Composites Research Group

PhD Students

Arya Aslani

Arya Aslani

PhD title: Manufacture of aligned discontinuous hybrid fibre mats 

Supervisors: Prof Steve Pickering, and Dr Thomas Turner

Research Summary
A brief summary of your research (100 words): In this project, we aim to use fibre-hybrid composites to change the current manufacturing-microstructure paradigm to a microstructure-manufacturing paradigm. This change constitutes that the manufacturing of composites will be deliberately controlled to yield the targeted microstructure instead of vice versa. More specifically, this PhD project will develop the manufacture of aligned discontinuous hybrid fibre mats. The objectives are: to fundamentally understand and optimize the alignment process; to establish the effect of commingling of different fractions of two or more discontinuous reinforcement fibres; to adapt the alignment process to yield the desired microstructure; and to understand the capabilities for the use of recycled fibre in hybrid architectures.
 
 
 

Felix Biertümpfel

PhD title: Space Launcher Validation and Verification using IQCs

Supervisors:  Dr Harald Pfifer and Prof Atanas Popov

Research summary

The objective of this PhD is to provide new tools and methods for the uncertainty modeling, control system design verification based non-linear analysis of space launchers. Furthermore, novel control design approaches for their recovery shall be developed. Guaranteed analysis results shall be based on the use of Integral Quadratic Constraints (IQC). Moreover, the same IQC analysis theorems shall be utilized for controller synthesis via re-parameterization of the IQC analysis problem. Both elements will be directly applied and demonstrated on an experimental re-usable lander flight control system using extensive flight test campaigns.

 
 
 
Sergio Chinchilla

Sergio Cantero Chinchilla

PhD title: Development of an optimal experimental strategy for ultrasonic GW-based SHM of aerospace composites. 

Supervisors:  Dr. Arthur Jones and  Dr. Dimitrios Chronopoulos

Research Summary

My current research is focused on developing methodologies based on Bayesian inverse problems to optimise the SHM configuration to detect damage in composite structures.

 
 
 

Mohammad Tanvir Chowdhury 

PhD Title: Integration of Design and Manufacture; Decision Making in a Concurrent Engineering Context

Supervisors: Thomas Turner, Panorios Benardos and Joel Segal

Research Summary
As composite are becoming more common in different industries, designers and engineers are facing challenges in making the informed decisions during early development stages since design information is limited during these stages. These challenges are further increased by the lack of sufficient Design for Manufacturing and Assembly principles for composites. Therefore my research is focused on developing a data-driven decision support system for composite manufacturing that aids designers and engineers make informed decisions during early stages. 
 
 
 
Matthew Elsmore

Matthew Elsmore

PhD title: Characterisation of Novel Polymers

Supervisors:  Davide De Focatiis and Dr Derek Irvine

Research Summary

My research focuses on the process of characterisation involved when completely novel polymers are synthesised, both with respect to their structure and to their processing and eventual properties. This involves dealing with very small amounts, and hence the development and validation of miniaturised methods. New polymers synthesised from renewable resources are being developed by the School of Chemistry to compete with commercially available oil-based materials which are in finite supply. Using thermal, rheological and mechanical methods, I aim to establish processing methods and identify potential applications for new polymers which have not previously been investigated, and for which there is no previous material data. By understanding structure-property relationships, feedback is provided to the chemists making the polymers with an aim to optimise synthesis for processability and in-service performance.

 
 
 
Christos Kora

Christos Kora

PhD Title: Modelling for Optimisation of 3D Woven Textile Composites

Supervisors: Andrew Long, Louise Brown and Mikhail Matveev

Research Summary 
3D textile composites offer improved mechanical properties and allow for near net-shape manufacturing. Their application can be found in aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and sports. At the same time, their range of weave architectures offers an infinite design space for optimisation. However, the geometric complexity at lower scales and the variability of shape and quality due to manufacturing effects pose a challenge for deploying accurate numerical models. My work investigates the accuracy trade-off which is presented by idealised numerical models and aims in proposing ways to increase efficiency and accuracy of models used in structural optimisation of 3D textile composite materials. My focus is primarily on woven composites due to the maturity of the industrial weaving techniques and the range of configurations. 
 
