Dr Mike Holmes is a Knowledge Transfer Manager here at the KCMC. After his PhD in surface chemistry, he had a wide and varied career in the chemical industry and in collaborative R&D.
What do you do at the KCMC?
My role is to talk to companies, to understand their R&D programme, and identify where the gaps are. Then, I explore where we can fill those gaps at the University of Manchester, in terms of skills, expertise or facilities. That’s only the first step though – getting from an initial connection to a legally-binding contract between the parties is not trivial. I’m there to facilitate and bring clarity to that process, and to manage expectations.
What are your strengths?
I have deep scientific understanding, followed by 20 years in industry and 12 years in knowledge transfer, so I’d like to think I’m very credible, both in terms of age and experience!
I’m also embedded within the University of Manchester, and have great relationships with people across research, innovation and IP. From outside, a university of this size can be a bit daunting, so I help people navigate it. I am organised, and like to provide structure, which leads to clearer communications.
Why do you enjoy working at the KCMC?
I love both the breadth and depth of the role – it has a chunky scientific content, which is great for me! I also like making a difference. For the academics, we help them to demonstrate the impact of their work, which is a top priority for all universities. And for the companies, we open new supply chains for them, giving them access to the best and brightest.
What area of materials science excites you?
Manchester is famous for its world-leading expertise of 2D materials like graphene, but I’m also fascinated by neuromorphic computing – we’re beginning to see electronics that mimic biological processes. That’s some leading edge stuff!
Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org