Oxford Engineering Science Student Named One of the Most Promising Scientists in the UK

Matthew R. Ryder (Balliol College), has been nominated for and awarded many awards throughout his research, including recently the prestigious British Zeolite Association’s (BZA) Founders' Award for the most promising postgraduate scientist working in the area of micro/mesoporous science.

Ryder Award
Photo caption: Matthew Ryder being presented the BZA Founders’ Award from the last remaining Founder of the Association, Professor Alan Dyer

The BZA award is the outcome of Matthew’s significant contribution to the field of next-generation materials, resulting from his work on the vibrational and mechanical properties of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). He was presented with the prestigious award at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Association.

Matthew is currently studying for a DPhil in the Department’s Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Group, under the supervision of Professor Jin-Chong Tan. His DPhil research focuses on the complex connections between atomic-scale mechanical and electrical properties of MOF materials and their associated low-energy terahertz (THz) vibrations. Matthew quickly made front page news by using a novel combination of synchrotron and neutron spectroscopy in conjunction with ab initio quantum mechanics calculations, to reveal the complex mechanisms underpinning the mechanical behaviour of porous framework materials (Oxford Science Blog).

Professor Tan said: Matthew is a brilliant DPhil student with a bright future ahead of him. I’m certainly delighted to see his novel contributions to the field of porous materials engineering have already been recognised at this early stage of his research career.’

Matthew was thrilled to receive the award, saying: ‘The BZA Founders’ Award has been one I have had my eye on for years, so to be awarded it for my DPhil research is a huge honour.

Matthew also holds the title of Long Term Visiting Researcher at the ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source Facility and Honorary Staff Member at the Diamond Light Source Synchrotron facility. When not performing cutting-edge research Matthew teaches undergraduate Physics at both Balliol College and Pembroke College, Oxford.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Prize Fellowship

Another prestigious award Matthew was recently presented with is an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship, which will commence upon completion of his DPhil. The fellowship will allow Matthew to advance his recent research involving the dielectric properties of next-generation materials.

When asked what his plans are for the future, Matthew stated: ‘My current focus is on pursuing my own independent research funding, perhaps in the form of a Junior Research Fellowship or Early Career Fellowship. This will allow me to further my work and explore additional areas of research such as the thermal properties and pressure effects of framework materials. I also have a passionate interest in bringing these promising next-generation materials to commercialisation, so a start-up is likely on the cards for the future.

For more information please visit:

British Zeolite Association (BZA)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Group

Multifunctional Materials and Composites Laboratory

Published on 24 April 2017