All team members

Dr Ben Oldfrey

Research Fellow working between the Global Disability Innovation Hub and the Institute of Making

Pronouns: he/him/his

Ben Oldfrey is a research fellow working between the Global Disability Innovation Hub and the Institute of Making at UCL on the AT2030 programme.

He has a strong passion for making and materials of all kinds, with an interest in the real world demands of human-device interaction. His PhD combined the development of hyper-elastic nanocomposites with deep learning algorithms to produce soft skin-like sensors with application in smart prosthetic liners.

He has a major focus now on low resource settings and works on a diverse range of projects looking at innovation and systems at various levels: from the community repair of devices in informal settlements; to market shaping strategies for assistive technology in low resource settings, working closely with the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

He is based in London, and can usually either be found in his underground soft materials lab in Mechanical Engineering or in the UCL Interaction Centre. His work has been published in journals of various disciplines, and in 2017, he was commissioned by BBC2's 'The Big Life Fix' to produce a pair of soft, voice controlled orthotic gloves that allowed grip control to a partially paralysed man.

He is currently working with FCDO’s Frontier Technologies Hub, on their global response to Covid-19. He is looking at crowdsourcing and mapping innovative responses to dealing with demand for unavailable goods in low-middle income countries, and how local production and novel approaches could meet local need both during and after this global pandemic. Details can be found here:

Colour image of Ben Oldfrey.