Department of
Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

Image of Katy Voisey

Katy Voisey

Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering



Dr Katy Voisey is part of the Advanced Materials Research Group.

Expertise Summary

  • Laser cutting.
  • Laser surface modification: laser melting, laser alloying of preplaced coatings, laser texturing, laser induced solid state transformations, laser modification of coatings.
  • Corrosion testing.
  • Performance and modification of thermally sprayed corrosion resistant coatings.
  • Effects of microstructural modifications on corrosion performance.

Research Summary

Katy Voisey is the Space Lead for the Institute for Aerospace Technologies.

Her current research covers the three areas of laser materials processing, corrosion and overlay coatings. The underlying theme is the relation between microstructural modifications and material performance, proper understanding of this relationship enables material engineering techniques to be used to optimise material performance.

Fibre lasers are a relatively new type of laser that produce exceptionally high quality beams that can be focussed to produce very high power densities which are expected to enhance many areas of laser processing. Our current work on fibre laser cutting is increasing the understanding of this area and producing a number of publications.

Laser processing of materials uses the laser as a highly controllable heat source to modify materials by heating, inducing melting and solid state transformations. A key advantage of the laser is that highly localised heat treatments are possible, the material surface may be heat treated with minimal heat input to the bulk material. This is especially important in some coated systems where laser modification of the coating is required without thermal damage of the substrate. Laser surface melting can be used to seal porous thermally sprayed coating, improving their performance as a barrier to corrosive species. As well as eliminating porosity, laser melting generates rapidly solidified microstructures which have modified properties including corrosion performance and wear resistance. Laser surface alloying melts the entire thickness of a pre-placed coating together with a thin layer of the substrate, on resolidification a surface alloy is formed. The alloy composition can be controlled by laser processing parameters as well as the composition of the pre-placed coating. Deliberate and controlled microstructural modification by laser processing can mimic some of the microstructural features created by the thermal spraying coating deposition process. Laser microstructural modification is currently being used to help investigate the performance gap between some bulk and sprayed versions of corrosion resistant alloys.

Specific current research topics include:

  • fibre laser cutting and drilling
  • wear resistant coatings
  • the effect of microstructural modifications on corrosion resistance
  • laser induced phase transformations
  • green corrosion inhibitors

A large number of her papers are available through Nottingham's open access archive:, her orcid ID is

Recent Publications

The University of Nottingham - Space

Numerous private companies are now running profitable businesses based on exploitation of satellite data. The expansion of this sector is driving expansion of the UK space industry. The government has stated a wish for the UK's share of the global space industry to increase from 6.5% to 10% by 2030. This is estimated to produce £40B per annum in UK space related turnover.

We already have some space related activity within the university, most significantly the well established satellite applications related activities (GRACE, sat apps catapult). However there are many other aspects of the space industry where our existing relevant expertise and experience that could benefit from opportunities related to the current expansion of the UK space industry.

Current / previous space related work

Areas of expertise that could be exploited in space related work

Advanced materials (coatings, corrosion, thermal cycling, thermal barrier coatings, …..); Advanced manufacturing (robotics, intelligent automation, precision manufacturing, responsive manufacturing, laser drilling, laser cutting…); Additive manufacturing (EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing, multifunctional additive manufacturing, jetting of functionalised materials,……);

Past Research

Previous research interests include thermal barrier coatings, laser drilling, laser surface melting, laser alloying and high temperture corrosion.

Future Research

Planned future research interests are: laser peening; extension of current electrochemical measurement to include impedance spectroscopy; modelling of laser materials processing.

Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14081