S. Ravi Pradip Silva

Year of Election



Country/Region of working/living





Materials Science Division


United Kingdom


University of Surrey

Prof. S. Ravi P. Silva CBE FREng is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at University of Surrey. His secondary education was in Sri Lanka, after which he joined the Engineering Department, Cambridge University for his undergraduate and postgraduate work. He was a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Fellow while at Cambridge and member of Clare College. Ravi joined the University of Surrey in 1995. His research interests include nanotechnology, carbon-based materials, energy materials, solar cells, and large-area electronics, which has resulted in over 700 journal papers with circa 30,000 citations. (https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=hxX4v_8AAAAJ&pagesize=100&view_op=list_works&inst=15262737669262836719 ) He has won research funding of £47M, and is inventor of 50 patents. He is founder director of three startups, and has held visiting Professorships in China, South Korea, Brazil and Singapore. Under his Directorship the ATI has secured over £180M over last 20 years from national, international, industrial- research councils, funding agencies and NGOs. He has won a number of awards including the Albert Einstein Silver Medal by UNESCO, Clifford Patterson Award (Royal Society), JJ Thompson Medal (IET), James Joule Medal (IOP), Platinum Award (IOM3), Charles Vernon Boys Medal (IOP) etc. He is an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow of the International Science Council, Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences Sri Lanka. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He currently leads one of the largest research groups in the UK on Carbon Based Electronics and Renewable Energies (incl. Solar cells and energy storage). Major interest in sustainability. Successfully supervised over 100 PhD students. Recognised as a “Leader in Materials Science” within the top 100 in the UK by Research.com and in the world top 2% in the field by the Stanford University updated science-wide author database. He is the Founder Director of Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC).

Professor Silva's discoveries in the nano-scale design and fabrication of materials has led to the unravelling of methods for the delocalisation of carriers in amorphous carbon superlattice structures, resulting in improved coherence and a thousand-fold increase in operational devices. Fundamental understanding of the catalytic synthesis of carbon nanotubes has allowed for large area growth of very high quality nano-carbon materials, where substrates can remain at room(/low) temperature due to the design of the growth-phase such that and the supersaturation of the diffused carbon on the surface of the metal catalyst is rapidly quenched at the substrate interface. This has allowed for this science to be translated to applications (founder director of Surrey NanoSystems Ltd. Inventor of VANTAblack) with adoption in companies worldwide. More complete understanding of the interaction of electromagnetic waves in solid state devices has led to improved 4th generation solar cell designs and utility of the EM radiation X-rays with embedded high-Z nanoparticles in easily mouldable bulk heterojunction organics allowing for a thousand-fold amplification in the sensitivity recorded for large area detectors, now prototyped for medical and security applications (founder director of Silveray Ltd). His 700+ archival journal paper authorship includes seminal papers in the fundamental understanding of carbon nano-structures, and routes to synthesise nano-scale designer materials and components for technology applications including nano-manufacture. His pioneering efforts on carbon nanotechnology helped create the world’s darkest material showcased at the Hyundai Pavilion at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 and BMW VBX6 at the Frankfurt Motor show.