Department of Materials


Professor Bala Vaidhyanathan BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA, MIMMM, MACerS

Photo of Professor Bala Vaidhyanathan

Professor of Advanced Materials and Processing

Chair of School Industrial Placement (DIS) Committee


Bala (also known as Vaidhy) attained a B.Sc in Physics from Bharathiar University and an M.Sc in Materials Science from PSG College of Technology and a Ph.D in Solid State & Structural Chemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. He spent three years Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Materials Research Laboratory of the Pennsylvania State University, USA and then joined Loughborough University, UK as a Senior Research Associate. He worked as a Lead-Scientist in General Electric Corporation - Global Research (GE-GRC) between 2004-06 before joining the Department of Materials as a Lecturer in September 2006.


  • BSc, Bharathiar University
  • MSc, PSG college of Technology
  • PhD, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

Key awards

  • Awarded K.P. Abraham Gold Medal for Best Doctoral Thesis from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,1998
  • Twice the recipient of the Inventor Incentive Award by the Penn State Research Foundation, 2000 & 2002
  • Bronze Medal for Innovation from GE Global Research Corporation, 2006.
  • Glory of India Award from The India International Friendship Society for contributions in the field of Science, Technology and Education for the year 2010.
  • Verulam Medal and prize from IOM3, for distinguished contributions to ceramic materials, 2015
  • Pfeil Award for the best paper in ceramics field, IOM3, 2017

Additional information

Co-ordinating the Loughborough-Asia Materials Partnership (LAMP) programme to promote teaching & research links with India.

Outline of main research interests

  • Functional Ceramics, Nanocrystalline materials, Electroceramics, Microwave processing, Microwave-materials interactions, Flash Sintering, Microwave Cold Sintering
  • Glasses, Functional coatings, SOFCs
  • Materials for batteries and Hydrogen generation
  • Ceramics for bio-medical applications
  • Powder synthesis, Sol-gel methods
  • Additive manufacturing of ceramics
  • Smart materials for sensing, security and sports

Current and recent grants and contracts (with others)

42 grants totalling in excess of £12.2M over the last six years including;

  • 2008-2011         Nanostructured Advanced Ceramics (NASTRAC), TSB/EPSRC, £259.9k
  • 2009-2012         Ultra High Temperature Ceramics,  DSTL/MoD, £354.1k
  • 2009-2013         Understanding and Improving Ceramic Armour Materials, EPSRC, £415.9k
  • 2011-2014         Zirconia Ceramics as an enabling material for biomedical implants (ZIRCIMP), TSB, £210k
  • 2014-2017         Advanced Nano materials and Structures for Superior Implants (Nanoplants) EPSRC, £358k
  • 2013-2017         Microwave assisted catalytic treatment of agricultural waste water (MICROCAT) TSB, £124k
  • 2015-2016         Microwave assisted manufacturing of footwear parts, Industry, £161k
  • 2015-2020         Synthesising 3D Metamaterials for RF, microwave and THz applications (SYMETA), EPSRC, £4M
  • 2017-2020         High Temperature Piezoelectrics for automotive and aerospace applications, Innovate UK, £253k
  • 2017-2020         Urban Albedo Computation in High Altitude Locations: An Experimental Approach, EPSRC, £202k

Current teaching responsibilities

  • MPP353 Electronic Materials
  • MPA020 Engineering Materials
  • MPA102 Experimentation
  • MPC102 Fracture and Failure
  • MPP137 Overview of Packaging Materials
  • MPP141 Materials Selection for Design

Current administrative responsibilities

  • Chair of School Industrial Placement (DIS) Committee
  • Member of School Research and Teaching Committees
  • Advisory Group member for SRS Research Challenge

