Structures, Materials & Manufacturing (S2M)

We are enabling an in-depth understanding of fundamental and applied aspects of functional materials, composite systems, structural health monitoring, production processes and technologies.

Our focus on complex real-world challenges means we work with companies including:

  • BAE Systems
  • Qinetiq
  • DSTL
  • ESI
  • 3D Systems (CRDM)
  • Quadra Solutions Ltd
  • Croft Filters Ltd

A significant portfolio of industrially-driven collaboration in the fields of engineering design and advanced manufacturing, especially with SMEs.

Our work is also enabled through the Lancaster Product Development Unit and - in the area of sustainable & green technologies - by the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation.

Our main research areas include:

  • smart sensors for structural integrity and durability monitoring
  • composite materials and structures
  • component design and optimisation
  • additive manufacturing and laser-based production techniques
  • multiscale modelling of materials and production processes


Group Leader

Professor Jianqiao Ye

Casual - Course Consultant, Chair in Mechanical Engineering

Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 592377 B09, B - Floor, Engineering Building

Academic Staff

View by Category

Chemical Engineering, Doctorate Centre in Nuclear Engineering, Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 593526

Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre

Centre for Global Eco-innovation , Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 593086 D07, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 594826 B07, B - Floor, Engineering Building

Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre

+44 (0)1524 594258 D08, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Energy, Energy Lancaster, Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 593700 Engineering Building

Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 593547

Centre for Global Eco-innovation , Lancaster Product Development Unit, Structures, Materials and Manufacturing, Work and Health Forum

+44 (0)1524 594384 D28, D - Floor, Engineering Building

Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre

+44 (0)1524 592439

Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 594070 B13, B - Floor, Engineering Building

+44 (0)1524 594671 B005, B - Floor, Science and Technology

Centre for Global Eco-innovation , Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 593088

Structures, Materials and Manufacturing

+44 (0)1524 592377 B09, B - Floor, Engineering Building


Project Highlights


Energy-harvesting powered wireless monitoring systems based on integrated smart composite structures and energy-aware architecture

The research is part of a wider £1 million project led by BAE Systems called En-come, that aims to develop an aircraft able to stay in the air for long periods of time.

The researchers will use sensors made from macro fibre composites adhered to the surface of aircraft wing panels to collect vibrations in the wings. Initial research will focus on analysing the structure of the aircraft using simulations of various structural forms and vibration spectrums. They will then be able to estimate the amount of energy that can be “harvested” by looking at the location, geometry of the sensor and the distribution of the energy.

Funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Mechanical Contraction

Multi-scale approaches to mechanical contraction and electrical wave conduction in a 3D model of human atria during fibrillation

The project is to tackle one of the grand challenges of integrative and systems biology that aims at predicting the behaviour of an organ under integrated actions of molecules, ions, cells and tissues operating at multi-physical scales.

The aim of this project is to tackle these challenges for the human atria (the upper chambers of the heart), malfunction of that cause morbidity and mortality. Specifically, we propose to:

  • develop a new generation 3D anatomical model of the atria with coupled electrical dynamics and mechanical kinematics in its microstructure
  • develop a new family of numerically stable and efficient algorithms based on finite element method (FEM) and particularly on discrete element methods (DEM), and compare their advantages and disadvantages in efficiency and stability
  • using the newly developed 3D model of human atria to quantitatively predict the functional impact of some gene mutations, pharmacological interventions and ageing on atrial electrical and mechanic dynamics under normal and atrial fibrillation (AF) conditions

Funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Multiscale Modelling

Multiscale modelling of failure in fibre reinforced composites

The aim of the research is to enhance understanding of fibre reinforced composites failure by through a damage simulation. The proposed technique is equally applicable to other engineering materials, including biological materials where cells are the basic units.

Fiber reinforced composites are extremely susceptive to micro damages, resulting in complex failure of their constituents and interfaces. The complex multi-scale failure process develops simultaneously on all length scales. Current models all failed to capture this process, resulting in overly conservative design. A new modelling strategy is followed here by taking materials as assemblies of elementary micro-scale particles with macroscopic continuum behaviour. The new model gives the most significant advantage over the traditional methodologies: challenging problems, such as inhomogeneity,  singularities, moving boundaries and fragmentation, can all be dealt with due to the discontinuous representation of the microstructure of composite materials.

