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Future materials


The Future Materials multidisciplinary group is coordinating research across engineering to support the development of the new materials required to underpin future technology developments.

Our aims

Combining expertise from across the School of Engineering and through multi-disciplinary collaborations, we seek to design and simulate the manufacturing and characterisation of new materials. Our expertise allows us to focus on a wide range of applications from medical devices, advanced ceramics, magnetic materials and energy materials to sustainable construction materials.

Our research projects

Resilient materials for life

This Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Programme Grant is led by Professor Tony Jefferson. It is in collaboration with the Cardiff University School of Chemistry, University of Bath, University of Cambridge and University of Bradford. By 2022 we will aim to have achieved a transformation in construction materials, using the biomimetic approach first adopted in Materials for Life (M4L), to create materials that will adapt to their environment, develop immunity to harmful actions, self-diagnose the on-set of deterioration and self-heal when damaged.

Find out more at,

Additive manufacturing using metal pilot line (MANUELA)

MANUELA aims to realise a metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) pilot line service covering the full additive manufacturing (AM) development cycle including simulation, robust AM manufacturing, online process control, characterisation, real-time feedback, post-treatment, AM qualification protocols and associated business model. Our contribution is the development of machine learning/datamining techniques to optimise the AM manufacturing and simulation process, using processing and material data (eg in process optimisation, digital twin development). This work is led by Dr Samuel Bigot.

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Artificial cells with distributed cores to decipher protein function (ACDC)

In collaboration with the Universities of Trento and Zurich, Professor David Barrow is leading this European Union funded project, which will employ a living technology platform of artificial cell technologies towards the next generation of small molecule drug discovery, protein biophysics, and biochemical energy production. The project aims to emulate the structure and dynamics of living cells and cellular tissues by embedding biochemical and biophysical systems capable of sensing, reconfiguration, synthesis, electrochemical gradient production and biochemical energy production.

Stability of organic solar cells based on non-fullerene acceptors

Led by Dr Zhe Li and in collaboration with Swansea University, Imperial College, Eight19 Ltd., NSG Group and Armor Group, this EPSRC funded project aims to understand the degradation mechanisms in fullerene-free organic solar cell materials and improve their stability. This work will lead to new high efficiency, sustainable, solar cell materials.

Details of ESPRC grant.

Growth and remodelling in the porcine heart-pushing mathematics through experiments

This project aims to characterise how the structure and behaviour of heart tissue changes with age. Led by Dr Peter Theobald and funded by the EPSRC, the work will have an important influence on how heart conditions and surgery are treated in the future.

Novel, rate-dependent material to enhance helmet liner performance

Led by Dr Peter Theobald and funded by the American National Football League (via Football Research Inc.), this project aims to understand and develop new materials for increased energy absorption and safety in American football helmets.

Manufacturing effects in electrical steels for automotive drives

Led by Dr Phil Anderson and Dr Jeremy Hall and funded by the EU KESS2 scheme in collaboration with Cogent Power Ltd, this project will be important in the development of new materials and manufacturing for electrical drive systems for future electric vehicles.

High strength crack-free hastelloy X powder for additive manufacturing

Led by Professor Rossi Setchi and funded by EC/Industry this project aims to produce Hastelloy X high strength and crack free objects through additive manufacturing for applications in the aerospace and automotive fields.

Cross-disciplinary approaches to evaluation of elastic and adhesive properties of micro/nano-thick objects

Hosted by Professor Feodor Borodich this research has applications in elastic adhesive materials, coated materials, layered materials, biological cells and biomaterials. This is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellowship.

Simulation of radiation effects on nuclear and aerospace structural materials

Hosted by Professor Massimiliano Gei the goal of this project is to provide simulation tools able to predict radiation induced damage of materials employed in nuclear power plants and aerospace vehicle constructions.This is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Fellowship.

Our facilities and capabilities

  • Applied mechanics: meta materials, dielectrics, wave dynamics, composites.
  • Processing: wet chemistry, mixing, milling, extrusion and casting for polymers, ceramics and nanocomposites, microfluidics.
  • Manufacture: additive layer manufacturing (polymers and metals), spark plasma sintering, autoclave for CFRC, carbonisation and calcination furnaces, laser machining, physical layer deposition.
  • Characterisation: mechanical, electrical, magnetic, thermal, chemical, electrochemical, spectroscopic, advanced microscopy (OM, FESEM, AFM, MFM).


Group leader

Dr Mark Eaton

Dr Mark Eaton

Lecturer - Teaching and Research

+44 (0)29 2087 5793

Group members

Picture of Samuel Bigot

Dr Samuel Bigot

Reader - Head of International for Mechanical and Medical Engineering

+44 29208 75946
Picture of Alastair Clarke

Dr Alastair Clarke

Senior Lecturer - Tribology and Applied Mechanics

+44 29208 74274
Picture of Victoria Garcia Rocha

Dr Victoria Garcia Rocha

Honorary Fellow

Picture of Anthony Jefferson

Professor Anthony Jefferson

Professor and member of the RESCOM Group

+44 29208 75697
Picture of Franck Lacan

Dr Franck Lacan

Research Associate

+44 29208 76267