 
 
Guy Lawrence

Guy Lawrence

PhD Title: Frictional Behaviour and Characterisation of High-Performance Non-Crimp Fabrics

Supervisors:  Prof Nick Warrior and Dr Shuai Chen

Research Summary
My research is focused on improving understanding of frictional behaviour during composites preforming processes, in particular, how friction affects the forming of both biaxial and uni-directional non-crimp fabrics. This understanding of friction is being used to develop a friction-specific model in Abaqus, to predict frictional behaviour. Additionally, the use surface modifiers, such as powders, resins and veils, is being used to influence and control friction within a forming process. This decreases the number and magnitude of defects such as wrinkles within fibrous preforms, therefore decreasing production cycle times and improving the mechanical properties of a finished composite component.
 
 
 
Shimin Lu

Shimin Lu

PhD title: is Deposition Behaviour of Carbon Fibres Produced by Automated Dry Fibre Placement

Supervisors: Thomas Turner and Anthony Evans

Research Summary
Shimin is involved a project funded by Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub: Technologies Framework for Automated Dry Fibre Placement (ADFP). His Research is focused on investigating deposition behaviour of dry carbon fibres processed by ADFP and building simulation tools to optimise process parameters and facilitate real-time deposition control.
 
 
 
Muhammad Malik

Muhammad Khalid Malik

PhD title: Ultrasonic guided wave modelling and damage identification in composite structures

Supervisors: Dimitrios Chronopoulos and Gregor Tanner

Research Summary 
Modelling and simulation of transient ultrasonic guided waves in composite structures using the hybrid Wave and Finite Element (WFE) method. Developing ultra-efficient damage interaction models for guided waves incident on different types of damages in composite structures such as cracks and delamination. Embedding the wave-damage interaction models in Bayesian statistical framework for hyper-robust damage classification and damage parameter inference.
 
 
 
Preetum J. Mistry

Preetum Mistry

PhD title: Lightweighting of Railway Vehicles

Supervisors: Dr Mike Johnson and Prof Nick Warrior

Research Summary 

Preetum's research is focused on the theme of 'Composites in Rail' supervised by Dr Michael Johnson. He is investigating the 'Lightweighting of Rail Vehicles' using FRP Composite Materials. Lightweight construction of rail vehicles is essential to meeting the current performance requirements facing the global rail industry today, these include the need for increased reliability, efficiency and capacity. His research is focussed on lightweighting of the 'sprung' and 'unsprung’ mass:

  • Investigation and development of the Hybrid Vacuum-Robotic (HyVR) process for forming fibre reinforced thermoplastics for car body structures, as part of a CIMComp Hub feasibility study
  • Design and development of a lightweight composite railway axle including fatigue testing of scaled designs, as part of the NEXTGEAR Shift2Rail project and CaFiAx feasibility study.
 
 
 
Christopher Morris

Christopher Newey Morris

PhD title: PhD Mechanical Engineering // Evaluation of a scaled up fluidised bed process for carbon fibre composites

Supervisors: Prof Steve Pickering, Dr Thomas Turner and Dr Sonia Melendi

Research Summary
The research entails the optimisation of carbon fibre recycling on a pilot scale plant, by understanding the main rate-limiting factors of the process, energy performance of the plant, and the scalability of the process to a commercial level. The work combines experimental approaches as well as modelling to develop a full picture of the carbon fibre recycling process.
 
 
 
Daniela Munalli-02

Daniela Munalli

PhD titleThe use of techniques such as non-destructive testing (NDT) to enhance quality of production and eliminate rejects in composites manufacturing

Supervisors:  Prof Andrew Long, Dr Dimitrios Chronopoulos and Dr Stephen Greedy

Research Summary

Low power Radio Frequency non-destructive inspection techniques offer a potential solution for detecting changes in the structural integrity in real time, enabling better scheduling of servicing, repair and maintenance of aircraft structures. The aim of my research is the development of an electromagnetic testing method to detect and characterize manufacturing flaws in carbon textile composites, through comparisons between electromagnetic waves propagation in health composites and damaged composites. 

 
 
 
Georgios_Ntourmas (002)

Georgios Ntourmas

PhD titleAchieving layering design optimisation for discrete plies using continuous and discrete optimisation algorithms

Supervisors:  Dr Dimitrios Chronopoulos and Dr Ender Ozcan

Research Summary

The main objective of my research project is to deliver a comprehensive methodology for determining the optimal layering characteristics for aerospace composite laminates. These layering characteristics include the number of plies, the exact stacking sequence and the thicknesses and orientation of each ply. The developed optimisation scheme will also need to account for design and manufacturing constraints and criteria in order to deliver aerospace composite parts that can be readily manufactured.

