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Prof Bin Xu


Department: Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Dr Ben B. Xu FRSCFIMMMFRSA, CENG, CSCI, is a full professor in materials and mechanics with a multi-disciplinary research interest covering functional materials, applied mechanics and micro-engineering. Ben completed his first degree (Hons, 2003) in Polymer Science and MSc (2006) in Materials Science in Zhejiang University of Technology (China), and obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Heriot-watt University in 2011. He subsequently worked as a postdoc researcher in Professor Hayward’s Group (Polymer Science and Engineering) at University of Massachusetts Amherst (2011-2013). He previously worked as a Chemical Engineer in an industrial research institute in Hangzhou (China) from 2006 to 2008.

He has published 1 US patent, 1 book chapter and over 80 peer-reviewed articles in the leading journals, including Nat. Commun., Adv.  Mater., Adv. Fun. Mater., Energy. Environ. Sci., Nano Energy, Phys. Rev. Lett., etc (h-index 22, 4 ESI Highly Cited Paper). Ben has been invited to give 60+ invited/plenary talks in international conferences/leading institutions, chaired 10+ international events and reviewed paper publications for 30+ journals. He serves as an associate editor for the journal ES Engineered Science, and an editorial board member for the journal Polymers. He received awards as the Outstanding Paper Award at the 2018 IEEE International Flexible Electronics Technology Conference, Outstanding Reviewer for Journal of Molecular Liquids (2018), 2016 Young Investigator Award from the International Polymer Networks Group, 3rd prize in the 2016 EPSRC photo competition, 2016 RSC-CSCST Emerging Talent Grant from Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), etc. 

He was elected to the Advisory Council and Nomination Committee in The Institute of Materials, Mining and Minerals (IoM3) from 2019, and the RSC Materials Chemistry Division Council and Newcastle upon Tyne and North East Coast Committee from 2020, the executive committee for The Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology (CSCST-UK) from 2016,. He serves as an associate editor for the journal ES Engineered Science, and an editorial board member for the journal PolymersBen has been reviewing grant proposal for EPSRC, NSFC, Leverhulme and ERC since 2015, and an invited penal member for UKRI EPSRC and NERC from 2018.

Progresses from Ben’s research have been featured by media presses in 



Materials World:

Materials views china   





UK Fluids Network:

Materials views china


Before 2019:




Materials views china:

Bin Xu

Campus Address

Ellison Building



  • Education PGCert October 01 2015
  • Mechanical Engineering PhD November 01 2011
  • Materials Science MSc July 01 2006
  • Polymers and Textiles BSc (Hons) June 30 2003
  • Fellow of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce FRSA 2020
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry FRSC 2019
  • Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining FIMMM 2016
  • Other (please specify) Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2015
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015
  • Member American Chemical Society 2011
  • Member Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2010

