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Dr Julian Wharton BSc, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr Julian Wharton's photo

Dr Julian Wharton is a Associate Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Current position

Julian Wharton is a lecturer in corrosion and surface engineering at the University of Southampton, UK; Deputy Director of the National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS); and Programme Coordinator for Mechanical Engineering with responsibility for overseeing the undergraduate and master’s degree courses in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment.

Career history

Julian Wharton graduated in 1993 with a BSc(Hons) in Applied Chemistry from Portsmouth University . He obtained a PhD at the Loughborough University in 1997 for research into non-chromate conversion coatings sponsored by the DRA at Farnborough. He joined Engineering Materials at the University of Southampton in 1997 as a postdoctoral researcher, investigating methods to sense and study localised corrosion processes.

Research interests

Tribocorrosion:  Wear resistant materials functioning in corrosive environments and subject to abrasive wear often fail prematurely due to the combined effects of coupling wear (mechanical process) and corrosion (electrochemical process). Wear-corrosion interactions can lead to either an increase or a decrease in the overall mass loss.

There are a number of projects which either have  been or are currently under investigation:

  • Tungsten-carbide based sintered hardmetals and sprayed coatings for downhole drilling operations.
  • Metal-on-metal hip replacement CoCrMo alloys.

Biocorrosion:  Microbial activity may induce or enhance corrosion reactions.  The deterioration of a metal, either directly or indirectly, as a result of bacterial activity is often called as microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC).  MIC is also known as biological corrosion, biologically induced corrosion and biocorrosion.

Metastable corrosion pit in 316 stainless steel
Metastable corrosion pit
Wear scar showing individual sand particle impact craters
Wear scar
Nickel-aluminium bronze immersed for 6 months
Marine corrosion

Research group

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)

Research project(s)

Reduction of downhole friction by electrochemical methods - Dormant

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

Natural products as marine antifoulants

Delivery of fluoride and antimicrobial agents into dental plaque biofilms

Influence of ultimate strength on aged and corroded ships

Modelling the destructive power of corrosion

Improved Testing Methodologies for Evaluating the Performance of Paint Systems and Materials

It's more than just watching paint dry!

Corrosion Control for Naval Ships

Coating innovations for marine structures

Designing sensors to detect corrosion in hidden places

Designing sensors to detect corrosion in hidden places

FOUL-X-SPEL (Environmentally friendly antifouling technology to optimise the energy efficiency of ships)

Marine antifouling coatings - stopping seaweed, barnacles and bacteria.

Impact and erosion resistant materials

Protective surfaces for impact tolerance

Green Tribology

Tribology is the study of friction, lubrication and wear. Decreasing friction by any means always leads to welcome reductions in fuel and energy consumption, with a corresponding decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Tribocorrosion of cemented tungsten carbide in oil and gas drilling environments

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Book Chapter



SESM1015 Professional Engineering and Functional Materials (Module Coordinator)

SESM3024 Tribological Engineering (lecturer)

SESG6017 Surface Engineering (lecturer)

SESM6029 Nano & Biotribology (lecturer)

FEEG2005 Materials and Structures (lecturer)

Dr Julian Wharton
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 7/4039/M7

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