Multifunctional Materials & Surfaces Research Group
Advancements in the design of multifunctional structures and materials with high performance properties offer opportunities to many industries such as transport (mass reduction), chemical & pharma (high yield reactors and catalysts) or medical devices (antimicrobial surfaces for personalised orthopaedics and tissue engineering substrates that can heal organs). However, the manufacture of those structures and materials have not realised their potential because it is difficult to achieve complex designs via conventional routes. For example, traditional manufacturing methods cannot produce complex porous distributions or handle more than one material at a time in a single process. New manufacturing methods (e.g. Additive manufacturing or 3D Printing, Porosity tailoring via Sonication, Hybrid Manufacturing, and Advanced Coating processes) will realise products with bespoke properties that meet specific structural, antimicrobial or bioactive, anticorrosion and electro-magnetic requirements.
Our research concerns materials, structures, products and systems that can do more than ‘one thing at a time’, for example:
- A lightweight porosity-tailored beam that bends without breaking, and weighs a fraction of a solid counterpart
- A solder material in Electronics Manufacturing formulated to give structural integrity, protect the circuit against overheating by increasing heat transfer, and with good electrical connectivity
- An outdoor surface that repels water or other polar liquids, so the formation of ice is minimised in the colder months
- The coating of a medical device that prevents the formation of bio-films of bacteria or viruses to ensure long lasting anchoring of a prosthesis implanted in the body
Our research and projects have benefited industry and end-users from science discovery to the translation of knowledge from the labs to the factory floor.
Industrial applications and ‘knowledge transfer’ projects include: Food & Drink Industries, Automotive and aerospace, Semiconductor and Electronics, Medical Devices, Packaging Industry, Chemicals & Lubricant formulation, coating industries, and the energy conversion and distribution sector.
Our Research Projects
Our Research Opportunities
Our PhD students play a central role in our wide-ranging research activities, making vital contributions to the success of the research itself. Find out more about our current research opportunities.