Boaz Pokroy

Materials scientist and member of the SAC

I use nature to do innovation. I work on bio mineralisation and bioinspired materials. The different natural kingdoms: plants, bacteria or animals for example, all have a lot to teach us. It’s fundamental research because we look at how the materials form and how they are structured, but then we can take the concepts from that research and apply them to synthetic materials. Right now, we have different ongoing projects, from the study of the wax crystals in broccoli and their hydrophobic, antimicrobial and self-cleaning properties to the brittle star and its capacity to create a tempered-glass-like material. I follow my research questions and my curiosity, and I like the scientific approach that means we can start along one path but then, depending on what turns up, we might take a completely different turn. Sometimes that leads us to an industrial application that we would never have dreamed of.  I have been coming to the ESRF for 18 years and for me it is the perfect place for a user: all we have to do is get ourselves here, do the experiment and leave with all the valuable data. It’s a model, and it’s why we prefer to come to the ESRF when we get the chance. The melting pot environment, with a cross-fertilisation of cultures and way of thinking, is a big part of the ESRF’s success. It reminds me of home, Israel, where everyone comes from somewhere else originally. That rich diversity is something I try to maintain in my research group too.”

Boaz Pokroy is Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, at Technion, Haifa, Israel. 

Please turn your device