Contact Dr Yigeng Xu

Areas of expertise

  • Aerospace Structures
  • Aircraft Design
  • Airworthiness
  • Aerospace Materials


Dr Xu received BEng and MEng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Zhejiang University of Technology, China. He obtained his PhD from the University of Southampton working on damage tolerance characterisation of high strength airframe aluminium alloys.

Prior to his current appointment as Reader in Structural Integrity and Course Director of MSc in Advanced Lightweight and Composite Structures at Cranfield University, Dr Xu was Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Structures at the University of Hertfordshire and Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Design Engineer at Airbus UK. He was also a visiting scholar and post-doctoral research assistant at the University of Oxford and had nine years teaching experience at the Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, China. He is the Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (MRAeS) UK, and the member of the International Scientific Committee of the International Conference of Fracture and Damage Mechanics.

Dr Xu has over 30 years teaching and research experience on structural integrity of lightweight materials and structures and developed an in-house structural integrity method (SIM1014) for Airbus. He has carried out following funded projects:

Application of laser peening towards improving fatigue performance of friction stir welded fuselage structures, funded by EPSRC & Airbus, 2019 - 2024;

Structural Rig – Pre-Work of HEAVEN, funded by Rolls-Royce Plc, 2022 - 2023;

PIPS - Powerplant integration with platform systems, funded by Rolls-Royce Plc & Innovate UK, 2016 - 2021;

Enhancing research based learning and teaching on advanced materials and manufacturing technologies for aerospace sectors in India and UK, funded by Royal Academy of Engineering, 2019 - 2021;

Kinetic energy recovery of the aircraft when wheels are on the ground, funded by Airbus UK, 2019 - 2020;

Development of a novel, affordable neonate/infant transport incubator, funded by Innovate UK/mOm Incubators, 2017 - 2019;

Enhancement of the damage tolerance capacity of toughened composite laminates, funded by SATM, Cranfield University, 05/2016 - 04/2019;

Measurement assisted tolerancing of large aircraft assemblies for adhesive bonding, funded by GKN Aerospace, 10/2015 - 09/2018;

Effect of ice accretion on the dynamic behaviour of wind turbine, funded by Albalqa's Applied University in Jordan and Narvik University College in Norway, 01/2012 - 01/2016;

Impact analysis of an amphibian aircraft landing on water, funded by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia, 07/2012 - 07/2016;

Application of electromagnetic fields for enhancement of structural metal performance (EMFforMET), EU FP-7, 07/2011 - 06/2013;

Enhanced damage tolerance design for aerospace industry, funded by India UK Staff Exchange Programme, 12/2012 - 01/2013;

The use of inverse methods in determining applied dynamic loads on aerospace structures, funded by MBDA UK Ltd and EPSRC, 10/2008 - 09/2011;

Load sequence effect and enhanced life prediction of airframe structures under spectrum loading, funded by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland Memorial Fund & Airbus UK, 10/2005 - 05/2009.

Research opportunities

PhD opportunities on following topics:

Numerical simulation and practical development of hybrid metal-composite joints

Laser shock peening for optimised fatigue performance of friction stir welded structures

Enhanced durability and integrity of composite laminates toughened with thermoplastic veils

Commingled natural and synthetic fibres with thermoplastic resin for sustainable lightweight components

Additively manufactured hybrid metallic components for optimised durability and damage tolerance

Structural health monitoring using digital twin and machine learning techniques

Current activities

Dr Xu is the module leader of 'Thin-walled Structures' and 'Structural Stability' at Cranfield University. He is the course director of 'Introduction to Aircraft Stress Analysis' and 'Design, Durability and Integrity of Composite Aircraft Structures' for industrial professionals.

Dr Xu's research has been focused on the integrity and durability of advanced lightweight materials and structures. His areas of expertise include fatigue and damage tolerance analysis of metallic and composite structures, additive manufactured hybrid material systems for optimized structural performance, aerospace structure design and assembly, and computational method developing for structural health monitoring. Currently, he has been working on following funded projects:

Gear mass reduction with hybrid materials and structures, funded by Airbus Operations Ltd, 2024 - 2025;

Ultra efficient propulsion systems for short and short-medium range aircraft, funded by Horizon Europe, 2023 - 2027;

Economic feasibility of developing an enhanced electric compact tractor for family farming, funded by Royal Academy of Engineering, 2022 - 2024.





GKN Aerospace

EC (FP7)

Innovate UK/mOm Incubators

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland Memorial Fund


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers