Controlling acoustic waves using magneto-elastic Fano resonances

First year PGR Oliver Latcham has just co-authored his first paper, ‘Controlling acoustic waves using magneto-elastic Fano resonances’, published last week in Applied Physics Letters. This is an impressive achievement at the start of his degree.

His PhD project is ‘Excitation of spin waves in magnetic elements using surface acoustic waves’, supervised by Volodymyr Kruglyak, Geoff Nash and Andrey Shytov.

Earlier this year, Oliver attended MMM-Intermag 2019 with fellow CDT PGRS: fourth year XM² postgraduate researchers Angus Laurenson and Natalie Whitehead, third year XM² postgraduate researchers David Osuna Ruiz and Elizabeth Martin, and second year XM² postgraduate researcher Peter Inzani.


We propose and analyze theoretically a class of energy-efficient magnetoelastic devices for analog signal processing. The signals are carried by transverse acoustic waves while the bias magnetic field controls their scattering from a magnetoelastic slab. By tuning the bias field, one can alter the resonant frequency at which the propagating acoustic waves hybridize with the magnetic modes, and thereby control transmission and reflection coefficients of the acoustic waves. The scattering coefficients exhibit Breit-Wigner/Fano resonant behavior akin to inelastic scattering in atomic and nuclear physics. Employing oblique incidence geometry, one can effectively enhance the strength of magnetoelastic coupling, and thus countermand the magnetic losses due to the Gilbert damping. We apply our theory to discuss potential benefits and issues in realistic systems and suggest routes to enhance the performance of the proposed devices.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom (Grant No. EP/L015331/1) and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 644348 (MagIC).

Poster Prize Winners: Carlota Ruiz De Galarreta and Joseph Beadle


Figure 1: Poster prize winner Carlota Ruiz de Galarreta (4th from the left) at the European Phase-Change and Ovonic Symposium (E\PCOS 2018).

4th year XM² PGRs Carlota Ruiz de Galarreta and Joseph Beadle won the poster prizes at two different conferences:

  • Carlota attended the European Phase-Change and Ovonic Symposium (E\PCOS 2018 which brings together the phase change community together to discuss the latest technology achievements and their possible new application areas (figure 1);
  • Joseph won the prize for best poster at the Symposium on Acoustic Materials and Metamaterials, organised by the  IOA Physical Acoustics Group, and co-sponsored by the recently established UK Acoustics Network, which brings together many recognised specialists in acoustic materials and metamaterials from academia and industry to discuss latest research on absorbing, scattering and the diffusing of sound (figure 2).

Congratulations to both PGRs for their achievements!

Figure 2: Joseph Beadle’s winning poster at the ACOUSTIC MATERIALS AND METAMATERIALS Symposium 2018.

Exeter Acoustics Metamaterials Meeting: 16 & 17 April 2018

The first Exeter Acoustics Metamaterials (XAM3) Meeting will take place at the University of Exeter on Monday April 16th and Tuesday 17th April 2018. This two-day meeting will explore the latest developments in acoustic metamaterials/metasurfaces and industrial engagement with university research in the field.

It aims to bring together industrialists, established academics, and early career researchers from world-leading institutions to identify overlapping and complementary interests and to understand where specific expertise may be shared.

The event, which is free to attend, is funded by Exeter’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials, with further sponsorship from the EPSRC UK Acoustics Network. It will include presentations from invited speakers (academics and industry representatives), a poster session, and plenty of opportunities for discussion including a networking dinner on Monday 16th April.

To register please use the registration form.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the event organiser Dr Tim Starkey: