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Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT)

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology group works on developing the next generation of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and processes, as well as improving manufacturing systems, organisation and sustainability.

Areas of excellence include

  • Graphene related materials (GRM) and their composites development and processes;
  • Thin films and coatings;
  • Energy conversion and storage systems fabrication and characterisation;
  • Design, modelling, simulation and manufacturing;
  • 3D Printing, Rapid and Additive Manufacturing;
  • Development and manufacturing of materials and structures for noise and vibration control.; and
  • Optimisation technology and deep space exploration

We pay special attention to the circular economy and life cycle engineering, sustainable process design, and technology and operations management. In addition, we work in close collaboration with a number of regional and international partners to develop and improve the performance of manufacturing products, processes and systems for pioneering scientific innovations and securing enterprise ventures.


Graphene Related Materials and their Composites Development and Processes

  • Graphene related materials-structural self-healing Araldite adhesives
  • Design of multi-functional hierarchical 3-phase GRM composites
  • Lightweight self-healing architectured graphene-based nacre nanolaminates
  • Upscaling to industry – GRM-based composites design and optimization
  • 2 phase and 3 phase GRM-based polymer composites of structural applications
  • Manufacturing process development and optimisation

Thin Film Fabrication and Characterisation

  • GRM basic coating for self-cleaning and fast sanification
  • Eco-friendly ultrahydrophobic GRM-based hybrid materials for marine foul-release coatings
  • Durable and anti-corrosion/erosion GRM-based hybrid nanomaterials
  • Innovative thin films for anti-icing/de-icing and light strike protection
  • Ultra-precision thin film resistive coatings
  • Superior hard-wearing mechanical coatings
  • Biocompatible and antimicrobial coatings for healthcare applications
  • Bulk and thin film coatings and ultra-precision thin film resistors
  • Shape memory alloys for microactuators used in hydraulic and pneumatic systems

Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Fabrication and Characterisation

  • Graphene hybrid-supercapacitors
  • Nanostructured heterogeneous materials for Li-ion and all Solid-State LiB
  • Nanostructured heterogeneous materials for Fuel Cells
  • Synthesis of Nitrogen-Graphene/Metal Oxide Nanostructured Electrodes
  • Synthesis of hybrid materials for energy conversion and storage
  • Fabrication of new and smart materials for wearables, sensing and actuation application

Design, Modelling (including Materials and Processes), Simulation and Manufacturing

  • CAM – Design to Manufacturing- Simulation & Analysis
  • Development of fundamental material models capable of characterizing behaviours within a wide range of computations scales spanning form nano-to-macro scales
  • Development novel constitutive laws CLs including progressive damage, failure criteria, interfaces, and behaviours under extreme conditions
  • Implementation and validation using end-user FE software (e.g.LS-DYNA, ABAQUS),
  • Comprehensive optimisation of geometry/material distribution techniques
  • Multiple criteria decisions making in engineering design
  • Lean manufacturing

3D Printing, Rapid and Additive Manufacturing

  • Development of advanced lightweight products using Additive manufacturing techniques in polymers and metals.
  • Generation of Topology optimized thermal and structural systems using additive production methods
  • Development of new additive manufacturing systems and optimisation AM for bespoke manufacturing process for production.
  • Design for Additive manufacturing knowledge exchange
  • Reduction of manufacturing production cycle times
  • Development of a production 3D sand printing process for complex sand cores

Development and Manufacturing of Materials and Structures for Noise and Vibration Control

  • Vibro-acoustic properties of elasto-acoustic metamaterials
  • Sound absorption and transmission loss of lightweight composite panels
  • Sound absorption of micro fibrous/porous materials

Optimization Technology and Deep Space Exploration

  • Control-oriented model for linear and nonlinear systems
  • Machine learning based model predictive control for partially unknown dynamic systems
  • Multi-objective optimisation with minimum calculation burden
  • Autonomous guidance design for Mars/Lunar landing missions
  • Intelligent control for landing in uncertain environment
  • Precision landing guidance with minimum fuel consumption




Our extensive range of laboratories house world-leading engineering software and specialist equipment for product life cycle assessment and processing, characterising and optimising the properties of manufacturing processes and materials.

Our research group is supported by excellent manufacturing and materials characterisation facilities with a wide range of traditional machining equipment, including a Mazak 5-axis CNC milling machine and dynamometers for cutting trials and tooling development.

This is complemented by a range of additive manufacturing technologies such as Polyjet and laser liquid polymerisation (stereolithography), CF/GF/Kevlar composite polymer, fused deposition modelling, selective laser fusion and 3D ceramic printing processes. The physical manufacturing capability is supported by a range of inspection and digitising systems utilising small to large scale 3D scanning techniques.

We have dedicated laboratories for the fabrication and characterisation of thin films and coatings including direct current sputtering, radio frequency sputtering, thermal and electron beam evaporation and atomic layer deposition.

We have materials testing facilities for tensile, compression, torsion and fatigue, as well as analysis facilities that include a 3D micro coordinate measurement machine and surface roughness measurement device, state-of-the-art field-emission Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), a Dynamic Mechanical Analyser (DMA), Nanoindenter, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD)  and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS).

The group combines an emphasis on a multi-discipline approach using analytics, computations and experiments with attention to applications in a broad range of industries such as industrial, automotive, defence, aerospace, energy and healthcare.


Group leadership and contacts

Leader: Prof. Ahmed Elmarakbi

Deputy Leader: Dr. Madeleine Combrinck

This research group forms part of the Department of Mechanical & Construction Engineering.

Research relationships

This group is a part of the University’s multi-disciplinary research into the theme of Energy Futures. 

Research from this group will be submitted to REF2021 under UoA 12: Engineering.

To view research papers emanating from this group, please click here to view Northumbria Research Link, our open access repository of research output from Northumbria University.

PhD opportunities

PhD Students, Postdocs, and Research Fellows are welcome to join the group. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Prof. Ahmed Elmarakbi to discuss available opportunities.

Please click on the links below to view current self-funded PhD opportunities:

Project title: Development of Metallic Powder Fibre Reinforced Sintered Parts by Additive Manufacturing (Dr. Phil Hackney)              


Project title: Reduced-Order Modelling of Offshore Floating Wind Farm based on Deep Learning (Dr. Zi Lin)               


Project title: Development of Novel Graphene Hybrid-Supercapacitors (Prof. Ahmed Elmarakbi)  


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