Engineering and the Environment

Research Group: Engineering Materials

Head of Group:  Professor Philippa Reed

The principal goal of our research activities is to develop fundamental understanding of the physical processes and interactive mechanisms in materials that affect the performance of engineering systems. This understanding and knowledge is then transferred into engineering technologies through enhanced materials performance and improved designs.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

Our researchers conduct research across a wide range of engineering materials and their applications in:

  • aerospace and automotive sectors
  • energy systems
  • electronic and biomedical devices
  • microsystems

Please see our research strengths for more detail

Our research activities are further stimulated by multidisciplinary collaborations with other research groups in Engineering and the Environment, and with many other research groups across the University. This provides an excellent forum for training high-calibre research students. It also strengthens our educational mission and provides undergraduates with an ideal environment for project work.

The Group comprises 15 academics, seven research fellows and 33 research students. Our staff occupy influential positions on international and national research committees, hold fellowships with the Institute of Materials, Mining and Mineralogy, have been elected to the Peer Review College of EPSRC and occupy editorial positions on leading international research journals, including Principal Editor of Materials Letters and Editor of Materials Science and Engineering.

Contact us

  • Engineering Sciences Unit

    Engineering and the Environment
    University of Southampton
    Highfield Campus
    Southampton SO17 1BJ

    Senior Administrative Officer: Sue Berger
    Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2871
    Administrative Officer: Jo Laryea
    Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 5568


The µ-VIS CT scanner in action

The µ-VIS CT scanner in action

What's related
    Other University of Southampton sites


    Members of staff associated with this group:

    Research projects

    Research projects associated with this group:

    Erosion-corrosion modelling - Dormant

    In-situ calibration of cohesive zone models for composite damage

    Fluorescent solar collectors - Dormant

    Advanced non-volatile memories based on resistive switching

    Nanoimprint lithography process development

    Parameterisation and optimisation of impact and post-impact performance of composites for airframe light weighting

    3D printing of PEEK and HA/beta-TCP tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds

    Strengthening of alloys by refining grains to the nanometer scale

    Natural products as marine antifoulants

    Abrasion-corrosion of cast CoCrMo alloy in simulated hip joint environments - Dormant

    Reduction of downhole friction by electrochemical methods - Dormant

    Development of automated condition monitoring using AI tools - Dormant

    Structure-Performance relationship in organic electronic devices - Dormant

    In-situ calibration of cohesive zone models for composite damage

    Development of an antifouling system using environmentally acceptable and naturally occuring products - Dormant

    Aerospace composite materials damage assessment by High Resolution Computed Tomography

    X-ray Computed Tomography and image-based modelling of plant roots and nutrient uptake

    Effect of surface defects on rolling contact fatigue of wheel/rail steels

    MEMS components formed from nanostructural metals - Dormant

    High efficiency low cost solar cells

    Microfluidic devices for structural health monitoring and integrity - Dormant

    Analysis of adhesively-bonded composite joints

    Lightweight ceramic nanotubes reinforced polymer composite coatings and nanofibres with improved impact resistance and responsive functions

    Evaluating homogeneity in AZ91 magnesium alloy processed by high-pressure torsion and equal-channel angular pressing

    Short crack growth and propagation in steels under creep-fatigue cycling

    Applications of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in materials property correlations exploration

    Optimal materials selection and design of MEMS actuators - Dormant

    Antifouling coatings for warships - Dormant

    Life assessment methods for industrial steam and gas turbines

    Tribological behaviour of ultrafine-grained alloys formed by severe plastic deformation

    3D Imaging Of The Tensile Failure Mechanisms Of Carbon Fibre Composites

    Towards insitu monitoring of tapestry degradation using strain based optical techniques

    Teardrop cracking: mechanism and design criteria

    Lubricant nanoadditives

    Abrasion-corrosion of downhole drill tool components - Dormant

    Voids in carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite - Dormant

    High efficiency low cost solar cells II - Dormant

    SPD processing of various metallic alloys

    Microstructure, Microtexture and Properties of Ultrafine-Grained Metals and Alloys Processes by Severe Plastic Deformation

    Light harvesting for high-efficiency low-cost solar cells

    In-situ characterization of microstructure and fatigue performance of Al-Si piston alloys

    Analysis of a Composite Materials using Multi-Scale Computed Tomography Techniques

    Smart surface: nanoactuators for advanced tribological applications

    Development of an improved fatigue model for composite materials

    An evaluation of cohesive zone models for adhesive failure in bonded joints - Dormant

    High efficiency low-cost photosensitised crystalline silicon solar cells

    Processing of nanostructured titanium for use in medical implants - Dormant

    Processing of a two phase alloy by severe plastic deformation

    Finite element modelling of fatigue crack growth in multi-layered systems under large scale yielding conditions

    Development of novel high strain rate tests

    Early crack initiation processes in steel arc welds

    Zinc cerium redox flow battery

    Investigation of gold splutter coated vertically aligned multi-wall carbon nanotubes for RF MEMS contact surfaces - Dormant

    Nanoscale strengthening and deformation of Al-based alloys

    Health monitoring of new generation aircraft bearings

    Chemical modification of silicon surfaces for solar cell applications

    Micromechanistic analysis of damage evolution in aerospace and automotive materials - Dormant

    Carbon Nano Tube (CNT) Composite Surfaces for Electrical Contact Interfaces

    Microstructure and precipitation in Al-V-N microalloyed steels

    Assessment of advanced nickel based turbine materials

    Analysis of stump tissue mechanics of lower limb amputees

    Nanoadditives for hydrogen technology lubrication Impact of Lubricant Nanoadditives on Hydrogen Tribology

    Sensor actuated smart interfaces incorporating bio-hybrid materials (biofilm sensing)

    Condition monitoring to predict component wear - Dormant

    Reducing the cost of crystalline silicon solar cells by using fluorescent collectors

    Adaptive numeric modelling in the production of gas cylinders - Dormant

    Computational electromagnetic modelling of 3D photonic structures

    Assessment of complex electron beam textured rough surfaces

    Processing of nanostructured materials for medical applications

    Fabrication of MEMS components using ultrafine-grained aluminium alloys

    Full-field data-rich experimental approaches to explain composite material and structural performance and its damage tolerance (DAMTOL) - Dormant


    Major facilities used within the Engineering Materials research group include:

    The group is well-equipped with characterisation tools, including a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope, field emission gun scanning electron microscope, a He ion microscope, access to an AFM, extensive electrochemical facilities and a major new X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner centre at μ-VIS.