Katherine Sanders

Dr Kate Sanders

MSci MRes PhD

Kate is a postdoctoral researcher working in the Engineering Department. Her research interests concern the scalable processing of nano- and micro-structured functional materials, and the use of droplets for material synthesis and assembly. 

Katherine Sanders

Kate graduated from University College London with an MSci in Chemistry (2016) and received a MRes (2017) and PhD (2021) from the University of Cambridge as a student of Wolfson College. Her PhD was supervised by Professor Michael De Volder, and explored methods of creating structured microparticles from nanoparticles inside droplets. Kate currently works on a new manufacturing process for microparticle production, which emerged from her PhD research and was previously supported by a NanoDTC Translational Prize Fellowship (2021-2022). This process is able to produce functional materials with well-defined structures for a variety of applications, including in Li-ion batteries, where structure is key to electrochemical performance.

Controlling material structure at the micro- and nano-scale is important in many areas, from water purification to energy storage. However, few scalable processing methods exist which can achieve precise control over these small length scales. Kate’s work uses emulsion droplets as templates to regulate the assembly of nanomaterials into larger structures. Through a combination of techniques to improve emulsion stability and selective mass transport, she is able to use each droplet as a tiny container with tuneable size and regular, spherical shape. This method is fast, requires no energy intensive conditions, and is not material specific; microparticles can be produced from a range of useful nanoparticle building blocks including carbon nanotubes, silica, and metal oxide nanoparticles.

Kate is currently working on scale-up of functional microparticle production and is also investigating commercial opportunities for the resulting structured materials. This work is funded by a Horizon Europe Proof of Concept grant (UKRI), which aims to advance the commercial prospects of this technology, focusing on structured battery materials. Kate is based in the Nanomanufacturing group, in the Institute for Manufacturing.

What's on

Two nature photographs, one of someone hiking and one of a hare.

Open Call: Wolf Words Poetry Anthology 2024

27/11/2023 at 09.00

We are excited to launch an open call for the second edition of our Wolf Words Poetry Anthology; this year our theme is Wild. 

WRE 2023 - an audience member asking a question

Writing an abstract workshop

30/11/2023 at 19.00

This workshop is organised to help students prepare to be part of the Wolfson Research Event 2024.


A photo of a pocket watch open for repair

A Duty to Repair?

01/12/2023 at 18.00

How can you introduce protection of the environment into consumer contract law when this is detrimental to the protection of the consumer?

Artwork of white tree with an orange sky in the background by Tim Head.

Art Exhibition: 'How It Is'

02/12/2023 at 10.00

Visit Wolfson's latest exhibition 'How It Is' featuring work by the influential British artist Tim Head.

Hand holding a lightbulb in front of the sky

Entrepreneurship Workshop for Students

02/12/2023 at 13.00

An interactive session during which students can gain insight into the sphere of entrepreneurship.