Contact Dr Sue Impey

Areas of expertise

  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Manufacturing of Functional Materials
  • Aerospace Materials
  • Nanomaterials
  • Smart Materials
  • Surface Engineering


Dr Susan Impey joined Cranfield from the chemical industry. She was awarded an MSc in Materials Science and a PhD in Metallurgical Engineering for work in aluminium alloy oxidation and recycling. Since this time, Dr Impey has conducted research for the Materials Department into oxidation and corrosion aspects of liquid metals for the casting industry, high temperature coatings for the aerospace industry, and ferroelectric ceramics and thin films for the microelectronics manufacturing industry.

Since 1995, Dr Impey has been responsible for the management of analytical equipment for surface and materials characterisation at Cranfield University and all resources including staff. She provided support to the University and a service to industry in materials characterisation and failure analysis using analytical methods. Her research interests also include the use and development of analytical techniques using surface analysis and electron microscopy.

Appointed to the lecturing staff in 2003, and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009, she undertakes teaching and academic activities. Dr Impey was appointed as Course Director for the MSc Advanced Materials in 2003 and additionally Course Director for the MSc Microsystems and Nanotechnology in 2008. She is currently Programme Director for the Manufacturing Technology and Materials MSc courses, developing and supporting five MSc programmes in Aerospace Materials (from 2014/15), Advanced Materials, Applied Nanotechnology (formerly Microsystems and Nanotechnology), Welding Engineering and Manufacturing Technology and Management (from 2012/13).

Current activities

Dr Susan Impey has over 20 years experience and expertise in surface science and engineering. Specific activities include surface modification (protection and corrosion control) of lightweight aerospace materials (aluminium and magnesium) and steels; development of oxide coatings including printable pastes and thin films for smart coating designs. These include high temperature, electrochromic, thermochromic and solar applications and sensors. She supervises PhD, MPhil, MSc by research and MSc projects.

Sue provides technical support to the University and external clients in materials characterisation and surface analysis

Dr Impey coordinates the design and delivery of five masters courses which address recent technical developments in aerospace materials, advanced materials, nanotechnology, welding engineering and manufacturing technology. Sue is also a module leader across these MSc courses. She lectures in research techniques and learning styles, materials characterisation, electrochromic, thermochromic, shape memory materials and magnesium alloys and intermetallic materials.


  • Sensata
  • Tata Steel
  • Man Diesel and Turbo
  • Wartsila
  • Qioptiq
  • Rolls-Royce

Recent clients also include:

  • EPSRC (CTA and IMRC)
  • MOD
  • HMGCC 
  • DSTL
  • Airbus UK
  • Rexam
  • Thales
  • Saint-Gobain
  • Thin Metal Films Ltd


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Impey S (eds), (2003) Symposium on electrochromic materials and applications held at the 203rd meeting of the electrochemical society.