Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Research Group


The Advanced Materials & Manufacturing (AMM) Research Group was formed in September 2017 by the strategic merger of three of the research groups in the School of Engineering, namely; Advanced Polymers and Composites (APC), Engineering Research and Innovation for Industrial Applications; and Mechanical Behaviour of Materials (MMB).

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing research and development activities include analysis, characterisation, formulation, manufacturing, design, modelling, rapid prototyping, 3-D printing, testing, repair, structural integrity evaluation, applications and knowledge transfer of advanced materials and manufacturing.

Materials include, but are not limited to, biomechanical, ceramics, woods, metals and alloys, composites (conventional/synthetic, sustainable/natural/biocomposites & hybrid composites), polymers/plastics (thermosets and thermoplastics). Research areas include tension, compression, bending, impact, stress, strain, torsion, buckling, fatigue, fracture, thermal, vibration, and absorption of materials and components.

The group aims to contribute to:

  • Cutting edge research work in advanced materials and manufacturing through collaborative partnerships
  • Innovative teaching and knowledge transfer activities of the School of Engineering and the Faculty of Technology
  • The national and international research profile of the University of Portsmouth through high-profile publications and participations

Research areas

Research and development of new advanced materials with more focus on the following application driven areas:

  • Composite materials (natural fibre composites and biocomposites for light weight applications)
  • Conventional composites and nanocomposites
  • Polymers/plastics (thermosets and thermoplastics)
  • Biomechanical, ceramics, woods, metals, alloys and super alloys
  • Advanced manufacturing (aimed at exploring the link between materials and manufacture)
  • Optimising of materials processing
  • Additive manufacturing (design and rapid prototyping, 3D printing, metal sintering)
  • Lean manufacturing

AMM research group has well-equipped laboratories with a range of facilities for R&D in advanced materials and manufacturing. The activities we undertake range from short-term consultancy works to medium-to-long-term research and knowledge transfer projects. The group has expertise in the areas of:

  • Nano-testing (indentation, scratching and impact)
  • Thermal characterisation (MDSC, DSC, TGA, TMA, DMA, laser flash and hot-wire thermal conductivities)
  • Materials/Mechanical testing (tensile, compression and flexural  test at low and elevated temperatures, pendulum, falling weight and ballistic test impact and hardness)
  • Durability testing (thermal, chemical, moisture, UV and hygrothermal degradation test)
  • Surface properties test (contact angle, surface tension and surface topography)
  • Structural integrity evaluation (electronic shearography, C-scan, ARAMIS and CT-scan)
  • Manufacturing (vacuum bagging, compression moulding, injection moulding, thermoforming and RTM)
  • Finite element analysis of engineering and biomedical systems, materials failure, damage and manufacturing processes
  • Machining of materials, such as conventional and non-conventional drillings, among others
  • Modelling (analytical and numerical) and simulation of artificial hip and knee joints, materials failure, damage and manufacturing processes
  • Failure analysis of engineering and biological systems
  • Digital Image/Volume Correlation for engineering applications
  • Fatigue/fracture, creep and oxidation at elevated temperature
  • Multi-axial and mixed mode fatigue and fracture
  • Product development and rapid prototyping
  • Precision measurement and quality systems
  • CAD/CAM and electronics fabrication
  • Computer modelling and logistics
  • Automation and mechatronics
  • Reverse engineering


Recent publications

Economic appraisal of shale gas reservoirs

Mr Michael Kenomore, Dr Mohamed Hassan Sayed, Dr Hom Dhakal & Dr Amjad Shah 12 Jun 2018 SPE Europec featured at 80th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, 11-14 June, Copenhagen, Denmark. Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE-190824-MS

Shale gas production decline trend over time in the Barnett Shale

Mr Michael Kenomore, Dr Mohamed Hassan Sayed, Dr Reza Malakooti, Dr Hom Dhakal & Dr Amjad Shah Jun 2018 In : Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. 165, p. 691-710

Investigation of impact damage characteristics in natural fibre composite laminates using novel micro CT imaging techniques

Barouni, A. K. & Dr Hom Dhakal 6 Feb 2018 1st International Conference on Health Monitoring of Civil & Maritime Structures: HeaMES 2018. ASRANet Ltd, p. 62-70

Investigation into Mode II interlaminar fracture toughness characteristics of flax/basalt reinforced vinyl ester hybrid composites

Almansour, F. A., Dr Hom Dhakal & Dr Zhong Yi Zhang 18 Jan 2018 In : Composites Science and Technology. 154, p. 117-127

The post-impact response of flax/ UP composite laminates under low velocity impact loading

Dr Hom Dhakal, Ghasemnejad, H., Dr Zhong Yi Zhang, Ismail, S. O. & Arumugam, V. 8 Jan 2018 17 p.

Philosophical study on composites and their drilling techniques

Dr Hom Dhakal & Ismail, S. O. 2018 Functional biopolymers. Thakur, V. K. & Thakur, M. K. (eds.). Springer, p. 239-280 (Springer Series on Polymer and Composite Materials)

See more

Sources of funding

The AMM Research Group seeks to maintain the track record that it has inherited of attracting funding from government agencies, industrial bodies and charities, which include:

  • European funding
  • Industrial collaborations
  • Industrial strategy challenge fund
  • Royal Society
  • UK charities
  • MRC
  • Innovate UK

Prior to merging, work has been carried out for over 30 years with collaborators, including Rolls-Royce, GKN Westland Aerostructures and NHS hospitals, among others.

Similarly, the merged groups have successfully provided services and consultancies to companies such as BVT, Thales, Safeguard, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Pall Europe, TWI, PERA, Univar Europe, Halyard, LaFarge, Materials Technology Ltd, Gurit, Xyratex, to mention but a few.


The AMM research group has a multidisciplinary team of academics, researchers and technical staff.