Mechanics of Materials Research Group

MA buildingThe Mechanics of Materials Research Group at Leicester is unique in consisting of academics, researchers and students from both Materials Science and Computational Mechanics backgrounds. This has created an ideal environment for carrying out leading edge research by integrating modern experimental and computational technologies.  Examples of our research can be found from the Inaugural Lectures given by Professors Helen Atkinson, Hongbiao Dong, Sarah Hainsworth and Jingzhe Pan. The group is based in the £3M Michael Atiyah building shared with the Space Centre and Applied Mathematics, providing strong opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. It has state-of-the-art facilities in a £1.5M Advanced Microscopy Centre which is led by Prof Sarah Hainsworth of the MoM group. The group is also responsible for the Materials Technology Integration Center (MaTIC, led by Prof Dong) and the Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre (ASDEC, led by Prof Hainsworth). Our computational work benefits from ALICE - a new High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, purchased through a £2million CIF award to the University.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing (an £8m initiative) is led by Prof Hongbao Dong as Director, and Dr Simon Gill as Associate Director.  This is an £8m initiative in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham, and industrial partners including Alstom Power, Tata Steel, Doncasters, Welding Alloys Limited, ISIS, Rolls Royce and TWI.  The Centre  will be recruiting PhD students for entry in September 2014.

The Group has strong international reputation in the areas of

  • Understanding evolution of microstructures and defect formation in casting, powder processing and semi-solid processing
  • Evolution of microstructure in high temperature materials for power generation
  • Computation methods for Multi-scale modelling
  • Surface engineering, surface contact and tribology
  • Forensic engineering
  • Sintering science and technology
  • Modelling degradation of bioresorbable devices for tissue engineering and orthopaedic fixations

Our major research grants include a Technology Strategy Board project on modeling of power plant alloys to improve their high temperature capabilities, which is led by Prof Helen Atkinson with Prof Sarah Hainsworth and Dr Simon Gill; a consortium for an European Framework (FP7) project on Modelling of Interface Evolution in Advanced Welding (MintWeld) which is led by Prof Hongbiao Dong; a Jaguar funded project on investigating the mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of coated components for use in the automotive valve-train which is led by Prof Sarah Hainsworth; and an EPSRC grant on Modelling Constrained Sintering and Cracking jointly with Universities of Surrey and  Cranfield, which is led by Prof Jingzhe Pan.

We welcome students to study for MPhil and PhD degrees, and also Visiting Scholars. If you are interested in the research area of one of the academics please approach them (MoM group members) directly to discuss possibilities or alternatively approach the Head of Group. When we have funded PhD vacancies, they are advertised on Vacancies for postdoctoral research assistants would also be advertised on and on the University Job Vacancies website.

We have considerable experience of collaborating with industry (Prof Atkinson, for example, has run £1.5M of industrially collaborative projects) and there are a number of current links including with: Converteam; TWI;  Purac; Smith and Nephew; Morgan Matroc; Jaguar; Corus; Ilmor; Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines; Delphi Systems; Pankl Motorsport; Alstom; Teer Coating; GSK; Caterpillar; Siemens (Lincoln); Doosan Babcock; NPL; Qinetiq; FEI; EoN; RSP (small Dutch firm); Bodycote HIP; Holset; 3M (Atherstone); Perkin-Elmer; Mettler; TA Instruments; Netzsch (Germany); Setram (France); Rolls Royce; Deritend Precision  Castings; Centrax; Howmet; Oxley; Federal Mogul; Astra Zeneca; Plansee (Austria); Caleva; Various Police Forces; National Police; Improvement Agency and Frenzak (Poland). We also carry out consultancy.

Further details of research activities of individual staff can be found in MoM group members.

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Contact details

Department of Engineering
University Road
United Kingdom

T: +44 116 252 2559
F: +44 116 252 2619