Skip navigation

Prof Ahmed Elmarakbi


Department: Mechanical and Construction Engineering

I have been involved in higher education (HE) for 25 years, leading research teams, teaching programmes, business engagement, and multi-disciplinary collaborative projects in many countries worldwide. I obtained my PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Toronto, Canada in September 2004. After three years as a NSERC/JSPS fellow in Canada and Japan, I moved to the University of Sunderland in 2007 (Senior Lecture 2007-2011; Reader, 20011-20012; Professor 2012-2018). Recently, I moved to Northumbria University as Professor of Automotive Composites, Head of Subject (Mechanical Engineering) and and Leader of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) research group. I am also a Visiting Professor of Vehicle Lightweighting at Hunan University.


My research work focuses on developing robust, reliable and sustainable material solutions (based on graphene and related materials) and implementing new concepts and technologies in industrial scale. It aims to establish and strengthen the link between the development of novel advanced nanocomposites with unique synthesis and functionalities, and the improvement of the modelling capability and the need for securing refined results for the design of real structural components and energy conversion/storage systems. My work outcomes are recognised both nationally and internationally as evident from over 120+ plenary lectures, invited talks, keynotes and presentations; over 180 peer-reviewed research papers and patents. I have received many prestigious awards and grants, including EPSRC (UK), NSERC and OGS (Canada), JSPS (Japan), FP7, Horizon2020, and Graphene Flagship (EU), and several direct national and international projects.


I am also part of the €1bn European Graphene Flagship and leading composites for structural application task. The pioneering project is exploring how graphene can be used to create lighter, stronger, safer and more energy-efficient aerospace and automotive structures. My role leading the graphene structural application in the flagship – alongside partners in Italy, Spain and Germany has created many opportunities to network and engage around the world. In my role, I combine novel ‘concept’ materials with the latest safety design approaches through the development of advanced ultra-light graphene-based polymer materials, efficient fabrication and manufacturing processes, and life-cycle analysis to reduce the environmental impact of future structures.


In addition, my work has come to the attention of the Chinese Government via Hunan University. I am one of only ten professors worldwide invited to join the prestigious Talents-111 project. This Chinese Government led initiative selects leading scientists and funds intensive laboratory-based research projects. The project into vehicle body lightweighting is led by Hunan University and will run for four years from 2016-2020.


I recognise the importance of engaging in professional activities for advancing my career and serving my profession. Therefore, I have been involved in various professional activities: Expert Reviewer for FP7, Horizon2020, EPSRC, Ontario Research Fund and Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation; European Science Foundation Expert; Founding Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Automotive Composites; Editorial-board member, and reviewer, of high-impact journals; Organiser of international conferences; and Chairman of the International Conference on Automotive Composites. I am also member of CSME, ASME, SAE, JSAE, FISITA, IMechE, Engineering Council (CEng), and Member of the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (UKRI FLF) programme Peer Review College (PRC).


Ahmed Elmarakbi

Campus Address

Northumbria University

Newcastle upon Tyne

My research interests, within my several research teams, lie in the area of advanced nanocomposite materials, graphene related materials (GRMs), GRMs-based smart functional thin films and coatings, multifunctioal protective coating  and surfaces (e.g. self-cleaning, anti-fouling, de-icing), energy materials including batteries, fuel cell and catalysts, energy conversion/storage systems, multi-functional materials modelling and design, and impact and crashworthiness analysis.


Currently, I am working on developing novel hybrid polymer/metal-doped graphene nanocomposites for sustainable energy storage systems; lightweight hierarchical graphene-based nanocomposites with novel concepts and intelligent components that integrate multi-functionality; and conductive adhesives with self-healing ability. In addition, I am working on potential aerospace and automotive applications of multi-functional graphene-based polymer composites, devoting to design, creation, and development of new multifunctional smart materials and improved performances that will underlie the technologies of the future. I face the challenges related to the development, processing and integration of smart graphene-based materials, with new functionalities, and devices in industrially compatible manufacturing processes.


In addition, I am also working on the development of smart lightweight hierarchical graphene-based bulk nanocomposite materials based on a novel concept for intelligent components with nacre nanolaminated architectures that integrate self-healing functionality and high damping performance. This smart material with enhanced structures and its integrated functionality enable easier communication and interaction with their surroundings, and accurate reactions to external spurs. I am also interested in developing unique hierarchy mesocrystals with high-dense exposure facets and anisotropic interfaces and in Synthesis of Nitrogen-Graphene/Metal Oxide Nanostructured Electrodes for Enhanced Performance Fuel Cells.


