The University of Manchester graduates of summer 2019 will be the first graduates in the world to wear gowns made entirely from graphene. Following the success of creating the first ever sports shoes to utilize graphene in June 2018, physicists from The University of Manchester have utilized the properties of graphene again to create graduation gowns for students graduating at the end of this academic year.
Experts at National Graphene Institute have developed the gowns in order to bring a high-performance, 21st century refresh to the traditional graduation gown. To counteract the weight that will be released from the graduate’s shoulders upon graduation, developers have designed the gowns to be three times heavier. They have also developed rubber inseams that are scientifically proven to be 50 percent harder wearing, and the mortarboard has been engineered to convert heat energy harvested from Whitworth Hall into power to charge mobile devices during the ceremony.
Dr. Grant Phenes, Director of Gown Innovation, said: “Through intensive research, hundreds of prototypes and thousands of hours of testing in both the field and laboratory, graduates now no longer need to feel like their gowns are weighing them down as they climb the steps in Whitworth Hall. They are now provided a gown that embodies Manchester as the innovation hub that it is.”
Graphene is produced from graphite, which was first mined in the Lake District fells of Northern England more than 450 years ago. The scientists who first isolated graphene from graphite were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010. Building on their revolutionary work, a team of over 300 staff at The University of Manchester has led pioneering projects into graphene-enhanced prototypes, from sports cars and medical devices to airplanes. Now the University can add graphene-enhanced graduation gowns footwear to its list of world-firsts.