One of the greatest challenges faced by aerospace, automotive, energy/power plant manufacturers and operators is how to reduce total life cost and environmental impact of their products. This might be achieved by making these structures lighter, more durable, more reliable, or cheaper to manufacture, maintain and recycle.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Structural manufacture and optimisation - assessment of manufacturing processes and performance of existing/new structures to find new, efficient and low cost techniques and extended functional capability.

  • Fatigue and fracture - practical methods for meeting and experimental assessment of the durability and damage tolerance requirements of modern structures.

  • Damage tolerant design and manufacture - composite and hybrid structures, optimised for dynamic (including impact resistance) and static loads and weight.

  • Fault detection and health monitoring - structural health monitoring and damage detection using built-in sensors and smart structure concepts to optimise through life application and improvements in design.

  • Crash and impact response - development and application of methods for modelling of structures and materials under extreme loading. Experimental characterisation of structures and materials under extreme loading. Design and development of impact resistant/crashworthy structures. 

We work closely with industry, non-government organisations and government agencies. Our clients include Airbus, BAE Systems, BASF, Bombardier, Boeing, Ford, GKN, Hexcel, Lola, Scott Bader and SAE International.

About our research

Our greatest strength is the ability to combine the academic rigour and long-term perspective of a university with the commercial and business focus of industry.

Our excellence in strategic and applied research has enabled us to make significant contributions to the world around us for over 60 years. We address real life challenges and focus on research that is of strategic and practical importance.

We provide a supportive research community for students and our academic work is regularly published in journal article, book or thesis form.

Working with us

Business can work with us on research of all scales from sponsorship of MSc student projects to exploratory studies extending over several years.

We have a wealth of facilities and resources at our disposal to provide tailored solutions to a variety of problems involving composite structural design and manufacture.

We can provide concept design, modelling and test capabilities from preliminary to detailed (TRL1 to TRL6). An exciting part of our work involves exploring new structural concepts such as blended wing body for aircraft.