Faculty of Engineering
 

Image of Halar Memon

Halar Memon

Research Fellow in Advanced Coatings Technology, Faculty of Engineering

Contact

Biography

I am currently working as a Research Fellow in Advanced Coatings Technology at the University of Nottingham. My current research is mainly focused on advanced materials for challenging applications, which include, but are not limited to, Thermal-Barrier Coatings (TBCs), Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs), and wear-resistant coatings. My current research role involves meeting deliverables for multiple industrial projects and is funded by Rolls-Royce, Imerys, and Hoganas as well as an EPSRC grant in Advanced Ceramics discovery and processing (2011-15, EP/V010093/1, £2.1 M). As part of my role, I am fully trained on thermal and cold spray systems, including the UK's only suspension plasma spray using a state-of-the-art Axial III torch system. My work also extends to incorporating Machine Learning techniques (skills development along with the engineering aspects) to predict thermal spray conditions for ideal coatings based on a specific feedstock. In this context, I wrote a £34k proposal on an intelligent framework with active learning for close-loop suspension plasma spray (I-SPRAY) for an EPSRC NetworkPlus call in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing. As a Research Fellow, I have also volunteered to co-supervise two PhD students within our research group.

Prior to my Research Fellow role, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) on a FlyZero Project grant, a project backed by the UK Government, at the University of Nottingham. The project involved writing a technical report on wing icing drivers and the impacts of icing hazards for the development of concepts and ice protection approaches involved in FlyZero. In the report, I proposed several ice mitigation strategies to support zero-emission hydrogen-powered aircrafts, and their integration with new energy sources and propulsion systems for aircraft design, especially for wings and empennages. The report was published on the FlyZero website and can be downloaded via an authorised/participating organisation. During the thesis-pending year of my PhD studies, I worked as a Research Assistant for a collaborative Hermes project between the University of Nottingham and ORE Catapult, Blyth. This project was funded by the Nottingham Impact Accelerator awards. The role and funding allowed me to test the durable erosion-resistant fibre-reinforced coatings, developed during my PhD studies, at industrial testing facilities to attain a demonstrable TRL (technology readiness level) for wind energy applications. Prior to my PhD studies, I was employed as a Deputy Manager (Mechanical Engineering) at a major manufacturing company, Security Papers Ltd, based in Pakistan. I had an additional task as a Shift Incharge, which included overseeing production activities as well as the engineering maintenance side, which also involved reliability methods such as plant condition monitoring, thermography, and building (condition) surveys. I also managed several engineering projects in terms of design, site surveying, liaising with project execution contractors, and commissioning.

My PhD topic was focused on fundamental icephobicity studies, the evaluation of de-icing methods, and the development of durable low ice adhesion coatings for potential applications in the aerospace and wind energy industries. The PhD project was jointly funded by E.U. CleanSky II initiative (GAINS Project) and the University of Nottingham (full funding was awarded following a competitive process). During the course of my studies, I attended a research stay at the University of British Columbia. By the end of my PhD, my research yield contributed to total of nine journal articles, among which five were main-authored (including a collaborative paper with UBC, Canada) and four were co-authored publications. One of the main-authored publications was endorsed for its scientific novelty and highly recommended by European Coatings Magazine, a leading European journal for the coating industry (https://www.european-coatings.com/articles/2021/03/durability-enhancement-of-low-ice-adhesion-polymeric-coatings). I also worked on the design, development, and commissioning of new equipment, including an icing wind tunnel and a rotary anti-icing rig, to evaluate the icephobic performance and durability of icephobic coatings.

Apart from fully-funded PhD studies and the travel prize for my research stay, I won additionnal awards and cash prizes, and disseminated my research on numerous platforms. I stood second runner-up in a UK-wide competition, named UK Ingenium awards, in September 2019, and won a cash prize of £250. The competition was judged by leading international aerospace experts (https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/advanced-materials-research-group/news-and-events/news/amrg-student-receives-2nd-place-at-quest-global-ingenium-competition-219.aspx). Furthermore, I won the endowed Andrew Hendry Award for outstanding research contribution during my PhD studies (cash prize of £250), awarded by the University of Nottingham's Tri-Campus Awards 2021. Taking part in conferences, I disseminated my research as a speaker at the 3rd Wind Turbine Icing and Ice Prevention Forum, Berlin, in 2020 and SurfCoat Korea Conference, Incheon, in 2021.

In addition to conducting my doctoral studies, I contributed to university activities and to the wider student community. I volunteered as a Resident tutor (later promoted to Senior Resident Tutor) within Raleigh Park, St. Peters Court, and Riverside point residential hall cluster from September 2017 to September 2021 (four academic years). The residential tutor role operates within the pastoral care department offering welfare and mental health support to all students. Furthermore, I helped undergraduate students within the Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing department as well, through conducting lab demonstration classes for three consecutive years (2017-2019) and supporting students with mechanical, civil, and aerospace modules. I additionally co-supervised four MEng/BEng students with their final year projects and gave them laboratory training and support.