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Highly efficient urea oxidation via nesting nano nickel oxide in eggshell membrane-derived carbon, Lu, S., Hummel, M., Gu, Z., Wang, Y., Wang, K., Pathak, R., Zhou, Y., Jia, H., Qi, X., Zhao, X., Xu, B., Liu, T. 6 Jan 2021, In: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
  • Transition Metals Carbides (MXenes)-Polymer Nanocomposites, Kong, J., Song, Y., Wang, L., Xu, B. Jan 2021, Two-dimensional Inorganic Nanomaterials for Conductive Polymer Nanocomposites, Cambridge, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • A broadband and tunable microwave absorption technology enabled by VGCFs/PDMS–EP shape memory composites, Li, X., Zhu, Y., Liu, X., Xu, B., Ni, Q. 15 Apr 2020, In: Composite Structures
  • A Facile Surface Preservation Strategy for the Lithium Anode for High-Performance Li-O 2 Batteries, Luo, Z., Zhu, G., Yin, L., Li, F., Xu, B., Dala, L., Liu, X., Luo, K. 17 Jun 2020, In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
  • A Flexible Topo-optical Sensing Technology with Ultra-high Contrast, Wang, C., Wang, D., Kozhevnikov, V., Dai, X., Turnbull, G., Chen, X., Kong, J., Tang, B., Li, Y., Xu, B. 1 Dec 2020, In: Nature Communications
  • A Ga-Sn Liquid Metal Mediated Structural Cathode for Li-O2 Batteries, Luo, Z., Ji, C., Yin, L., Zhu, G., Xu, B., Wang, Y., Liu, T., Zhuge, X., Luo, K. 1 Dec 2020, In: Materials Today Energy
  • A Highly Controlled Fabrication of Porous Anodic Aluminium Oxide Surface with Versatile Features by Spatial Thermo-anodization, Zhang, Z., Sridhar, S., Wei, G., Yu, Y., Zhang, Z., Jiang, L., Yang, Y., Shahzad, M., Chen, X., Xu, B. 21 Dec 2020, In: Surface and Coatings Technology
  • A Robust, Highly Reversible, Mixed Conducting Sodium Metal Anode, Cao, K., Ma, Q., Tietz, F., Xu, B., Yan, M., Jiang, Y. 1 Jun 2020, In: Science Bulletin
  • A Spatiotemporal Indirect Evaporative Cooler Enabled by Transiently Interceding Water Mist, Shahzad, M., Lin, J., Xu, B., Dala, L., Qian, C., Burhan, M., Sultan, M., Worek, W., Ng, K. 24 Nov 2020, In: Energy
  • A stimuli-responsive gel impregnated surface with switchable lipophilic/oleophobic properties, Li, Z., Liu, Y., Lei, M., Sun, A., Sridhar, S., Li, Y., Liu, X., Lu, H., Fu, R., Xu, B. 14 Feb 2020, In: Soft Matter

Current and Recent Projects

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Smart materials and surfaces enabled resilience engineering technology, Xu, B., Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 01/02/18 - 21/11/18, £1,025.00
  • EE 3D printed smart materials structure and device for advanced engineering, Xu, B., Jinbaian Steel Product Co Ltd, 01/10/16 - 30/09/19, £75,000.00
  • Dynamically monitoring in plane strain transformation/localization during creasing of the gel surface, Xu, B., The Royal Society, 31/03/16 - 30/03/17, £14,586.00
  • Stimuli-responsive gel based microfluidic switch, Xu, B., Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 01/10/15 - 30/07/17, £122,266.00
  • Mechanics and application of the micro-engineered smart structure, Xu, B., Reece Group Limited, 01/02/15 - 31/01/18, £41,400.00
  • SMSL-REECE Joint Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program, Xu, B., Reece Group Limited, 09/06/14 - 30/09/14, £10,900.00
  • COST Training School - Particles at Liquid Interfaces: Fundamentals and Applications, Xu, B., COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), 02/04/14 - 05/04/14, £508.00

PGR Supervision

  • Zhuofan Qin Start: 18/01/2021
  • Ding Wang Mechanics Study and Application of Micro-Engineered Smart Surface Start: 01/02/2015
  • Sreepathy Sridhar Nature Inspired Surface/Interface Engineering Towards Advanced Device Applications Start: 01/10/2017
  • Honghao Zhou Start: 01/11/2019
  • Ansu Sun 3D printing assisted development of bio-inspired structure and device for advanced engineering Start: 01/03/2017
  • Panagiotis Galatis Start: 16/05/2017
  • Panagiotis Galatis Start: 16/05/2017

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Dr Xu is currently leading the research group of Smart Materials and Surfaces Lab (SMSL) in Northumbria to develop multidisciplinary research programmes, from fundamental understanding on engineering science to innovating the enabling technologies. His researches in extreme mechanics and functional materials includes the design and understanding of morphing structures, the development of novel flexible/wearable sensing/actuating structure/devices, the realization of functional surface/interface with unique chemical-physical features, the innovation of new circular economy technology using recycled plastic wastes and the exploration of future renewable energy solutions.

He has developed a novel approach to realise the sensing/actuation function by introducing elastic instabilities into the micro-engineered structure in a controllable manner, which shed extra lights in developing future micro-devices, especially in the sectors of flexible/wearable electronics, soft robots, etc. His work on soft active matter and developing novel micro-device is supported by the Royal Society, EPSRC and industries.

Progresses from Ben’s research have been featured by media presses in EPSRC,Materials World, UK Fluids Network, 2020NECONNECTED 2020, 2019, GuardianTelegraphNECONNECTED 2019,, Materials views china 2019Materials views china 2016.

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