Advanced Materials and Impact Dynamics

Research work in the fields of Advanced Materials and Impact Dynamics is carried out in the following areas:

  1. Advanced composite materials and structures
  2. Metamaterials, novel materials for photonics, materials for nano-antennas
  3. Impact dynamics


Various aspects and applications of advanced composite materials in the aerospace, civil infrastructure, oil and gas, high-end machines, antennas and marine industries are investigated by the Advanced Composite Research Unit (ACRU) members. The research topics and projects include development of new structural design and analysis methods, experimental characterisation of new materials, studies of the structural performance and manufacturing effects. Current research topics include Composite structural design and optimisation; Composite manufacture; Fracture and fatigue; Computational mechanics (nonlinear numerical, thermal and thermal-mechanical, progressive damage and buckling analyses); Mechanical characterisation and experimental diagnostics of polymer matrix composites and structures; Impact testing and modelling; Composite sandwich panels; Composite lattice structures. The Unit is chaired by Professor Evgeny Morozov. More information can be found at the Unit’s webpage.

Research group led by Dr Haroldo Hattori is working on optical devices having dimensions ranging from hundreds of nanometres to few micrometres. This involves development of new nano-antennas that can handle higher energy densities, new metamaterials with features smaller than the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave that can scan radar signals, and novel saturable absorbers for Q-switched fibre lasers based on novel nano-materials (e.g. graphene oxide, few layers tungsten dissulfide and manganese dioxide nano-particles).

The research work coordinated by Professor Paul Hazell includes:

  • Crashworthiness and energy absorbing mechanisms
  • Penetration mechanisms
  • Optimizing lightweight protective structures
  • Shock propagation in condensed matter
  • Fracture and spall at high-rate loading
  • Blast and the structural response to blast loading
  • The response of structures to earthquakes


The main challenge for the researcher working in this field is often observing and measuring events that occur in relatively short time-scales. Frequently, it is necessary to resort to Finite Element techniques to inform on the physical mechanisms.


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