Expertise Summary

My current research is mainly focused on advanced materials for challenging applications, which include, but are not limited to, Thermal-Barrier Coatings (TBCs), Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs), and wear-resistant coatings. My current research role involves meeting deliverables for multiple industrial projects and is funded by Rolls-Royce, Imerys, and Hoganas as well as an EPSRC grant in Advanced Ceramics discovery and processing (2011-15, EP/V010093/1, £2.1 M). As part of my role, I am fully trained on thermal and cold spray systems, including in Suspension Plasma Spray (SPS, UK's only High efficiency, High Power Axial Injection Axial III system), low- and high-pressure Cold Spray, and High-Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) thermal spray systems.

▪ Excellent command of engineering software such as Gasturb, SolidWorks, Matlab, & ANSYS; ▪ In-depth knowledge of material and surface characterization techniques: ▫ Microstructural analysis: SEM, in-situ condensation and icing techniques, porosity evaluation, and surface profiling; ▫ Mechanical durability: Water erosion tests, specific wear resistance, CMAS resistance, thermal cycling, in-situ tensile and nanoindentation, and Shore/Micro hardness tests; ▫ Elemental characterisation: EDX, XRD, FTIR, and RAMAN.

Teaching Summary

Lab Demonstrator in Engineering (FoE, University of Nottingham)

▪ Leading lab demonstration sessions within the Mechanical, Materials, and Manufacturing department; ▪ Demonstration of material testing, thermofluids, and solid modelling (using SolidWorks) modules to first and second year mechanical, civil, and aerospace engineering students.

lecturer in Engineering (Vision West Nottinghamshire College)

▪ Development of learning materials and delivery of Engineering Materials and Communications for Engineers subjects; ▪ Assistance to improve the college's materials engineering offer, including setting up a new Materials lab.

Research Summary

▪ Development of advanced materials and coatings for challenging applications, such as high-temperature environmental and wear resistance, thermal cycling, and CMAS resistance; ▪ Preparation of the… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

▪ Development of advanced materials and coatings for challenging applications, such as high-temperature environmental and wear resistance, thermal cycling, and CMAS resistance; ▪ Preparation of the deliverables intended exclusively for industrial projects with Rolls Royce (UK), Imerys (Germany) and Hoganas (Sweden), as well as the EPSRC grant in Advanced Ceramics Discovery and Processing; ▪ Usage of coating deposition techniques including Suspension Plasma Spray (SPS, UK's only High efficiency, High Power Axial Injection Axial III system), low- and high-pressure Cold Spray, and High-Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) thermal spray systems; ▪ Incorporation of machine learning techniques using an intelligent framework with active learning for close-loop suspension plasma spray, predicting ideal spray conditions for a specific feedstock; ▪ Active involvement in writing new funding applications, with the most recent being the Horizon Products with complex functional surfaces (£6 M, trans-border academic and industrial collaborators), EPSRC UK-ROI proposal on durable, scalable functional surfaces (£1 M, trans-border academic and industrial collaborators), and an EPSRC NetworkPlus call in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing (£84k);

Past Research

▪ Development of erosion-resistant icephobic composite coatings with potential applications in aerospace and wind energy applications, funded by GAINS project, part of the E.U. CleanSky 2 Joint Technology initiative; ▪ Utilisation of advanced surface engineering and coating techniques to create durable icephobic surfaces that could minimise ice accumulation, lower ice adhesion on specific coatings, and promising erosion resistance; ▪ Expertise in surface treatment/ functionalisation, material preparation/modifications, coating processing, microstructural characterisation, and the evaluation of mechanical properties and coating durability;

▪ Development of durable erosion-resistant fibre-reinforced coatings for wind energy applications, funded by Nottingham Impact Accelerator (NIA) Hermes Award; ▪ Testing of the developed coatings at water erosion facilities in collaboration with ORE Catapult, Blyth; ▪ Achievement of a promising erosion resistance (TRL 5) compared to that of aircraft and turbine blade coatings.

▪ Dissemination of findings at various UK- and EU-wide events, including formal GAINS project meetings of CleanSky 2 Joint Technology initiative.

▪ Writing of a technical report on wing icing drivers and the impacts of icing hazards for relevant concepts and ice protection approaches involved in FlyZero, project backed by the UK Government; ▪ Advancement of efficient ice mitigation strategies to support FlyZero Project and their integration with new energy sources and propulsion systems for FlyZero aircraft design, especially for wings and empennages.

▪ Design, installation, and commissioning of an icing wind tunnel, rotating anti-icing, and waterjet erosion tests;

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD



Contacts: Please see our 'Contact us' page