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Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy


Professor William Bonfield is Emeritus Professor of Medical Materials in the University of Cambridge. He is internationally recognised for his pioneering research contributions to biomaterials for medical devices, with awards including the Royal Academy of Engineering Prince Philip Gold Medal, the Royal Society Armourers and Brasiers Company Medal, the Kelvin Medal, the European Society for Biomaterials George Winter Award, the Japanese Society for Biomaterials Medal,the Institute of Materials Griffiths Medal and Chapman Medal, the UK Society for Biomaterials President's Prize, the Acta Metallurgica H.H. Holloman Award and the International Union for Physical Sciences and Engineering in Medicine Award of Merit. Professor Bonfield's exceptional interdisciplinary contribution has been recognised by his election to all three UK National Academies, namely as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci).

Professor Bonfield was educated at Imperial College, receiving a BSc(Eng) degree with First Class Honours, the Perry Memorial Medal for distinction in Mathematics and Mechanics and the Bessemer Medal for distinction in Metallurgy, followed by a PhD. He then worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the Honeywell Research Centre in Minneapolis, before returning to the UK as Reader in Materials Science at Queen Mary College. Subsequently he became Professor of Materials, Head of the Department of Materials, Chairman of the School of Engineering and Dean of Engineering. At Queen Mary, he created and became Director in 1991 of the University of London Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Biomedical Materials, which was the first of its kind in the UK. In 1999, Professor Bonfield was elected as Professor of Medical Materials in the University of Cambridge, where he established and directed the Cambridge Centre for Medical Materials and the Pfizer Institute of Pharmaceutical Materials Science.

Professor Bonfield has published over 450 research papers and has 80 patents on biomaterials, biomechanics and materials science. From his innovative research on synthetic bone grafts and cartilage repair scaffolds, he founded two successful MedTech companies, ApaTech Ltd (now Baxter) and OrthoMimetics Ltd (now TiGenix). A distinguished editor, Professor Bonfield was Editor of Journal of Materials Science from 1973 to 2002, Founding Editor of Journal of Materials Science-Materials in Medicine and the first Editor of Journal of the Royal Society-Interface. In 1998, Professor Bonfield was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen for his services to health care and materials science.

Distinguished Research Fellow
Professor William  Bonfield

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