The Institute of Engineering Sciences areas of expertise

EMTERC (Emerging Technologies Research Centre)

The Emerging Technologies Research Centre (EMTERC) works at the forefront of research in materials, devices, the nano-bio interface and digital printing applications through the creation and exploitation of knowledge. The group’s strength lies in innovation and creativity to meet the challenges faced by society and industry with the aim of conducting innovative and challenging research of the highest quality.  The distinctiveness of the centre is its work on fundamental aspects on functional materials and their exploitation into emerging research fields (e.g. plastic memory, photovoltaics, batteries, the nano-bio interface, wide bandgap devices and other micro and nano-electronic systems). 

The centre was established in 1996 and its work is recognised globally. The group members are, in addition, active in organising conferences, chairing sessions, giving keynote/ plenary/public talks as well as holding guest and associate editorships of reputable journals.  Moreover, EMTERC graduates can be found in both industry and academia worldwide, e.g. Infineon, Renishaw, nanoplus Nanosystems and Technologies GmbH, MoD(UK), IIT (India), Taif University, IR Rectifier,  Intel etc.  In support of the varied research work undertaken, the Centre has a wide variety of facilities and equipment that can be broken down into metrology, electrical characterisation, fabrication and deposition.

Signal Processing and Communications Systems

In addition to video communication, image processing, and computer vision, the group has a particular interest in developments for 5G and communications infrastructure, ranging from channel models, error control, and propagation studies to applied electromagnetics. Other areas of expertise include high speed logic, embedded systems design, power electronics, and applications of engineering and computational techniques to biological and biomedical systems. Members of the group regularly publish in leading international journals such as IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. Recent research projects include 3D point cloud compression, perceptual image coding with just noticeable difference, logo watermarking with the wavelet transform modulus maxima, medical image classification using robust radiomics texture features, application of the Feature Selective Validation method in computational electromagnetics, partial discharge modelling and on-line location methods, and channel modelling for high-speed train wireless communication systems. The group has three specialised laboratories:

1) The Communications Laboratory hosts systems for network simulation, channel coding, video compression, and video transmission.

2) Physical Layer Laboratory is the home to Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing, data cable design and analysis, antenna system design, and RF measurements equipment.  It also houses a 5 x 3 x 2.3 m reverberation chamber, a parallel plate transmission line and a host of equipment for EMC, shielding effectiveness, together with other electromagnetic and communications channel testing. The physical layer laboratory contributes to International Standards in these areas.

3) IR Thermal Measurements Laboratory houses a state-of-the-art Quantum Focus infra-red (IR) microscope, with its capability extended by proprietary IR micro-sensor technology. Research and commercial work are undertaken in thermal mapping of all types of electronic devices (MEMS, MMIC, PHOTONIC, DISRETE etc) including devices for high reliability satellite applications.

Members of the group have leadership roles in learned societies and professional bodies (e.g., Professor Alistair Duffy is on the Board of Directors of the International Wire and Cable and the President of the IEEE EMC Society) and serve on the Editorial Boards of top journals. The Head of the Group is Professor Raouf Hamzaoui.

Solid Mechanics and Materials

The Solid Mechanics and Materials Research Group brings together academics from mechanics and engineering materials. This group has a strong focus on surface engineering, deformation behaviour of materials, fracture mechanics, energy storage materials, structural analysis of mechanical systems, powder-based manufacturing processes, and biomaterials and biomechanics. Members of the group serve editorial boards of scientific journals and publish regularly in leading international journals. The group has a range of facilities to support finite element analysis and simulation, materials structural analysis, tribology and corrosion research, mechanical testing and 3D printing of various materials.

Typical research projects include:

1. decoding deformation and failure mechanism of metals, composites, bio-materials under extreme loading

2. Thermal Energy Storage (TES): heat transfer, thermodynamics and kinetics of Phase Change Materials (PCM) and Thermo-Chemical Materials (TCM)

3. welding, corrosion, powder technology, fatigue, fracture mechanics and electronics packaging

4. the influence of material properties and processing parameters on powder-air interactions during powder processing operations

5. developing a pervasive digital manufacturing approaches, focused on sustainable manufacturing for fabricating custom-specific prosthetics and orthotics

6. Surface engineering for enhanced tribological, corrosion resistant and biomedical applications

7. tribological, electrochemical and tribo-electrochemical of surface engineered materials.

Non-linear flight dynamics

This group is mostly focused on aerodynamics modelling and flight dynamics in extended flight envelope for prediction of the Loss-of-Control In flight (LOC-I), design of active flight envelope protection systems and also pilot training for upset prevention and recovery using modern flight simulators. The research interests spread from tests in wind tunnels to computational methods for aerodynamic prediction in separated flow conditions. The Head of the Group is Professor Mikhail Goman.