Areas of expertise



Prior to commencing in the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing at Cranfield University, Dr. Vijay Kumar Thakur was working as a Staff Scientist in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University, U.S.A (2013-2016). Some of his other prior significant appointments include being a Research Scientist in Temasek Laboratories at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2009-2012) and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at LHU–Taiwan. He did his post-doctoral study in Materials Science & Engineering at Iowa State University and received Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry (2009) at the National Institute of Technology. He received his B.Sc. (Chemistry, Physics & Mathematics); B.Ed. and M.Sc. degree in Organic Chemistry from the Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, India.

In his academic career, he has published more than 100 SCI journal research articles in the field of chemical sciences/materials science and holds one United States patent. Among these, 10 of his research papers have been highlighted as "Highly Cited Papers"  in Web of Science (less than 1% of published papers receive this ranking) while 3 papers have been highlighted as "Hot Papers" (Hot papers are selected by virtue of being cited among the top one-tenth of one percent-0.1%) in a current bimonthly period in Web of Science).

He has also published 33 books and 35 book chapters on the advanced state-of-the-art of polymer science/materials science/nanotechnology with numerous publishers.

Research interests include the synthesis and processing of bio-based polymers, composites; nanostructured materials, hydrogels, polymer micro/nanocomposites, nanoelectronic materials, novel high dielectric constant materials, engineering nanomaterials, electrochromic materials, green synthesis of nanomaterials, and surface functionalization of polymers/nanomaterials. Application aspects range from automotive to aerospace, energy storage, water purification and biomedical fields.

Current activities

In his academic career, Vijay has been intimately involved in numerous research and editorial activities bridging various disciplines of Science & Engineering.

Research Activities:

Research work in Vijay’s laboratory spans the disciplines of Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering as well as all aspects of Polymers and Composite materials.  Some of his most recent research work includes but not limited to:

  • Bio-Renewable Materials: Wood/ Natural Cellulose Fibres, Bio-Resins and Utilization of Waste Biomass for Practical Uses

  • Additive Manufacturing of Polymers and Composites

  • Multifunctional Polymer Composites & Nanocomposites: Self-repairing, Structural Composites, Evaluation of Materials using Experimental Mechanics, Rheology, Thermal, Spectroscopic and Microscopic Analysis.

  • Nanoelectronic Materials: Novel High Dielectric Constant and Electrochromic Materials for Energy Storage

  • Green Synthesis of Nanomaterials & Surface Functionalization of  Polymers/ Nanomaterials

  • Hydrogels: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications in Water Purification and Biomedical

  • Membranes: Sustainable Membrane Materials for Applications in Water Purification, Biomedical and Energy Storage.

  • Nanofiber Production and Application in Biomaterials  and Smart Textiles

  • Composites for Extreme Environments including High-Temperature

  • Aerospace Materials and Manufacturing Technology

Actively Looking for Highly Motivated and Self Supported PhD Students & Postdocs

Editorial Activities:

Vijay is an editorial board member of several international journals, as well as a member of scientific bodies around the globe.

Book Series Editor:

Springer -Gels Horizon: From Science to Smart Materials

Elsevier- Polymers and Fibers

Grant Review Panels ( Governmental Agencies & Educational Institutions)

Academic Advisory Panel, Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (UK)

Reviewer, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (UK)

Reviewer, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (USA)

Reviewer, Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) (SOUTH AFRICA)

Reviewer, National Science Centre (Narodowe Centrum Nauki – NCN) (POLAND)

Reviewer, FONDECYT Regular 2017 grant competition, an initiative of the Chilean    

                  National Science and Technology Commission (CONICYT - Chile) (CHILE)

Reviewer, Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (RPF), CYPRUS

Reviewer, German Federal funding program  (GERMANY)

Reviewer, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (USA)

Reviewer, Austrian Science Fund (FWF) (AUSTRIA)

Reviewer, Singapore National Science Foundation (SINGAPORE)

Reviewer,  Research Proposal Assessments of Portuguese Foundation for Science and

                  Technology (PORTUGAL)

Reviewer,  Research Proposal Assessments of Science & Engineering Research Board,



Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Allen K, Grewell D, Thakur VK & Kessler MR (2014) Bio-based elastomers from cationic/free radical polymerization of soybean oil. In: 72nd Annual Technical Conference of the Society of Plastics Engineers: The Plastics Conference, ANTEC 2014, Las Vegas, 28 April 2014.
  • Lee PS, Lin MF, Thakur VK & Ma J (2012) Flexible high performance capacitors for portable power systems. In: 243rd National Spring Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, CA, 25-29 March 2012.