Department of
Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering

Image of Phill Dickens

Phill Dickens

Professor of Manufacturing, Faculty of Engineering



Phill is a pioneering researcher in Additive Manufacturing (AM), having founded the original Rapid Manufacturing Research Group at the University of Nottingham in 1991. After building up and developing future leadership of the group, which returned to Nottingham (led by Professor Richard Hague) in 2013, Phill remains actively engaged in AM research at the University of Nottingham, where he specialises in processes and materials specific to Additive Manufacturing.

He was the first academic worldwide to investigate multi-pass welding to make 3D metal shapes. He was also the first to show the technical feasibility of injection moulding into stereolithography tool cavities and this is often used by companies to make prototype tooling.

His work with Richard Hague in 1994 led to a patent for a stereolithography build style that is now used worldwide to make patterns for investment casting. This was initially for prototype quantities but has now grown to large production quantities with tens of thousands of castings per year.

He was the first to show in 1997 how Rapid Prototyping could be used as a process for manufacturing end-use parts and, importantly, also demonstrated the economic viability of the approach. He pushed this concept through many papers and presentations internationally which was later taken up by academics and industry worldwide and has become known as Additive Manufacturing.

Phill was Lead author of the BIS Foresight future of Manufacturing Project section Evidence Paper on 'Significant trends shaping future manufacturing technology' in 2013. Through this he became aware of the need for the UK to develop a strategy for exploiting Additive Manufacturing. He instigated the work on this strategy with colleagues at Rolls Royce plc, GKN, the MTC, TWI, Innovate UK and Cambridge University in early 2014 and has since then been a member of the steering group for AM UK. The strategy was finally published this year and launched at the TCT exhibition where he presented it to a press conference.

In 2015 with colleagues he formed a spin out company (Added Scientific Limited) which advances AM technology for other companies in the Additive Manufacturing supply chain. The work involves material and process development, design for Additive Manufacturing, training and strategy development. Most of the companies are international household names.

Phill has led international government missions to Japan and been a members of others to the USA and China, published widely, given invited international keynote speeches at the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Rapid and AMUG and is a consultant to industry. In recognition of his international esteem in the field of Additive Manufacturing, he was the first recipient of the International Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Excellence (FAME) Award in 2009.

Consistently, over many years, Phill has obtained multiple grants to support research work ranging from small activities to multi-million pound research centres. Most work has involved multi-disciplinary activity with national and international academic collaborators and supported by industrial partners. He has particular strengths in identifying new opportunities and developing a strategy to exploit them that usually involves building a team which he then mentors so that they become leaders in their own right. He has a proven track record in raising research funds, in undertaking world leading research, in developing new initiatives and delivering to industry, government and the research bodies. He also has experience of university senior management and as a Director of two companies.

Prof. Dickens is part of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group.

Expertise Summary

Additive Manufacturing processes amd materials, strategy development.

Research Summary

Phill Dickens is currently undertaking research into a range of processes for manufacturing parts with multiple materials using additive techniques. These are predominantly based around jetting… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Phill Dickens is currently undertaking research into a range of processes for manufacturing parts with multiple materials using additive techniques. These are predominantly based around jetting processes.

Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 95 14081