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The University of Southampton
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Professor Tomas Polcar 

Professor of Materials Science and Tribology, Head of Engineering Materials and Surface Technology Group

Professor Tomas Polcar's photo

Professor Tomas Polcar is a Professor of Materials Science and Tribology at Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Tomas graduated in 2000 in Engineering with a Master thesis focused on the design of a hot-water boiler burning green wood with a nominal power of 10 MW. Then he completely switched the scale from meters to nanometers when studying for a PhD in Mathematical and Physical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague; the thesis was on the high temperature tribology of protective coatings. After finishing PhD in 2005, he moved to the University of Coimbra, Portugal, as postdoctoral researcher. In 2008, Tomas returned back to CTU in Prague as a lecturer. He launched Advanced Materials Group in 2008 being promoted to associate professor (2012) and full professor (2015) in applied physics. Tomas moved to Southampton as Lecturer in Coatings and Nanotribology in 2011 and was promoted to associate professor in 2014.

Tomas has extensive funding track record from bodies in the Czech Republic (GAAV,GACR, MPO), Portugal (FCT), UK (TSB, EPSRC, DSTL, Innovate UK). He was successful with European bids (FP7: Radinterfaces 2011-2014; HardAlt 2013-2016, AgriSenSact (2014-2016) and now he runs two H2020 projects (MSCA ITN project Solution, coordinator, and FET Open project Icarus). His research covers large area of surface engineering, particularly design, deposition and characterisation of thin films, radiation damage, nanoscale mechanical properties and interface phenomena. He pioneers novel self-lubricant coatings with self-adaptive nanostructure and high temperature tribology of thin films. His total funding portfolio is over £6m and he has number of industrial collaborators.

Research portfolio
Research portfolio
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Book Chapters


Code Name Position
SESG6034 Surface Engineering Module coordinator & Lecturer
SESM6039 Introduction to Advanced Mechanical Engineering Science (AMES) Lecturer
FEEG1002 Mechanics, Structures and Materials Lecturer
Professor Tomas Polcar
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 7/4083

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