Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
We're launching a new website soon and would love your feedback. See the new design

Materials and Surface Engineering

Our research focusses on developing the fundamental understanding of physical processes and interactions in materials and surfaces that affect the performance of engineering systems. This understanding and knowledge is then transferred into engineering technologies through enhanced materials and surface engineering performance resulting in improved designs.

Our researchers work across a wide number of application areas, covering many topics, from aerospace and automotive materials  to energy materials, surface engineering to corrosion, electrochemical engineering  to artificial hips, microsystems to 3D printing, micro dry powder dispensing to tribology, tomographic imaging to artificial intelligence. Our research activities are further stimulated by multi-disciplinary collaborations with many other research groups across the University.

We work with a wide range of industries including: NPL, TWI (NSIRC), Rolls Royce, BP, Airbus, E.ON, EDF, Vestas, GE, ALSTOM, Luxfer Gas Cylinders, Scitech Industries, dstl/MoD, Novatis, GSK, Huxley Bertram Ltd., Invibio.

We have also won substantial funding from the European Research Council, ONR (US Navy) AFOSR (US airforce) EPSRC and MRC.

We have a wide range of international links and offer a stimulating research environment for staff, students and visitors. Our research activities can be seen in more detail in the Research Areas listed below.

Tribology: saving costs and improving safety across industries
Tribology: saving costs and improving safety across industries
Material failure – friend and foe
Material failure – friend and foe
3D rendering of fatigue damage
3D rendering of fatigue damage

Research Areas

Functional Materials

Surface Engineering

Materials Processing

Structural Materials

We are 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, a major new X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner centre at μ-VIS and extensive surface engineering and tribology facilities for measurement and analysis at both the University of Southampton and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Transport Systems Research Laboratory (TSRL)

Severe Plastic Deformation Processing Rigs

Micro dry powder processing and microfabrication

Solar Energy Laboratory

Electrochemical engineering lab

Materials Characterisation facilities

μ-VIS: multidisciplinary multiscale microtomographic volume imaging

Nanofabrication centre/clean rooms at ECS

Bioengineering laboratory

Sliding friction/wear



Abrasion wear


Properties of materials/coatings

μ-VIS: multidisciplinary multiscale microtomographic volume imaging
High pressure testing
High pressure testing
High pressure torsion rig
High pressure torsion rig
TSA and Instron
TSA and Instron

If you are interested in joining us either to study or to become part of our research team please select the relevant link below for further information.

