This course will provide you with current, industry-relevant knowledge, to address the scientific and technological demands of maintaining an advanced and economically viable functional composites materials and device industry. The industrial-oriented sessions in this course will be focused on topics including: self-healing composites; functional nanocomposites; functional properties and characterisation; scale-up of processing and manufacturing techniques; cure kinetics of functional materials; energy harvesting; piezoelectric; dielectric; coatings and corrosion.

Functional materials are a new class of materials that possess some native functional properties, and not materials with just load-bearing capabilities. The advanced functional materials can be segmented by product types into: advanced functional composites, nanomaterials, advanced functional ceramics, advanced energy materials, and conductive polymers, among others. These functional materials find applications in a host of end user applications.

Functional composites harness the desirable properties of several materials and combine them to produce a new functional material. Functional composites are extensively used in electronics, building and construction, automotive, marine and aerospace applications. They are also used to manufacture pipes, tanks and other consumer goods.

The market for functional composites materials is increasing day by day and the largest market for advanced functional materials include the Asia Pacific region, followed by North America and Europe. The demand for the different kinds of functional materials in these regions is high due to the presence of manufacturing economies. Automotive, aerospace, and electronics account for the bulk of the demand. China, India, Japan and South Korea are the main markets at present. The Asia Pacific market is expected to witness the highest growth.

Cranfield University Composites Centre (Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre) has more than 20 years of experience of research, development and teaching across composites materials, composites manufacture, process control and material/structure performance. The centre currently delivers to an international audience of postgraduate students and industrial clients (Airbus, AkzoNobel, Bentley, Bombardier, Hexcel, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Scott Bader, RedBull, Petronas, etc). The centre has unique materials processing, compounding, filament making, nanomaterials production and composites characterisation facilities. We are able to deliver bespoke training courses covering a broad range of composites related topics, via online or in-person attendance.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationThree days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,100 Concessions available

Course structure

This is an intense three-day course with learning exercises including lectures, practical sessions, world-class laboratory visits and group sessions. All teaching material will be provided in advance.

What you will learn

You will:

  • Learn about functional materials and acquire basic knowledge of different ceramics and polymer based functional composite materials.
  • Understand the synthesis and characterisation principles, capabilities, and limitations of state-of-the-art methods.
  • Learn computational tools paired with a detailed discussion of experimental techniques to analyse and understand the different characteristics of functional composite materials.
  • Learn how to use the different technologies to predict and measure the electrical, optical, thermal and  mechanical properties, such as strength, toughness, deformability, and elasticity  properties.
  • Be able to demonstrate the surface engineering of polymers and nanomaterials using  new methodologies.
  • Be able to critically evaluate and apply the use of functional materials for advanced technological applications.
  • Learn about the function of polymer composites in high performance applications.
  • Gain hands-on experience with a variety of equipment; use this equipment to prepare samples, post-process the parts, and study the results.
  • Understand deterioration mechanisms occurring in processing and assembly of functional composite materials.

Core content

  • Introduction to functional materials: functional polymers, ceramics, semiconductors and composites
  • Synthesis and characterisation of functional composite materials
  • Theoretical modelling/computer simulations of functional composite materials
  • Development of functional materials using new and green approaches  
  • Energy materials
  • Smart materials
  • Graphene and its applications
  • Self-healing materials
  • Organic coatings and corrosion
  • Integration of functional materials for electronic, aerospace and automotive applications 
  • Advanced characterisation of functional materials
  • Visit Composite Manufacturing and Surface Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute 

Who should attend

This course will be of interest to scientists, engineers, managers, and policy makers from different industries (particularly automotive and aerospace), who are working in the areas of functional composites materials (design, development, manufacturing, or testing) and are interested in understanding the selection of functional materials, as well as their structure and performance.

It will also appeal to anyone working in materials or in an industry that builds on a functional material interaction platform.

There are no prerequisites for the course.


20% discount for Cranfield Alumni. 
10% discount when registering 3 or more delegates, from the same organisation at the same time.  

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road 
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.