Adolphe Merkle Institute group leader Dr. Jessica Clough has been awarded a PRIMA grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The funding will allow her to develop an independent research project over the next five years at institute.
Clough will investigate new methods to evaluate mechanical damage on polymeric materials. This damage is poorly understood, making it difficult to determine when load-bearing polymers will fail. This research aims to establish a new methodology for imaging mechanical damage in these materials at the nanoscale. This methodology will inform the design of more durable polymers, leading for example to fewer replacements, and making their use more sustainable.
Clough, who studied at the University of Cambridge and completed her PhD at the Technical University of Eindhoven (Netherlands), joined Prof. Christoph Weder’s Polymer Chemistry and Materials group at AMI in 2020 with a WINS fellowship from the National Center of Competence in Research Bio-Inspired Materials. She has been a group leader since April. With the PRIMA grant, she will be promoted to Assistant Professor by the University of Fribourg.
PRIMA grants are aimed at outstanding women researchers who demonstrate the potential required to obtain a professorship according to the Swiss National Science Foundation. Grantees conduct an independent research project for up to five years, with their own team at a Swiss research institution. Clough is one of 17 grantees, and one of three at the University of Fribourg.