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Dr Shuncai Wang BSc, MSc, PhD, FRMS, FHEA

Lecturer, Manager of Electron Microscopy Centre

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Dr Shuncai Wang is Lecturer in the national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS), Academic Lead and Manager of the University Science and Engineering Electron Microscopy Centre in Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Dr Wang received a BSc in Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MSc in Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials and PhD at University of Birmingham. He joined the Engineering Materials and Surface Engineering Research Group at the University of Southampton in 2001. He has conducted interdisciplinary research among materials, engineering and chemistry.

His research interests currently centre on developing surface coatings for a wide range of engineering applications and using advanced characterisation techniques (e.g. electron microscopy) to understand and improve the mechanical and tribological properties. He has published over 130 peer-viewed journal papers.

Dr Wang has expertise in materials characterisation, mechanical property evaluation, materials processing and development. He also holds an extensive track record in research on a range of metallic alloys including Al based alloys, Ti alloys and Fe based alloys, magnetic materials, quasicrystal materials, electrolytic battery, biomedical-materials and surface coatings. He is a specialist in materials characterisation, including high resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopy, backscatter electron diffraction.

BA, Materials Science, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics 1986

MSc, Metal Physics, Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials 1989

PhD, Metallurgy and Materials, Birmingham University 1998

Research Fellow and Assistant manager of the Electron Microscopy Centre, University of Southampton. 2001 - 2007       

Lecturer and Academic lead of University Sciences & Engineering Electron Microscopy Centre, University of Southampton. 2007 -           

Research interests

Fabrication of Functional Materials and Processing of Smart Surface

  • Electroplating for hard chrome replacement;
  • Self-lubricated and smart deposits;
  • Robust superhydrophobic spray coatings;
  • PVD superhard thin film.
  • Metals alloys (Al,Mg, Ti,Fe,Ni)  and composite (fibre, particles strengthening)

Tribological and Mechanical Properties

  • Wear and friction; cohesion & adhesion;
  • Corrosion, oxidation & tribo-corrosion;
  • Self-clean, superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic robust coatings;
  • Strengthening and toughness.


  • Advanced electron microscopy, AFM on imaging, diffraction and elemental analysis;
  • XRD and EBSD on textures;
  • Nano-indentation.

MPhil and PhD Research

  • Lijia Yi, 2020-2024, “Development of dense and near-frictionless coating by onsite monitoring of pH, conductivity and impedance”, Dr Shuncai Wang, Prof Robert Wood
  • Jack Tian, 2019-2023, “Bearing texture effect on friction with machine learning”, Prof Robert Wood, Dr Shuncai Wang
  • Xingyu Wang, 2018-2022, “Smart Surfaces and Modifications”, Dr Shuncai Wang, Dr Nong Gao, Dr Zheng Jiang
  • Deepak Kumar, 2018-2022, “Manufacturing of Graphene based Aluminium Metal Matrix Composites by High Pressure Torsion”, Dr Shuncai Wang
  • Stefano Cinti, 2017-2021, “Scuffing in piston assembly and liner of fired combustion engines”, Dr John Walker, Dr Shuncai Wang
Scanning Electron Microscope
Transmission Electron Microscope

Research group

national Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS)

Research project(s)

Advanced nanostructured coatings for aluminium alloys

Aluminium has a high affinity for oxygen to form rapidly an oxide layer when exposed to air or water which weakens the adhesion of coating and Al substrate. The zincating process is considered as the most practical and economical surface pre-treatment process for aluminium alloys. However, the zincating process encountered with some problems, such as dissolution of aluminum substrates in a concentrated alkaline solution and non-uniform zinc deposition due to non-uniform dissolution of the substrate during the process. The project will work on the double process of Cu and Zincating to produce the uniform and adhesive coatings on Al alloys.

Co-Ni-P Electrodeposits for Hard Chrome Replacement

Luminescent Monitoring for Tribological Coatings

The coating will be developed by electrodeposition with a high degree of controllability and relatively low cost. The monitoring utilises that phosphorescent / fluorescent particles emit a constant glow under an ultraviolet light, thus such a coating can act as an interlayer that can be revealed when a top tribological coating is worn away or corroded. The project aims for reducing the friction coefficient of steel contact by at least 10 times (as low as 0.07) and for in-situ monitoring the progress of wear or corrosion on coatings to set up an early warning system to prevent any such catastrophic failure.

Suspension sprayed surface coatings for specialised applications

Rare earth effect on tribological bronze coatings

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

Manufacturing of graphene based aluminium metal matrix composites by high pressure torsion

Admission Tutor for MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering Sciences 

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Book Chapter

  • Starink, M. J., Wang, S. C., & Sinclair, I. (2005). A model for local proof strength of 2xxx welds. In K. J. Jata, M. W. Mahoney, & R. S. Mishra (Eds.), Friction stir welding and processing III (pp. 223-243). The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.


(1) Module Co-coordinator: SESG6044-Microstructural and Surface Characterisation

(2) Module Co-coordinator: SESM6039-Introduction to Advanced Mechanical Engineering Science (AMES)

Dr Shuncai Wang
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number : 7/4085/M7

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