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Engineering and the EnvironmentOur research

Research Group: national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)

Currently Active: 

Head of Group: Tomas Polcar Deputy Head of Group: Dr. Ling Wang The national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS) started as a successful bid to the Science and Innovation Awards 2007 (£9.7M initial funding). nCATS mission is to bridge the gap between fundamental research and industrial needs and to solve emerging engineering issues related to friction, wear and lubrication. nCATS provides highly individualized multidisciplinary training reflecting actual market needs, which, together with scientific excellence, will generate an open-mind generation of engineers able to harvest multidisciplinary knowledge and successfully face technological challenges of 21st century.

Group Overview

Tribology is the essential science of all interacting surfaces in relative motion. It is immensely important to the successful operation of engineered machines and natural mechanisms of all scales, and demands multifunctional surfaces. It is core to future transport and energy-efficient machines, the control of emissions and low-maintenance renewable energy systems, and to biotechnology.

nCATS is a multidisciplinary tribology centre. We aspire to research and solve next-generation tribological design issues and enable surface interactions to occur with minimal energy loss and impact on the environment. We link world-class research groups in key disciplines at the University of Southampton to develop enhanced capabilities in advanced computational and experimental tribology. We have also established strategic research partnerships with top groups worldwide.

We provide the next generation of underpinning technology in mechanical engineering, microsystems, and biomedical engineering by developing strategic research partnerships with industry. We increase the understanding of tribological processes at all scales and apply this to improve surface life.

Our research includes developing sensors and novel probes for tribological processes, the tribology of renewable energy systems, manipulating complex microbial communities at interfaces linked to tribological issues of fouling, friction and corrosion, and the use of advanced techniques to understand biotribological performance at the interface of artificial material and live tissue. We develop novel self-repairing, adaptive, regenerative multifunctional surfaces for smart applications.


nCATS – multiscale tribology

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



nCATS has access to the surface engineering and tribology facilities for measurement and analysis at both the University of Southampton and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in the areas of:

Postgraduate opportunities

Postgraduate Taught

MSc Surface Engineering and Coatings (Advanced Mechanical Engineering Science)

Research Staff

Staff MemberPrimary Position
Russ AlbertsResearch Fellow
Jahnabi BasumataryPostgraduate research student
Kuan Yong ChingPostgraduate research student
William ChongAssistant Professor
Richard CookPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Ilaria CorniPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Richard CritchleyResearch student
Simon DenningtonResearch Fellow
Natalya DoroshenkoResearch student
Stefania FabbriPostgraduate research student
Liam R GoodesPostdoctoral Research Fellow
David GrechResearch student
Daniel GropperPostgraduate research student
Robert HanzalResearch student
Terry J HarveySenior Research Fellow
Yang HePostgraduate research student
Stephen HerdPostgraduate research student
Timothy JA KampsPostgraduate research student
Ingrid KuResearch Fellow
Pawee KucitaPostgraduate research student
Maria Fabiola Leyva-MendivilPostgraduate research student
Georges LimbertAssociate Professor
Ping LuResearch student
Chao MaResearch student
Stefano NeodoResearch student
Mengyan NieResearch Fellow
Vlad NistePostgraduate research student
Tomas PolcarSenior Lecturer in Coatings and Nanotribology
Ruben PorrasPostgraduate research student
Honor PowrieVisiting Professor
Federico QuinciResearch student
Monica RatoiLecturer in Lubrication Science
Alex D RichardsonPostgraduate research student
Maria SaltaResearch Fellow
Viktorija SmelovaPostgraduate research student
Keith StokesVisiting Professor, nCATS
Martin StolzLecturer in Orthopaedic Tribology
Paul StoodleyLecturer Microbial Tribology
Daniel SuttonPhD Student / Researcher
Nicola SymondsOperations Director
Ling WangAssociate Professor in condition monitoring for tribological systems
Qianzhi WangResearch Fellow
ChuanTing WangPhD
Shuncai WangLecturer
Simon WatsonPhD Student
Julian WhartonSenior Lecturer
Luis V Wilches PeñaPostgraduate research student
Robert J K WoodDirector of the UK National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)
Jurgita ZekonyteResearch Fellow
Feifei ZhangPostgraduate research student

Related Projects

Related ProjectsStatusType
Designing biomaterials for tissue engineering and tissue regenerationActive
Looking after our skinActive
Nanoadditives for lubrication of hydrogen technologyActive
WS2 as lubricant nanoadditivesActive
A study on White Etching Crack (WEC) root causes and its relation to material microstructures and surface treatments.Active
Investigating rail axle bearing damageActive
The science and engineering of shape-shiftersActive
Delivery of fluoride and antimicrobial agents into dental plaque biofilmsActive
Metrology to assess the durability and function of engineered surfacesActive
Structured Surfaces for Tribological ApplicationsActive
Wear Assessment and Forensic Analysis of Failed Hip ReplacementsActive
Luminescent Monitoring for Tribological CoatingsActive
Simulation-based tailoring of nanoscale frictionActive
Lightweight ceramic nanotubes reinforced polymer composite coatings and nanofibres with improved impact resistance and responsive functionsActive
Prolonging the life of machine parts in nuclear applicationsActive
Improved Testing Methodologies for Evaluating the Performance of Paint Systems and MaterialsActive
Particle analysisActive
The Adhesion Rail Riddle - Ensuring Trains Can BrakeActive
Advanced nanostructured coatings for aluminium alloysActive
Scuffing in piston assembly and liner of fired combustion enginesActive
Tribological behaviour of ultrafine-grained alloys formed by severe plastic deformationActive
Designing sensors to detect corrosion in hidden placesActive
Modelling our tiny uninvited guestsActive
Structured Surfaces to Trap Bubbles and Reduce Drag and FrictionActive
Green TribologyActive
Rare earth effect on tribological bronze coatingsActive
Effects of vitamin E and natural lubricants on wear and oxidation of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)Active
New generation of protective coatings alternative to hard chromeActive
Tribocorrosion of cemented tungsten carbide in oil and gas drilling environmentsActive
Electron Beam Melting of Biomedical AlloysActive
Understanding the physics of wet shavingActive
Influence of ultimate strength on aged and corroded shipsActive
Health implications of metal ions and particulates released from hip implantsActive
How to design better artificial knee jointsActive
Simulating the friction encountered in oilfield operationsActive
Nanowear and Nanofretting of Biomedical MaterialsActive
Corrosion Control for Naval ShipsActive
Co-Ni-P Electrodeposits for Hard Chrome ReplacementActive
Better methods to measure wear of hip implantsActive
Upgrade and validate simulatorActive
Polymer lubricationActive
Tribological behaviour of nano-structured alloys processed by Severe Plastic DeformationActive
Suspension sprayed surface coatings for specialised applications Active
Impact and erosion resistant materialsActive
Nanoparticles characterization for nanotoxityActive
The impact of Friction Modifiers on ZDDP engine oil tribofilmsActive
A study of Microstructure Alterations in White Structure Flaking Failures of Wind Turbine BearingsActive
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