 
 
 
 Grace Owen 

Grace Owen

PhD title: Impact Modelling of Polymers: high-Rate Experiments for Solid-state Simulations

Supervisors: Davide De Focatiis and Gabriel Choong,

Research Summary

This DPI funded project focuses on high strain rate responses of polymers. My project can be summarised as:

  • Develop and employ a methodology to characterise high strain rate response of engineering polymers and composites
  • Assemble continuum constitutive models appropriate for impact loading
  • Provide a mechanistic understanding of impact damage, and the modelling of impact behaviour of polymers.
  • Enable the design of high-performance polymer systems tailored to impact conditions.

By linking our modelling work with experimental research, developed by our partner team at Oxford University, the aim is to develop a framework for mechanistic understanding and modelling of impact behaviour of polymers which can be developed further in future projects.

 
 
 
Gwladys Popo

Gwladys Popo

PhD title: In-line monitoring and control of the resin flow during the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process

Supervisors: Dr Andreas Endruweit and Dr Mikhail Matveev

Research Summary 
Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) is a process employed to manufacture composite parts; however, the lack of repeatability and automation of this process prevents it from being more largely used in large-scale industrial productions. Amongst the different steps of the process, the impregnation of the dry reinforcement with the liquid resin is potentially the most critical one. Indeed, deviations occurring at that stage can lead to huge flaws and shortcomings in the final parts. That is why the goal of my research project is to develop an Active Control System (ACS) coupling the adequate sensing architecture with an algorithm controlling the injection system to redirect the resin if deviations are detected through the data provided by the sensors.
 
 
 
Jing Pu

Jing Pu

PhD title: Parametric Analysis of 3D Printing of Continuous Carbon Fibre with Polyether Ether Ketone Matrix Using the Fused Filament Fabrication Process

Supervisors: Prof Arthur Jones, Prof Ian Ashcroft and  Dr. Ehab Saleh

Research Summary 
A novel FFF processing method was developed based on a comprehensive experimental programme. The research method was guided by understanding of materials via characterisation and the development of a number of first-principles models. The overall aim of the work was firstly to develop a method of manufacturing continuous fibre reinforced feedstock material for FFF in order to enable the production of a wider range of products with enhanced printing; and secondly to optimise the FFF printing parameters to maximise polymer fusion. This project delivered a printable CF-PEEK filament with a fibre volume fraction higher than 57%, which has not been reported previously. 
 
 
 
Usman Shafique

Usman Shafique

PhD title: Flow enhancement strategies for automated dry fibre preforms – a numerical and experimental study. 

Supervisors:  Dr. Tom Turner and Dr. Anthony Evans

Research Summary

My research is focused on cutting the production rate of part manufacture by Automated Dry Fibre Placement technology. This involves experimental and numerical investigations of Gap placement strategy and its effect on the overall mechanical properties of the final part. 

 
 
 
Hasan Tarar

Hasan Tarar

PhD Title: Detection and characterization of in-service damage in lattice structures using ultrasonic and vibrational analysis

Supervisor: Dimitrios Chronopoulos

Research Summary
The advances in AM have seen design and manufacturing of complex structures which were not possible through conventional methods. One such class is the lattice structures which are seeing increasing use in various industries (automotive, aerospace, medical) due to their superior strength to weight properties. While a lot of research is being done to study the design and mechanical properties of lattice structures, less work is directed towards developing techniques for detecting damage in such structures during service. My research will be aimed at studying the possibility of damage detection and characterization in lattice structures using ultrasonic and vibrational analysis. 
 
 
 
Victor Thierry

Victor Thierry

PhD title: The application of advanced and integrated health monitoring systems to complex, composite systems for aerospace for enhanced life cycle and operational capability

Supervisors:  Dr Dimitrios Chronopoulos and Prof Ian Ashcroft

Location: Institute for Aerospace Technology and Composites Research Group

Research Summary and Background

My project focus is in damage detection in composites structures for aerospace application. Understanding the propagation and reflection pattern of waves in structures through finite element modelling of damages in textile composite. The final aim would be to build an industrial system enabling the detection of damages not only on ‘off-line’ aircrafts but also on ‘in-line’ aircrafts.

