Dr. Benjamin Britton - 2023 Acta Materialia Mary Fortune Global Diversity Medal
Dr. Benjamin Britton - 2023 Acta Materialia Mary Fortune Global Diversity Medal

The recipient of the 2023 Acta Materialia Mary Fortune Global Diversity Medal is Dr. Benjamin Britton, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, “Vancouver Campus (located on the Musqueam Traditional Territory). Prof. Britton currently serves as Graduate Advisor and Associate Head of Department of Materials Engineering at UBC. He also chairs the Manufacturing Engineering EDI committee to promote and sustain culture change in favour of the University’s students, faculty, and staff.  He is a Visiting Reader at Imperial College, London, UK and is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (UK) and a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Scientist in the UK.

Dr. Britton received his M.Eng. degree in Materials Science in 2007 and his D.Phil. in Materials in 2011 from the University of Oxford. During his doctorate, he worked with Dr. Angus Wilkinson to develop high resolution electron backscatter diffraction with a focus on improving our knowledge of deformation processes in titanium alloys. After defending his dissertation, he moved onto a post doctoral fellow position at Oxford, focusing on understanding materials for fission and fusion working with Prof. Steve Roberts and Dr. Angus Wilkinson. In 2012, he moved to Imperial College London and started his independent research group as a Nuclear Metallurgy Research Fellow. In 2015, he won a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship and became a permanent member of academic staff. In 2021, he left Imperial to join UBC as a tenured associate professor.

Dr Britton maintains a research focus on developing advanced characterization approaches, typically scanning electron microscopy based, to understand microstructure and micromechanical performance of materials used in high-value high-risk applications. Typically, he has focused on engineering alloys, but he has also worked on semiconductor and superconductor materials, as well as materials found in the earth’s mantle. His work has been published widely.

In addition to Dr. Britton’s technical contributions, he has been advocating to better the culture of science fields for everyone, and with a focus on promoting issues that affect LGBTQ+ individuals in STEM. Most famously, this has been through a series of talks that blend his personal journey as a gay-white-cis-het-neurodivergent individual, his academic career, and the literature which highlights the challenges and joys of being LGBTQ+ in STEM. He was awarded the TMS Frank Crossley Diversity Award in 2021 and has since served as a member of the TMS Diversity and Pride Committees and the TMS ad hoc committee on volunteering training.

Dr. Britton’s professional service includes: development of open source characterization tools, including AstroEBSD, to grow community in the development of new methods of microscopy, and  co-organising the RMS EBSD conference (2016 and 2022). He is also Councillor-at-large of the Microscopy Society of Canada and Co-chair of the UK interdepartmental working group on materials outreach (2017-2021), now Discover Materials, focused on enhancing outreach and recruitment of youth into materials science and engineering

Dr. Britton will receive the Mary Fortune Global Diversity Medal during the 2023 TMS Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, March 19 -23, 2023.