Funding is by QinetiQ and PhD projects.

Kinetic Energy Conversion

Metamodel assisted design optimization of piezoelectric flex transducer for maximal kinetic energy conversion

Optimal designs are achieved sing Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) on metamodels generated with Genetic Programming from optimal Latin hypercube design of experiments.

Energy Harvesting Devices (EHD) have been widely used to generate electrical power from, e.g. the bio-kinetic energy of human body movement. To further improve the efficiency of the device, optimal design of the PFT for maximum output power subjected to given constraints is investigated using Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) on metamodels generated with Genetic Programming from optimal Latin hypercube design of experiments. 

Semi-submersible Platform Design

Modelling and design of deep drafted paired columns Semisubmersible platform and oil/gas flow in the pipes in deep sea

The research aims at paired column semisubmersible platform design for rough weather conditions, considering recommended standards such as DNV and American Bureau of Shipping. The research will also investigate the design of risers using alternative materials.

Deep draft semisubmersibles hulls systems are mainly used for designing drilling and production units in the oil and gas industry and the recently developed paired column semisubmersible platform for dry tree use has been added to the fleet. The unique arrangement of columns of this hull formation creates flow circulation within the hull structure which in turn generates an uneven drag around the hull. These circulations coupled with the wave loading creates an unusual loading on the columns which result in additional deformations of the hull structure. Risers are conduits that are used for the transportation of fluid materials from the seafloor to production and drilling facilities on the water surface, as well as from these facilities to the seafloor. They are susceptible to pressure and motion in the sea as well as corrosion.

This project is partly funded by NDDC.

All Projects

Post-consumer waste streams and the reworking/recycling of mattresses
01/10/2018 → 30/09/2019

Smart condition monitoring and control for smart grids
01/07/2018 → 31/12/2019

Dynamics and optimal design of engine valve springs
01/01/2018 → 30/12/2020

Additive Manufacturing - Technologies and Key Applications
25/09/2017 → 24/09/2018

Research on adaptability of additive manufacturing technologies to the agricultural machinery design and manufacturing industry: know-how exchange activity
29/12/2016 → 28/12/2017

Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) of Electrodes for Fundamental Neuroscience
03/10/2016 → 30/06/2017

Hybrid and Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing for End-Use Industrial Applications
01/10/2016 → 31/03/2017

Advanced Manufacturing Capital for Skills Development & Employer Engagement
01/09/2016 → 30/09/2021

Hydrodynamics and mechanics of composite risers in oil/gas applications
01/10/2015 → 30/09/2019

Enhancing biomass gasification properties using embedded waste water derived catalysts
01/09/2015 → 31/07/2017

Development of a Universal Slicing and Scanning Engine
01/07/2015 → 31/03/2017

Spatial Distribution of Blood Flow in Peripheral Vein Network by Non-Invasive Near-Infrared Imaging
01/07/2015 → 31/07/2017

IS 2015 - High end capture and reproduction of cultural artefacts
01/06/2015 → …

Deformation Behaviour of Woven Fibre Elastomeric Composites
01/10/2014 → 31/03/2019

En-ComeE: Energy Harvesting Powered Wireless Monitoring Systems based on Integrated Smart Composite Structures and Energy-Aware Architecture
01/04/2014 → 31/08/2017

3D modelling by computer fluid dynamics of local interactions of momentum, mass and heat transfers with catalyst deactivation in gas-solid catalytic reactors of low aspect ratios
01/11/2013 → 31/10/2017

Hydrogen-Water Isotopic Exchange in a Trickle Bed Column by Process Simulation and 3D Computer Fluid Dynamics Modelling
01/11/2013 → 31/10/2017

Visualization of local temperature and concentration inside packed bed reactors by near-infrared tomography
01/11/2013 → 31/10/2017

Multi-scale Approaches to Mechanical Contraction and Electrical Wave Conduction in A 3D Model of Human Atria during Fibrillation
01/02/2013 → 31/07/2016

Development and characterisation of novel structural composites from recycled materials
01/10/2012 → 30/09/2016

Optimising the performance of particulate adsorbents
01/10/2012 → 30/09/2015

Intelligent and integrated condition monitoring of distributed generation systems
16/01/2012 → 15/05/2013