Background:

Graduated from the Université de Technologie de Compiègne (France) – Master in Mechanical Systems Engineering, specialising in modelling and optimization of products and structures.

 
 
 
Jaganath Thirunavukkarasu

Jaganath Thirunavukkarasu

PhD Title: An efficient process for carbon fibre recycling

Supervisors: Prof Steve Pickering and Dr Thomas Turner

Research Summary
The key challenge of this PHD project is to develop an efficient and effective method of removing the glass fibre and other contaminants. The efficient process for recycling will be developed mainly in collaboration with ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd, UK.  The recovered carbon fibre material will be validated by performing the series of experimental tests, i.e mechanical (single fibre)and surface characterization (SEM). Furthermore, the design of experiment will be carried out to optimize the industrial pyrolysis process to gain higher fibre mechanical properties similar to of virgin materials. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 765881. 
 
 
 
Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson

PhD Title: Braiding of Composite Structures 

Supervisors: Prof Nick Warrior, Dr Kishen Rengaraj

Research Summary
My research aims to build an automated process for geometric modelling of braided Representative Unit Cells (RUC). This allows for greater prediction in the properties of the braids and will allow for greater use of braided fabrics within the composite sector. The unit cells are built within TexGen, software developed by the University of Nottingham, allowing for easy integration into the design process. The model will be validated against scan data and mechanical for braided fabrics with the aim of testing novel braided fabrics for demonstrator components with known load cases.  
 
 
 
Ángela Lendínez Torres

Ángela Lendínez Torres

PhD Title: Fibre orientation effects in composites forming processes

Supervisors: Dr Lee Harper

Research Summary
The research project consists of a study of the reinforcement fibre orientation in composites and how this is affected by manufacturing forming processes. The research challenge is to characterise the architecture of woven and non-crimp fabrics in the post-formed state and to determine the resulting structural properties of the composite. A state-of-the-art scanning and measurement system, the Hexagon Apodius system will be used to capture the fibre orientations, enabling the development of an understanding of the forming processes. In this way, material models can be developed to improve the prediction of wrinkling, the main type of defect suffered by the architectures under study.
 
 
 
Neoklis Traiforos

Neoklis Traiforos

PhD title:  Advanced modelling methodologies of process induced distortions in aerospace composite structures manufacturing.

Supervisors: Dr Thomas Turner and Dr Dimitrios Chronopoulos

Research Summary

A significant defect encountered in the manufacturing processes of CFRP structures is the distortion of their shape. Shape distortions in composite manufacturing are defined as the deviation of the shape of the final product from its nominal CAD geometry and are usually due to the combined effect of the composite's warpage and spring-in. Almost every composite structure suffers from this manufacturing defect to some extent.

From an industrial point of view, it is very important to keep the shape distortions of a composite structure in predefined tolerances in order not only to increase its structural performance but also to ease the assembly process and reduce the assembly time and costs.
The aim of this research is to establish an accurate, robust and efficient simulation framework of shape distortions in thermoset composite manufacturing, applicable to the requirements of the aerospace industry.

 
 
 
Wen Wu

Wen Wu

PhD title:  Modelling risk of failure using wave propagation and interaction with damage in complex composite structures

Supervisors: Dr Dimitrios Chronopoulos and Dr Rasa Remenyte-Prescott

Research Summary
Conducting damage identification based on guided wave monitoring; Combining fault tree analysis and physics-informed data to predict the remaining useful life of composite structures.
 
 
 
Mingming Xu 2

Mingming Xu

PhD title: Simulation of the Textile Composite Containment Casings Subject to FBO 

Supervisors:  Dr. Elena Sitnikova and Prof. Shuguang Li

Research Summary

Previous research has been conducted on the subject through an industrially sponsored project for development of composite containment casings for civil aero-engines.  The proposed project is to follow some of the important issues left behind from the previous project to help with the establishment of the capability of modelling and simulating such impacts.

 
 
 
Fei Yu2

Fei Yu

PhD title: Design for the strength of 3D printed composites

Supervisors: Dr Shuguang Li and Dr Elena Sitnikova

Research Summary

Design for the strength of 3D printed composites. This study is mainly about designing fibre layouts of 3D printed continuous fibre-reinforced composite components, which is aiming to fully exploit the potential of the fibre skeleton within composites.

 
 
 

 

 

Composites Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG9 5HR


contact: Prof Nick Warrior
email: composites@nottingham.ac.uk