Research Group: Materials Engineering and Structural Integrity

Research Group: Materials Engineering and Structural Integrity

About the group

Our research in Materials Engineering and Structural Integrity builds on our historical research strengths at Coventry and adds new research teams through investment and growth.

We aim to be the research partner of choice for key industry sectors including manufacturing, aerospace, power generation, marine and maritime, and oil and gas. We bring value to our partners by adding value, effecting knowledge transfer, generating intellectual property and fostering new technologies. This is underpinned by our expertise in Metrology, Advanced Experimentation, Residual Stress Analysis, Structural Integrity, and proven models of effective collaboration with academic peers and industrial partners from all over the world.

Our expertise lies in the successful delivery of research into materials and structural integrity for enhanced product performance. Our key research themes include:

  • Advanced analytical, numerical modelling, and experimentation methods

  • Non-destructive evaluation using evolutionary computing techniques

  • Residual stress measurement and stress engineering

  • Structural integrity methods for new materials made by advanced manufacturing processes

Meet the team

 Prof.Michael Fitzpatrick

Prof. Michael Fitzpatrick (Group leader)

Aerospace and nuclear materials, residual stress analysis, fatigue & fracture and forensic engineering

 Prof. Xiang Zhang Thumbnail

Prof. Xiang Zhang

Structural integrity & durability, metallic, composites and welded & additive manufactured alloys

 Prof. Alex Chroneos

Prof. Alex Chroneos

Atomistic modelling, SOFC, Nano-electronics, batteries and diffusion


Dr. James Griffin

Signal processing and NDT


Dr. David Parfitt

Advanced materials, materials modelling and nuclear fuel and cladding

 Dr. Kashif Khan Thumbnail

Dr. Kashif Khan

Composites, impact damage; metallics, residual stress, HCF, LSP and the effect of texture

 Dr. A. Muhammad Khan Thumbnail

Dr. A. Muhammad Khan

Composites: process modelling and design; low cost automotive composites

 Dr. Stuart Lemanski Thumbnail

Dr. Stuart Lemanski

Composite materials and FEA

 Dr. Stavros Christopoulos Thumbnail

Dr. Stavros Christopoulos

Multi-scale materials modelling

 Dr. Bilal Ahmed Thumbnail

Dr. Bilal Ahmed

Residual stress analysis and Contour method

 Dr. Jino Mathew Thumbnail

Dr. Jino Mathe

Modelling, artificial intelligence; neural network modelling and mitigation of weld residual stress

 Dr. Niall Smyth Thumbnail

Dr. Niall Smyth

Mechanical testing, fatigue & fracture mechanics, residual stress analysis and FEA

 Dr. Abdul Syed Thumbnail

Dr. Abdul Syed

Additive manufactured alloys, residual stress measurements and mechanical testing

 Dr. Nicolas Kelaidis Thumbnail

Dr. Nicolas Kelaidis

Materials physics and modelling


  • NEWAM is a new EPSRC funded Programme Grant “New Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (NEWAM)” on large area additive manufacturing of new generation of metallic alloys for the aerospace, automotive and energy industries at much reduced production costs and materials waste, offering superior material performance through process innovation and material science and engineering;
  • NOMAD H2020 project, entitled “Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) System for the Inspection of Operation-Induced Material Degradation in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs)” looks at combining a range of non-destructive testing capabilities for the detection of embrittlement during the exposure of irradiation. This work is specifically focused towards Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs Type II and III) to ensure more dynamic and accurate measurements are made in terms of extension to life. Currently, due to stringent safety requirements most structure integrity safety life limits are very much conservative and may mean the shutting down of perfectly healthy structure(s). NOMAD aims to give more localised specific RPV measurements that can give better decision tools to extension/shutdown criteria. Coventry’s participation looks into the use of Barkhausen Noise coupled with Acoustic Emission to detect embrittlement and to what confidence.
  • International Joint Research Centre for the Safety of Nuclear Energy. Safety cases for plant life extensions have to be based on detailed knowledge of the “state of the plant” after long-term operation; this includes the “state of material” (e.g. after irradiation, thermal ageing, thermo-mechanical cycling and residual stress). Intelligent methods based on machine learning can be used to support the safety of existing nuclear energy systems by predicting properties that quantity the state of materials in operating nuclear power plants. The objective of this work is to develop intelligent systems to improve the structural integrity assessments of safety critical structures thereby ensuring economic and safe management of nuclear power plants.
  • The Researchers in Residence (RiR) project is funded by EPSRC to spend research visits in WMG, being part of High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, to support a cross Catapult Large Scale Project (LSP) in Composites. The project aims to augment the current LSP High Efficiency Preforming (HEP) activities of structural composites through development and application of material characterisation methods and modelling tools to enable the correlation of full component simulations with experiments.
  • The Australia Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships Awards is a prestigious program offered by the Australian Government to support high-achieving individuals to undertake study, research and professional development overseas and gain international experience. Dr James Griffin will be using this fellowship to support and industrialise such ongoing research efforts into larger efforts forging international partnerships and cross collaboration.