I aim to produce new technologies and techniques and advance their development approach in a unique direction to create, fabricate, process and model the novel advanced materials to be used in the transport sector (aerospace and automotive industries), in particular, and could be used in other industries (e.g. marine, defence, petrochemicals, oil and gas, energy).


  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Advances in polymer/inorganic nanocomposite fabrics for lightweight and high-strength armor and ballistic-proof materials, Selim, M., El-Safty, S., Shenashen, M., Elmarakbi, A. 22 May 2024, In: Chemical Engineering Journal
  • A tree-growing graphic model for asymmetrical phantom networks in polymeric gels undergoing dynamic mechanochemical coupling, Shi, W., Zhou, J., Lu, H., Elmarakbi, A., Fu, Y. 1 Feb 2024, In: Science China Technological Sciences
  • Constructing micro-network of Ti2Cu and in-situ formed TiC phases in titanium composites as new strategy for significantly enhancing strength, Dong, L., Li, X., Sun, G., Xu, J., Li, M., Tang, Y., Fu, Y., Elmarakbi, A., Cui, W., Zhou, L., Zhang, Y. 1 Jan 2024, In: Composites Communications
  • Design strategy of TiC reinforced heterogeneous Ti-composites with an induced <c + a> slip system for achieving high strength-ductility, Dong, L., Tang, Y., Fan, W., Li, X., Xu, J., Sun, G., Li, M., Fu, Y., Elmarakbi, A., Wang, L., Zhang, Y. 2 Apr 2024, In: Materials Research Letters
  • Engineering performance of tungsten network reinforced copper matrix composites synthesized by selective laser melting and infiltration, Yao, F., Chen, W., Yang, Y., Zhou, K., Li, R., Elmarakbi, A., Fu, Y. 18 Jan 2024, In: Science and Technology of Advanced Materials
  • Hierarchical biocide-free silicone/graphene-silicon carbide nanocomposite coatings for marine antifouling and superhydrophobicity of ship hulls, Selim, M., Azzam, A., Higazy, S., Shenashen, M., Elmarakbi, A., Ebara, M., El-Safty, S. 5 Jun 2024, In: Chemical Engineering Science
  • Mo70Cu30 composites synthesized by infiltration sintering and hot rolling with simultaneously improved mechanical and electrical properties, Yao, F., Chen, W., Lai, G., Ma, J., Ren, B., Zhou, X., Elmarakbi, A., Fu, Y. 5 Mar 2024, In: Journal of Alloys and Compounds
  • Modelling of hybrid biocomposites for automotive structural applications, Elmasry, A., Azoti, W., Ghoniem, E., Elmarakbi, A. 26 May 2024, In: Composites Science and Technology
  • Robust silica-graphene oxide nanocomposite membrane for separating NaCl salt from seawater under atmospheric pressure, Chen, S., Chen, W., Yuan, R., Zhang, H., Elmarakbi, A., Fu, Y. 6 Apr 2024, In: Desalination
  • Ultrasensitive Visual Tracking of Toxic Cyanide Ions in Biological Samples Using Biocompatible Metal–Organic Frameworks Architectures, El-Sewify, I., Shenashen, M., El-Agamy, R., Selim, M., Alqahtani, N., Elmarakbi, A., Ebara, M., Selim, M., Khalil, M., El-Safty, S. 5 Mar 2024, In: Journal of Hazardous Materials

  • Andrew Thompson Development of Graphene Silicon-Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes Start Date: 01/10/2021 End Date: 16/08/2022
  • Ahmed Elmasry Material Modelling and Design of Multi-Functional Hierarchical Graphene Nanocomposites Start Date: 01/03/2019 End Date: 26/05/2023

  • Mechanical Engineering PhD November 18 2004
  • Civil Engineering MSc July 01 2000
  • Civil Engineering BSc May 01 1987
  • Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers MIMechE 2011
  • Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers FIMechE 2018
  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (HEA) SFHEA 2018
  • Chartered Engineer CEng 2011

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

THE Impact rankings
Architecture Apprenticeship Handbook cover
Pictured from left to right are Northumbria University academics Dr Qiang Wu, Dr Juna Sathian, Professor Zabih Ghassemlooy, Dr Yongtao Qu and Dr Xicong Li.
Insights North East
gettyimages/Kobus Louw
Felicia Gottman
More news
More events

Upcoming events

Immunology North East Symposium - 18th June 2024
REVEAL: Industrial Design
REVEAL: Architecture

Back to top