Recent publications

120 Journal and peer-reviewed conference papers, 12 international patents have been published including:

  • Venugopal, S, Paul, A, Vaidhyanathan, B, Binner, JGP, Heaton, A, Brown, PM (2014) Synthesis and spark plasma sintering of sub-micron HfB: Effect of various carbon sources, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 34(6), pp.1471-1479, ISSN: 0955-2219. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2013.12.025.
  • Ramanujam, P, Vaidhyanathan, B, Binner, J, Anshuman, A, Spacie, C (2014) A comparative study of the synthesis of nanocrystalline Yttrium Aluminium Garnet using sol-gel and co-precipitation methods, Ceramics International, 40(3), pp.4179-4186, ISSN: 0272-8842. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceramint.2013.08.075.
  • Zhang, Y, Binner, J, Vaidhyanathan, B, Rielly, C (2014) Comparison of spray freeze dried nanozirconia granules using ultrasonication and twin-fluid atomisation, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 34(4), pp.1001-1008, ISSN: 0955-2219. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2013.10.033.
  • Huang, S, Binner, JGP, Vaidhyanathan, B, Todd, RI (2014) Quantitative analysis of the residual stress and dislocation density distributions around indentations in alumina and zirconia toughened alumina (ZTA) ceramics, Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 34(3), pp.753-763, ISSN: 0955-2219. DOI: 10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2013.09.021.
  • Venugopal, S, Paul, A, Vaidhyanathan, B, Binner, JGP, Boakye, EE, Keller, K, Mogilevsky, P, Katz, A, Brown, PM (2014) Sol-gel synthesis and formation mechanism of ultrahigh temperature ceramic: HfB2, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 97(1), pp.92-99, ISSN: 0002-7820. DOI: 10.1111/jace.12654.
  • Qi, S, Vaidhyanathan, B, Hutt, D (2013) Conventional and microwave-assisted processing of Cu-loaded ICAs for electronic interconnect applications, Journal of Materials Science, 48(20), pp.7204-7214, ISSN: 0022-2461. DOI: 10.1007/s10853-013-7537-9.

Selected publications

  • Rao, K. J., Vaidhyanathan, B., Ganguli, M., & Ramakrishnan, P. A. (1999). Synthesis of inorganic solids using microwaves. CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS, 11(4), 882-895. doi:10.1021/cm9803859.
  • Vaidhyanathan, B., Agrawal, D. K., & Roy, R. (2000). Novel synthesis of nitride powders by microwave-assisted combustion. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS RESEARCH, 15(4), 974-981. doi:10.1557/JMR.2000.0139.
  • Vaidhyanathan, B., Annapoorani, K., Binner, J. G. P., & Raghavendra, R. (2010). Microwave Sintering of Multilayer Integrated Passive Devices. J. AM. CERAM. SOC., 93((8)), 2274-2280. doi:10.1111/j.1551-2916.2010.03740.x
  • Saremi Yarahmadi, S., Vaidhyanathan, B., & Wijayantha Kahagala Gamage, U. (2010). Microwave-assisted low temperature fabrication of nanostructured α-Fe₂O₃ electrodes for solar-driven hydrogen generation. INT. J. OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, 35, 10155-10165. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.08.004
  • Vaidhyanathan, B., Agrawal, D. K., & Roy, R. (2004). Microwave-Assisted Synthesis and Sintering of NZP Compounds. J. AM. CERAM. SOC., 87((5)), 834-839. doi:10.1111/j.1551-2916.2004.00834.x
  • Paul, A., Vaidhyanathan, B., & Binner, J. G. P. (2011). Hydrothermal aging behaviour of nanocrystalline Y-TZP ceramics. J. AM. CERAM. SOC., 94((7)), 2146-2152. doi:10.1111/j.1551-2916.2010.04341.x

External collaborators

  • Syfer Technology Ltd (also known as Knowles Corporation)
  • Dynamic Ceramic
  • MEL Chemicals
  • Rolls Royce
  • Cochlear
  • Littelfuse Ireland Ltd.
  • Morgan Advanced Materials
  • BorgWarner BERU Systems
  • Texan Management Ltd.
  • Dyson Ltd.

External roles and appointments

Editor: Advances in Applied Ceramics (AAC), 2015-present; Editorial board membership of Journal of Materials: Design and Applications; Webmaster & Member, IoM3 Ceramic Science Committee, 2007-present; Member IoM3 Defense, Safety and Security Committee, 2012-present; Member, American and Indian Ceramics Societies, 2004-present; Management Committee Member, Association for Microwave Power Research and Education in Europe (AMPERE) 2003-present; Associate Fellow, Institute of Nanotechnology; Member, Structural Ceramics Network (SCERN) & Materials KTN - UK, 2007-present; Personal Chair with the title, Professor of Advanced Materials and Processing.