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Aston alumni at the forefront of new materials company

Two Aston alumni have joined forces in a new corporate venture that allows engineers and material scientists to find and compare different materials. Melissa Albeck (International Business and German, 1994) is the CEO of Matmatch, which launched in September 2017, while Ben Smye (Business and International Relations, 2013) has recently joined as Head of Growth.

Matmatch is the largest free materials database in the world and was founded by a family-owned metals manufacturer in conjunction with Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures. The founding team interviewed hundreds of engineers and scientists and found that in 80 per cent of cases, they were just Googling materials in order to find their properties. The average scientist or engineer did not have a single trusted source. Often if they settled on a material to use in their project, they had no way of knowing if it was actually the best fit or if there were other suppliers selling the material. On the other side, suppliers often find it difficult to communicate features and applications of materials to potential customers.

Ben Smye (Matmatch)
Ben Smye at the launch.

Matmatch is the first comprehensive database to bridge the knowledge-gap between suppliers of materials and buyers of materials. The user-friendly platform is aiming to become the go-to resource for anyone looking to find, evaluate and source materials, and has a special relevance for academics. The product is completely free to use and will generate revenue by charging material suppliers to be listed on the platform.

Speaking of his time at Aston, Ben said: “It was excellent preparation for the real world. In addition to learning about a broad range of topics, the practical experience gained was invaluable. As part of my course, I spent a placement year in Spain which was hugely beneficial and also whetted my appetite for living abroad - it’s a big reason I now find myself in Munich with Matmatch.”

Matmatch currently has over 70,000 materials to search from, and the number is continually growing. Additionally, an in-house team of materials scientists is in place to ensure its data is accurate and reliable, and to provide expert assistance to people in their search for the right material.

You can find out more about Matmatch at www.matmatch.com, and create an account at www.matmatch.com/signup if you want to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.