Bob Stevens

Bob Stevens

Professor in Smart Materials and Devices

School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)
Physics and Mathematics


Professor of SMART Materials and Devices (Part time)

Research Areas

  • Electrospinning of natural and synthetic polymers to produce functional nanofibre fabrics for applications in Life Science, Healthcare, Energy and Environment
    o Point of Care and Self Diagnostic devices for early detection of disease (Type II Diabetes, Cadiovascular)
    o Making polluted water safe and detection of pollutants
    o Regenerative medicine (Therapies for Age related Macular Degeneration, Spinal Cord Repair)
    o High performance lightweight materials
    o Scale up technologies for complex nanofibre materials and structures
  • Nano-electrospray of nanomaterials and biomolecules for advanced functional coatings, patterned and precision surfaces
  • Diamond Microplasma devices
  • Modification of brittle materials using powder blasting
  • Greyscale lithography and deep silicon etching for 3D surfaces
  • Wafer scale processing for micro and nanoscale devices
  • Thin film electroluminescent displays and light engines
  • Offset Lithographic Printing for low cost production of disposable medical devices


  • Radius Health, Science and Technology Facilities Council

Career overview

Principal Scientist at the Science and Technology Facilities Councils Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (1999-2012) Process Development Group Leader for Micro and Nanotechnology.

Spin out companies

  • Oxsensis Ltd. Manufacturer of multi-parameter fibre optic sensing systems (Co-founder)
  • The Electrospinning Company Ltd. Manufacturer of nanofibre enabled devcies for Life Sciences (Co-founder & Research Director)
  • ESP Technology. Developer of advanced early canulation and arterial venous grafts (Chief Technology Officer)


  • Radius Health Diagnostics. Developer of Portable X-ray imaging systems for the healthcare sector
  • Surfuzion(Science and Technology Facilities Council)
  • The Electrospinning Company
  • Nanoflex. Manufacturer of advanced electrochemical sensing technology

Research areas

Areas of research include:

  • Thin film electroluminescent materials, materials processing and devices for:
    o head mounted information systems
    o Electrophotographic printing
  • X-ray lithographic masks
  • X-ray kinoform and compound refractive lenses
  • Low point spread function scintillators for X-ray imaging
  • Indium bumping of electronic devices for advanced hybridised imaging systems
  • Colloidal nanothrusters for satellite
  • Silicon field emitter devices for low power budget, lightweight spacecraft neutalisers
  • Nano-emitter devices for electrospray applications
  • Electrospun nanofibre tissue scaffolds leading to cellular therapies for:
    o Repair of damage to the spinal cord
    o Age related Macular Degeneration
  • Electrospun nanofibre fabrics for advanced fuel cell components
  • Electrospun nanofibre nanocomposites for high performance carbon fibre systems
  • Electrospun and silica micro-crystal holders for protein crystallography
  • Powder blasting for:
    o microfluidic devices for hepatocyte toxicity tests
    o silicon-glass microfluidic systems
    o high density graphite grid electrode devices
  • Diamond dynode devices for high dynamic range high speed imaging detectors
  • Electrospun nanofibre fabrics for:
    o Lithium Ion Battery Separators
    o Fuel cell components
    o Tissue scaffolds – Spinal Cord Repair
    o Tissue scaffolds – Age related Macular Degeneration
    o Artificial Lymph Nodes

Professor Stevens is currently working on:

  • Fibre optic fuel gauging systems for next generation of single aisle passenger aircraft. In collaboration with Oxsensis Ltd, Parker Hannifin Inc, Technology Strategy Board
  • Diamond microplasma devices in collaboration with the University of Bristol, The Open University and the EPSRC
  • Point-of-Care disposable diagnostic device for the early detection of the onset of Type II diabetes. In collaboration with The University of Cardiff and the Science and Technology Facilities Council
  • ZAP-2-TAP which is a solar powered water sterilisation technology
  • Offset lithographic printing of conductive electrode systems for low cost disposable devices
  • Greyscale silicon processing for new microfabrication processing solutions
  • Developing collaborative projects which integrate, electrospinning, nano-electrospray, laser ablation and annealing and high precision powder blasting

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist in the School of Science and Technology and further information may be obtained from the NTU Graduate School.

External activity

  • Chief Technology Officer of ESP Technology Ltd. A company developing advanced early canulation devices, arterial venous grafts and vascular access grafts
  • Research Director of The Electrospinning Company Ltd. A company developing nanofibre solutions for Regenerative Medicine.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current and recent research is being conducted with the collaboration, funding and/or support of:


Academic collaborators

  • Heriot-Watt
  • Leeds University
  • Manchester University
  • Oxford University
  • Cambridge Univesity
  • University College London
  • Queen Mary – University of London
  • MRC
  • Southampton University
  • University of Bristol
  • Cardiff University
  • Reading University
  • Nottingham University

Industrial Collaborators


Directionality And Bipolarity Of Olfactory Ensheathing Cells On Electrospun Nanofibres, Kueh JL, Raisman G, Stevens R, Nanomedicine, 2012, 2 (8), 1211-1224

Comparison Of Bulbar And Mucosal Olfactory Ensheathing Cells Using Facs And Simultaneous Antigenic Bivariate Cell Cycle Analysis. Stevens B et al, GLI, 2011, 59 (11), 1658-1671

Nanofiber fabrication in a temperature and humidity controlled environment for improved fibre consistency. Hardick O, Stevens R, Bracewell DG, Journal of Materials Science, 2011, 46 (11), 3890-3898

A planar refractive x-ray lens made of nano-crystalline diamond. Alianelli L, Sawhney KJS, Malik A, Fox OJL, May PW, Stevens R, Loader IM, Wilson MC, Journal of Applied Physics, 2010, 108, 123107

Optically trapped probes with nanometer scale tips for femto-Newton force measurement. Pollard MR, Botchway SW,  Chichkov B, Freeman E, Halsall R, Jenkins DWK, Loader I, Ovsianikov A, Parker AW, Stevens R, Turchetta R, Ward AD, Towrie M, New Journal of Physics, 2010, 12 (11), 110356

Optimisation of silicon field-emission arrays fabrication for space applications. Wang L, Stevens R, Huq E, Loader I, Kent B, Aplin K, She J, Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 2004, 22 (3), 1047-1410

Production of multi-MeV per nucleon ions in the controlled amount of matter made(CAM) by using causally isolated targets. Strangio C, Caruso A, Neely D, Andreoli P.L, Anzalone R, Clarke R, Cristofari G, Del Prete E, Di Giorgio G, Murphy C, Ricci C, Stevens R and Tolley M, Laser and Particle Beams, 2007, 25, 85-91, Cambridge University Press

High-aspect ratio silica nozzle fabrication for nano-emitter electrospray applications. Wang L, Stevens R, Malik A, Rockett, P, Paine M, Adkin P, Martyn S, Smith K, Stark J, Dobson, P. SO: Microelectronic Engineering, 2007, 84 (5-8), 1190-1193

Enhancement of the laterally emitting thin film electroluminescent device optical outcoupling via the fabrication of novel geometry structures. Barros SO, Stevens R, Cranton W, Optical-Engineering SPIE, 2001, 40 (6), 934-40

See all of Bob Stevens's publications...

Press expertise

Professor Stevens is able to offer comment on the following:

  • Microfabrication
  • Nanotechnology
  • Electrospinning
  • Powder blasting
  • Laser processing