Congratulations to our winners of the 2009 cover competition. We had a fantastic response and I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all our winners, runners-up and those who were not so lucky this time for submitting your images to the event. Judging was extremely heated and many an argument was had over the merits of the various shortlised entries; it was an extremely close run battle.

The winners are as follows:

Raquel Perez-Castillejos, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, USA Shruti Gour, Drexel University, Pennsylvania, USA

Patrick W. Cooley, MicroFab Technologies, Inc

Mike Shlepr et al., Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, WI, USA

Mei Zhang, Florida State University, Tallahassee, USA

Jan Linnros, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

William Mook, Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures Laboratory, Switzerland

Matthew Johnson, Northwestern University, USA

Kurbangali Tynyshtykbaev, Physico-Technical Institute, Kazakhstan, Russia

Nivas Babu Selvaraj, University of Science and Technology, Poland

Where possible we will use winning images on our covers throughout the year, we will also be using the winners and runners up images throughout the year in other guises, as we will be introducing a number of new and exciting features to Materials Today as the year develops.

One of our first new features which you may have already noticed is our podcast column which we're branding Matpod. Matpod will be a unique feature to many of our review articles giving you additional insight and detail to our review authors and their research.

Each audio clip is approximately 10 – 15 minutes in length and so will be ideal for you to listen to during a quick coffee break. You'll hear leading scientists and review authors to Materials Today talking about their current research, results and plans for the future. It is hoped that these small interviews will provide you with a human touch to the research and an additional launch pad in to the scientist's research field. Each interview will be slightly different and geared towards the scientist's character and expertise. If you would like to be feature here just drop James Williams our Managing Editor a quick email: he's waiting to hear from you!

I look forward to bringing you some of the most cutting edge research news and views over the year and making Materials Today the must read magazine for all material scientists, biologists, physicists and chemists: A stretching target I know, but as we see the broadening application of materials across these disciplines, the Materials Today team will look at the common elements and endeavour to present you with the solutions and opportunities you are looking for in your everyday research.

I hope you continue to enjoy Materials Today!

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(10)70001-8