MCR-SCR Seminars

MCR-SCR seminars are held on Fridays, four times per term, at 1pm. These are an opportunity to hear what research other members of the MCR are doing. The 30 minute talks cover subjects ranging from medieval history to experimental physics. They are all aimed at a non-specialist audience, so everyone can enjoy them! A free lunch is also provided. Talks are held in one of the college seminar rooms. See the term card below for more details.

If you are interested in presenting at one of these talks, please get in touch with the MCR Academic Officer, Tom Fay (


Week 1 -Tuesday 10th October, 1pm – Fraenkel Room

Matthew Butler
Wet Adhesion: How can insects stick to things when I can’t?

Most of us don’t think twice when we see an ant walking up a wall, or a fly clinging to the ceiling, even though humans cannot physically accomplish this. It is thought that they achieve these feats using specially-designed footpads that secrete an oily fluid which suctions them firmly to the surface. This mechanism works very efficiently and can be used repeatably, unlike a large number of artificial adhesives. In this talk I will introduce you to the key physical principles allowing insect adhesion to be possible, possibly touching on similar strategies by other organisms, before giving an overview of my research into the effect of footpad elasticity on adhesion and how we could create a bio-inspired controllable adhesive device.

Week 3  –Friday 27th October,  1pm – Fraenkel Room

Tayo Sanders II
Advances towards single-injection vaccines

For many of us, receiving vaccinations feels more like a hassle than a luxury. To some, it even represents an (imagined) threat. But there’s no denying that vaccines have been one of the most effective medical interventions in human history, but they do in fact remain a luxury for many. Global immunization remains a major challenge for a number of political, societal, and technical reasons. Chief among these issues is the fact that vaccines often require multiple administrations to provide full protection. The development of vaccines that provide complete immunity in a single injection could drastically improve vaccine coverage, particularly in the developing world. Research on single- administration vaccines has seen sustained activity for the past few decades, resulting in several promising results when antigen-loaded biodegradable release vehicles are used. Yet, none of the controlled release formulations developed have seen deployment beyond evaluation in animal models. In my work, I adopt a microparticle formation technique typically used to prepare drug loaded particles to overcome some of the challenges currently faced.


Week 6 – Tuesday 14th November, 1pm – Fraenkel Room

Sanmi Adekanye
Quantum Communication with Single Photon Sources

Single photons are the key ingredient for many photonic quantum technologies including quantum key distribution and measurement-based quantum computing. The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centre in diamond has been shown to be a stable room temperature source of single photons, establishing itself as a leading candidate for a solid state quantum emitter in such applications. However, it remains crucial to engineer the NV centre’s emission properties to meet the required specifications of these technologies. This is achieved with the application of optical microcavities.

Optical microcavities offer enhancement of the spontaneous emission rate, tunability of the emission spectrum and increased light collection. Unfortunately, the NV centre’s broad phonon-assisted emission marginalises gains in the spontaneous emission rate by virtue of modified density of states within the cavity. In this talk, I will present developments in room temperature coupling of single NV centres in nanodiamond to open-access microcavities of a planar-hemispherical geometry. We report enhancements in the spectral density of photons into a single cavity mode, combined with improved single photon purities.

Week 7 – Friday 24th November, 1pm – Fraenkel Room

Maria Balgova
Explaining patterns in internal migration

(Awaiting abstract)