Today, we're delighted to introduce Michael Buhagiar, our Process Development Engineer. Michael supports the Gii-Cap development scientist team and is responsible for scaling up Gii-Cap+ electrodeposition processes.
Q: Where are you from and what is your professional background?
MB: I'm from Malta, where I graduated with a BSc. in Chemistry and Materials Science at the University of Malta. Following several overseas experiences in Switzerland, Belgium and France, where I read for my post-graduate degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at KU Leuven and the Universite Grenoble Alpes, I returned home to work as a process engineer in the semiconductor industry with ST Microelectronics. Here I was responsible for the tin solder electroplating process as part of the STM Malta's automotive operations, managing the site's chemical laboratory and personnel as well as supporting any analytical chemistry failure analysis requirements in other sectors of the business. I was also part of the plant's NPI team, supporting product qualifications in various dispensing technologies for the MEMs operations division. I have always wanted to be part of the green energy storage revolution and having worked on graphene nanosheet micro-supercapacitor during my thesis days already, when the opportunity came to join Integrated Graphene in 2019, I didn't think twice.
Q: What does a day on the job look like for you?
MB: My day is typically split between process development work on the pilot line which I designed and specified from scratch, and electrochemical performance testing in the lab. This keeps the day varied and challenging and involves close collaboration with the development scientist team daily. In my role I constantly try to push the process boundaries further, troubleshoot, optimise, and standardise. In parallel I’m working on designing the process to be scalable for high volume manufacturing, which is an exciting but daunting prospect as these processes are very novel and we are effectively pioneering the market.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
MB: Throughout these 2.5 years I’ve seen the company go from strength to strength - as we grew in size, invested in specialist equipment and launched our first product line in the medical diagnostics market. I’m really looking forward to helping the company capitalise on the energy storage market as we continue proving the technology of our Gii-Cap product range and scale our operations in 2022.
Q: How do you see graphene changing the world?
MB: Making graphene accessible to everyone at an affordable cost will help unlock opportunities for technological innovation previously unavailable to industry. I believe it will add another powerful tool to the advanced materials arsenal as we all strive to tackle the world’s major challenges, particularly in our efforts to decarbonise the economy and make healthcare accessible at point of care.
Thank you for the insight, Michael!
Stay tuned for more meet the team interviews.
If you have a project you would like to discuss with Michael or one of his colleagues, then please get in touch today.