24 Jun 2024

Meet the WISE Fellows

In this series of interviews, you will meet the WISE Fellows. This time you will meet Matias Kagias, who has joined Lund University as an associate senior lecturer and WISE Fellow. 

Matias’s research focuses on creating and studying materials with precisely defined structures ranging from the extremely small nanoscale to centimeter-sized dimensions. How these materials interact with light, fluids, and mechanical forces depends greatly on their structure. By precisely controlling the structure of materials, we can prescribe them unique properties and optimize their performance. This involves addressing the challenge of controlling structures from the atomic level to large macroscopic lengths, an exciting and interdisciplinary endeavor.

–In my work, I adopt a synergistic approach by integrating the development of 3D nanofabrication methods with advanced X-ray imaging tools. This combination allows for an in-depth study of the relationship between structure and properties of materials, as well as the underlying physics of the fabrication processes. To achieve this, I leverage the state-of-the-art nanofabrication and X-ray characterization facilities at NanoLund and MAXIV, says Matias.

Sustainability Aspects

The materials that emerge from Matias’s research are pivotal for addressing key challenges in clean water, energy production, and sustainable infrastructure.

-By discovering and engineering next-generation materials, I aim to significantly contribute to sustainable development. Furthermore, I focus on enabling the commercial adoption of these materials through efficient production pathways, thereby amplifying their societal impact.

The research is deeply intertwined with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The novel materials and structures that are developed have direct applications in:

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation – Through the development of hierarchical efficient (photo)-catalytic reactors for water purification.

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy – By creating photonic structures for efficient solar energy harvesting.

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities – By developing materials for energy free cooling needed for sustainable urban development.

These advancements aim to provide technological solutions that support clean water, energy production, and sustainable urban environments.

About joining WISE

–The WISE (Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability) initiative stands out for its unique approach to interdisciplinary materials science research with a strong focus on sustainability. The platform addresses both fundamental and applied aspects of material science, which is crucial for achieving sustainable development. The highly competitive starting package and the inherently collaborative nature of WISE were compelling factors that influenced my decision to join this initiative, continues Matias.


Academic facts

  • Matias’ academic journey is highly interdisciplinary.
  • Matias holds degrees in electrical engineering (AUTH Dipl.-Ing. 2011) and biomedical engineering (ETH Zürich MSc 2013).
  • Matias did his PhD and first Postdoc at ETH Zürich and PSI (2017 and 2020) focused on developing X-ray imaging methods for the structural characterization of advanced materials.
  • Matias did his second Postdoc at Caltech (2023) and was dedicated to the scalable fabrication of 3D nano-architected metamaterials.
  • In his current research, he integrates various elements from his diverse academic background to push the boundaries of material science.

You will also be able to find out more about the other WISE fellows’ research here.