Alan Martin


Despite neglecting to take maths at A-level, I was able to complete my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at The University of Sheffield in 2014; thanks to the Foundation Year in Engineering offered at Sheffield. Engineers are often driven by a need to create and a need to fix, so it wasn’t surprising that I found my passion for both of these qualities sated over the years through the discipline.


For me, Tribology started as an odd word which I had heard floating around the department as an undergraduate. It wasn’t until a guest lecture in a third year module that I appreciated the significance the study had on a number of areas; from the bruising of apples to the interaction of a gecko’s feet with a ceiling; it seemed that these tiny asperity “mountain ranges” present on all surfaces had a part to play in shaping nearly everything. 


So it’s partly this great variety of applications and partly the creativeness required to solve such unusual challenges which influenced me to be a researcher at the iT-CDT.