Advanced and functional materials
We focus on developing bespoke, technologically advanced materials and materials process routes for specific industrial applications.
Our work, largely carried out in collaboration with industry, encompasses chemical and wet processes for functional and catalytic materials synthesis, including sol-gel, self-assembly and related techniques, to fabricate materials with novel structure, composition and/or properties.
- nanocomposite - hybrid materials for flexible high temperature
- electrical insulation
- laser deposition of sol-gel materials for biomedical and photocatalytic coatings
- functional nanostructured materials for the displays and the lighting industry.
Other work carried out within the group includes developing and evaluating novel industrial catalytic materials.
We also have research interests in innovative design approaches to effectively and creatively exploit materials, biosynthetic routes for materials processing and various aspects of casting processes, particularly lost wax investment casting and core materials. Alloy development of austempered ductile and cast irons are examples of creatively exploiting materials.
The group collaborates with many leading industrial companies and universities including Rolls-Royce, Goodrich, Newage, LG-Philips Display Components (now LPD), Nissan, AETC, Queen Mary - University of London, University of Liverpool, Brunel University, Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland) and many others.
Micro and nanosystems
Micro and nanosystems is an interdisciplinary field that combines among others micro and nanomanufacturing processing, materials, biology, electronics and algorithms to create smart devices that have high density and enhanced functionality, are reliable and low cost.
Smart systems will have applications in a variety of sectors including health, process industries, energy and environment, security and food and drink. Examples of such systems include small laboratories-on-chip that can provide in a highly automated manner large amounts of biological information for drug discovery as well as point-of-care devices that can be used to aid the diagnosis of disease and miniaturised devices for environmental diagnostics.
Our work encompasses the use of micro and nanomanufacturing processes with the development of associated sub-systems for the creation of smart devices.
Our micro and nanomanufacturing facilities include clean room microfabrication technologies such as photolithography, wet and dry etching and sputtering as well as associated technologies such as photo electroforming, micro-milling, micro-injection moulding and laser microstructuring.
We carry out work on chemical and biological processing of fluids for information content. This includes handling of fluids, automated biological manipulations and transduction development for event recognition. We also carry out work on electronic systems design for interrogating devices, including signal processing and data transfer.
Examples of our work include DVT-IMP, a major EU-funded project coordinated by us, that will develop a point-of-care device to aid the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The device is based on measuring a marker for these conditions in the patient’s blood.
Diagnosing DVT website
Video gallery of microfluidic devices
- Laminar flow within miniaturised bioreactor
- Micromixer 1
- Micromixer 2
- Professor Zulfiqur Ali
- Dr Simon Bateson
- Dr Stephen N Connolly
- Dr Ian French
- Dr Vincent Auger
- Zuzana Bajuszova
- Dr Simon Scott
- Nitin Lalitesh Seetohul
Engineering modelling, design and validation
The focus here is on modelling and testing materials, structures and process systems as an aid to predicting service performance and developing new designs.
A wide range of techniques are applied to predict engineering performance in a variety of applications ranging from the process industries to sport and medicine. Examples include:
- modelling stresses in powder storage and handling systems for the process industries as an aid to improved design
- biotechnology process modelling
- creep damage mechanics
- modelling for lifetime prediction in the nuclear power industry
- designing and developing test methodologies for personal protection, implants and prostheses.