Composites Engineering

Principal contact: Professor John Summerscales

The University of Plymouth has conducted research into composite materials and structures since 1967. From 1987 for thirty years, this was complemented by knowledge transfer and continuing professional development provision under the Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre (ACMC) banner. Having recognised the ACMC title does not fully represent the activity of the third-generation team, the research is now conducted as MAST Composites Engineering, with the following specialisations:

  • composites manufacturing, especially resin infusion processes
  • engineered nanomaterials and nanotechnology applications
  • marine composites
  • materials characterisation by destructive and non-destructive techniques
  • medical implants and biomaterials Multi-phase modelling of biomaterials
  • numerical modelling and optimisation techniques for stress, heat and moisture transport
  • smart materials and intelligent structures
  • sustainable composites, including life cycle assessment (LCA) and waste management.
  • thin films and nano-coatings.

Composites engineering staff

Recently completed research degrees

Design and analysis of integrally-heated tooling for polymer composites

Rzgar Mhammed Abdalrahman (PhD, 2015) 

Supervisors: Stephen Grove, Adam Kyte and Md Jahir Rizvi (Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research - Iraq)

Impact behaviour of reinforced concrete beams strengthened or repaired with carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) 

Mahdi Hameed Mohammad Al-Farttoosi (PhD, 2016, embargoed for 12 months)

Supervisors: Yaqub Rafiq, John Summerscales and Clive Williams (Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research - Iraq)

Processing-performance relationships for fibre reinforced composites

Amjed Saleh Mahmood (PhD, 2016) 

Supervisors: Neil James, John Summerscales and Richard Cullen (Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research - Iraq)

Fatigue failure of fibre reinforced plastics for marine environment

Maozhou (Leo) Meng (PhD, 2016) 

Supervisors: Jahir Rizvi, Huirong Le and Stephen Grove (CnTech for living expenses and School Research Committee Grant for tuition fees)

Composite materials filled with ferromagnetic microwire inclusions demonstrating microwave response to temperature and tensile stress

Vlad Zamorovskii (MPhil, 2017)

Supervisors: John Summerscales, Dmitriy Makhnovskiy (SoCM) and Mansel Davies (SoCM) (self funded with partial Faculty fee waiver)

Micro-scale study of multicomponent ionic transport in concrete

Ganlin Feng (PhD, 2018)

Supervisors: Long-yuan Li and Boksun Kim (China Scholarship Council)


    Antibacterial and toxicological properties of self-organised TiO2 nanotubes used as a scaffold for nano-ZnO and nano-Ag coating on medical grade Ti-6Al-4V with and without nano-hydroxyapatite 

    Urvashi (Fowdar Danookdharree) Gunputh (PhD, 2018)

    Supervisors: Long-yuan Li, Richard Handy, Christopher Tredwin and Huirong Le (University Research Scholarship).


      The sensitivity of biocomposites to environmental conditions 

      Hossein Mohammad Khanlou (PhD, Griffith University – Australia, 2018)

      Supervisors: Wayne Hall (GU), Peter Woodfield (GU) and John Summerscales (UoP)

      Natural fibre reinforced composite materials 

      Aitor Hernandez Michelena (PhD, 2019)

      Supervisors: John Summerscales, Wayne Hall (Griffith University - Australia) and Jasper Graham-Jones (in collaboration with Acciona Windpower/Nordex and University of Zargoza).

      Fatigue properties of novel recycled rubber compounds

      Dayang Habibah binti Abang Ismawi Hassim (PhD, 2019)

      Supervisors: Frank Abraham and John Summerscales (Malaysian Rubber Board funding)

      The manufacture and testing of self-sensing CNT [carbon nanotube] nanocomposites for damagedetecting applications

      Mohammed Al-Bahrani (PhD, 2019) 

      Supervisors: Alistair Cree, Jasper Graham-Jones and Sourajyoti Basu (Iraqi Ministry of Oil funding).