Funded PhD Opportunities

Postgraduate Taught Courses

Current job vacancies at the University of Southampton 

List of related projects to
Related ProjectsStatusType
3D Imaging Of The Tensile Failure Mechanisms Of Carbon Fibre CompositesActiveOther
3D printing of PEEK and HA/beta-TCP tissue engineering (TE) scaffoldsActiveOther
Chemical modification of silicon surfaces for solar cell applicationsActiveOther
Fluorescent solar collectors - DormantDormantOther
Abrasion-corrosion of cast CoCrMo alloy in simulated hip joint environments - DormantDormantOther
Abrasion-corrosion of downhole drill tool components - DormantDormantOther
Adaptive numeric modelling in the production of gas cylinders - DormantDormantOther
Advanced nanostructured coatings for aluminium alloysActiveOther
Advanced non-volatile memories based on resistive switching ActiveOther
Aerospace composite materials damage assessment by High Resolution Computed TomographyActiveOther
An evaluation of cohesive zone models for adhesive failure in bonded joints - DormantDormantOther
Analysis of adhesively-bonded composite jointsActiveOther
Analysis of adhesively-bonded composite jointsActiveOther
Antifouling coatings for warships - DormantDormantOther
Applications of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in materials property correlations explorationActiveOther
Assessment of advanced nickel based turbine materialsActiveOther
Assessment of complex electron beam textured rough surfacesActiveOther
Carbon Nano Tube (CNT) Composite Surfaces for Electrical Contact InterfacesActiveOther
In-situ calibration of cohesive zone models for composite damageActiveOther
Computational electromagnetic modelling of 3D photonic structuresActiveOther
Condition monitoring to predict component wear - DormantDormantOther
Full-field data-rich experimental approaches to explain composite material and structural performance and its damage tolerance (DAMTOL)ActiveOther
Development of an antifouling system using environmentally acceptable and naturally occuring products - DormantDormantOther
Development of an improved fatigue model for composite materialsActiveOther
Development of automated condition monitoring using AI tools - DormantDormantOther
Development of novel high strain rate testsActiveOther
Early crack initiation processes in steel arc weldsActiveOther
Early crack initiation processes in steel arc weldsActiveOther
Erosion-corrosion modelling - DormantDormantOther
Evaluating homogeneity in AZ91 magnesium alloy processed by high-pressure torsion and equal-channel angular pressingActiveOther
Finite element modelling of fatigue crack growth in multi-layered systems under large scale yielding conditionsActiveOther
Health monitoring of new generation aircraft bearingsActiveOther
High efficiency low-cost photosensitised crystalline silicon solar cellsActiveOther
High efficiency low cost solar cellsActiveOther
High efficiency low cost solar cells II - DormantDormantOther
In-situ calibration of cohesive zone models for composite damageActiveOther
In-situ characterization of microstructure and fatigue performance of Al-Si piston alloysActiveOther
Investigation of gold splutter coated vertically aligned multi-wall carbon nanotubes for RF MEMS contact surfaces - DormantDormantOther
Life assessment methods for industrial steam and gas turbinesActiveOther
Lightweight ceramic nanotubes reinforced polymer composite coatings and nanofibres with improved impact resistance and responsive functionsActiveOther
MEMS components formed from nanostructural metals - DormantDormantOther
Microfluidic devices for structural health monitoring and integrity - DormantDormantOther
Micromechanistic analysis of damage evolution in aerospace and automotive materials - DormantDormantOther
Microstructure, Microtexture and Properties of Ultrafine-Grained Metals and Alloys Processes by Severe Plastic DeformationActiveOther
Nanoimprint lithography process developmentActiveOther
Natural products as marine antifoulantsActiveOther
Optimal materials selection and design of MEMS actuators - DormantDormantOther
Parameterisation and optimisation of impact and post-impact performance of composites for airframe light weightingActiveOther
Processing of nanostructured materials for medical applicationsActiveOther
Processing of nanostructured titanium for use in medical implants - DormantDormantOther
Processing of a two phase alloy by severe plastic deformationActiveOther
Reducing the cost of crystalline silicon solar cells by using fluorescent collectorsActiveOther
Reduction of downhole friction by electrochemical methods - DormantDormantOther
Sensor actuated smart interfaces incorporating bio-hybrid materials (biofilm sensing)ActiveOther
SPD processing of various metallic alloysActiveOther
Structure-Performance relationship in organic electronic devices - DormantDormantOther
Teardrop cracking: mechanism and design criteriaActiveOther
Towards insitu monitoring of tapestry degradation using strain based optical techniquesActiveOther
Voids in carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite - DormantDormantOther
X-ray Computed Tomography and image-based modelling of plant roots and nutrient uptakeActiveOther
Zinc cerium redox flow batteryActiveOther
Tribological behaviour of nano-structured alloys processed by Severe Plastic DeformationActiveOther
Delivery of fluoride and antimicrobial agents into dental plaque biofilmsActiveOther
Lightweight ceramic nanotubes reinforced polymer composite coatings and nanofibres with improved impact resistance and responsive functionsActiveOther
Luminescene Wear Monitoring of Tribological CoatingsActiveOther
Metrology to assess the durability and function of engineered surfacesActiveOther
Scuffing of heavy duty diesel enginesDormantOther
Simulating the friction encountered in oilfield operationsActiveOther
Suspension sprayed surface coatings for specialised applications ActiveOther
Nanoadditives for lubrication of hydrogen technologyActiveOther
Health implications of metal ions and particulates released from hip implantsActiveOther
Nanoparticles characterization for nanotoxityActiveOther
Polymer lubricationActiveOther
Share this research area Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings