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University of Salford

UOA 29 - Metallurgy and Materials

RA5a: Research environment and esteem



The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) within the University of Salford comprises 30 academic staff, (22 FTE), ~10 post-doctoral researchers and 34 research students drawn from physics, chemistry, applied mathematics and engineering.  Our aim is to carry out internationally-leading research into the structure and properties of functional materials and gain an understanding of the processes involved in their formation and application.  We have a high national and international profile in photonics, atomic collisions in solids, magnetism, hydrogen storage and neutron studies. Since 2001 we have graduated 122 students and published 605 refereed journal papers, ~45% of which are the result of international collaborations.  

We have been awarded over £7.5M since 2001, primarily from UK Research Councils (£5.0M) and the EU (£2.0M), and we have obtained, through international peer review, £3.2M worth of instrument time at the Research Council-funded facilities. Members currently hold ~£1.8M of Research Council grants together with £1.2M in EU funding and a further £0.7M of other funds (industrial, local government etc).  Within the University support has been provided with over £0.4M SRIF funding and 8 new appointments (a Chair, three RCUK Academic Fellows and four academic staff).


Research Structure

The University of Salford manages its research through multidisciplinary Research Institutes (RIs).  RIs are designed to encourage cross-disciplinary approaches to real world problems by providing focussed management for research, supportive environments for their embedded research groups (formal Research Centres) and cohesive research strategies. Each RI has its own funding and administrative support. All of the University’s researchers are RI members with membership being awarded on the basis of performance across a range of indicators, reviewed annually.  Together the RIs form part of the Research and Graduate College which has responsibility for all research and postgraduate activity in the University and determines overall research strategy.

Several mechanisms exist for promoting research and for sustaining and developing an active and vital research culture. This results in a researcher-centred environment, with a strong feeling of scholarship and collegiality.  The University places great emphasis on the importance of high-quality research, and staff are encouraged to focus their time and effort on sustaining their strong research profile through income generation, publications, presence and postgraduate students.  An outstanding, distinguished record of research and scholarship together with both a national and international reputation are essential requirements for promotion to Readership or Professorship.  

The University has an active staff appraisal and development scheme.  RI Directors have a substantial input into the appraisal process of research-active members of staff, and research activities are taken into account when determining the workload balance. 

The University also provides specific financial support for new and established researchers; bridging loans to retain promising contract research staff, ‘pump-priming’ funds for emerging activity, eg the Vice-Chancellor's Research Scholarship Scheme, which provides new researchers with mentoring and a bursary of £2,000 (Moatamedi), and the Research Investment Fund to facilitate preliminary investigative work on new projects (Tsiklauri, £3500).


IMR Research Profile

The IMR is subdivided into three Research Centres: Functional Materials (FM), Theory and Modelling (T&M) and Engineering Materials (EM).  The Centres form a focus for research, but the structure is not rigid and staff may have subsidiary membership in other Centres, or even associate membership in another RI.  This flexible structure together with extensive state-of-the-art research facilities creates an environment which encourages collegiality, inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary collaboration and a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas.

Detailed profiles of each of the Centres are given below. 


1.  Centre for Functional Materials  

Current Staff: Professors D.G.Armour, ,S.E.Donnelly, A.Dyer, P.J.Grundy, R.Hughes, M.B.Huglin, S.H.Kilcoyne, M.E.Pemble, D.K.Ross, D.W.Sheel, J.A.van den Berg, Drs N.M.Boag, D.J.Bull, C.Faunce, N.J.Mellors, R.D.Pilkington, T.Shen, H.M.Yates 

Staff in Functional Materials have published 353 journal papers, graduated 80 students, and received almost £3.5M in external funding and £2.0M in facility time since 2001.

This Centre combines the talents of experimental physicists, chemists and materials scientists with expertise in a wide range of internationally competitive experimental techniques to prepare and characterise materials, particularly nano-materials, biomaterials and photovoltaics, and is funded through EPSRC, European and NWDA grants and industrial partners.  Preparation facilities include CVD, RF sputtering, molecular beam epitaxy, ultra-low energy implantation/ion beam film deposition, focused ion beam etching, laser ablation, electrodeposition, argon arc melting and melt spinning.  Characterisation facilities include X-ray diffractometers, electron microscopes, NMR, TGA/DSC and mass spectrometers, a Van de Graaf equipped for Rutherford Back Scattering and NRS measurements for quantitative surface analysis and depth profiling. For characterizing magnetic properties, we have vibrating sample magnetometers, MOKE, Mössbauer spectrometers etc. Other equipment includes two Intelligent Gravimetric Analysers (TGA with thermal desorption-MS, chemisorption, BET analysis, pore size distributions and solid state diffusion) equipped with dry loading facilities and an associated inert gas glove box, two modern Raman spectrometers, several FTIR and UV/Vis, two AA spectrometers and a GC-MS facility.  

Ross and Bull (with Morrison in T&M) are playing an important role in the international search for hydrogen storage materials (both light hydrides and H2 physi-sorbers) for use on fuel cell vehicles, measuring hydrogen uptake kinetics and investigating the role of hydrogen at the atomic level using neutron scattering and ab initio calculations. The work is currently supported by three EU projects (NESSHY IP-518271, HPMT-CT-2001-00387, HySIC SSA 038941(SES6)), involving extensive collaborations with leading European laboratories, and one Joule Centre grant (NWDA) totalling £0.9M.  Bull has recently discovered an important and novel second order transition mechanism in the Li3N-Li2NH system (Chem.Phys.Lett 444(2007)76).  The team has also produced data on H2 potential energy surfaces in zeolite cavities and clathrate ice cages, and has direct neutron scattering evidence of hydrogen trapping in groove sites on carbon nano-tube bundles. This complements work by Shen and Grundy which focuses on the fabrication and the optical and magneto-optical properties of sub-mesoscopic and nanostructured materials, nanofabrication of devices using the focused ion beam direct-write technique and optically excited spin injection and magneto optic effects in magnetic multi-layer surface coatings (Grundy). 

Sheel, Pemble and Yates carry out high-profile work on the production of functional surface coatings, particularly high-performance transparent conducting oxides for energy conservation and photovoltaics and novel multi-functional coatings combining self-cleaning, anti-bacterial action, thermochromic activity and smart properties.  These activities are combined with the development of new technologies for atmospheric pressure plasma and flame assisted CVD and innovative system designs. Until 2004 they co-ordinated the EPSRC Network for Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) (GR/N64250/01) involving researchers and industrialists with interests in semi-conductor growth/processing, nanoparticulate materials, solid catalysts produced/modified by CVD methods, and highly novel materials, such as photonic bandgap systems. Since 2005 the network has been co-ordinated by Sheel and Parkin (UCL).  In 2003, Pemble was awarded €2.6M over 4 years to enable him to work at the prestigious Tyndall National Institute within University College Cork to work on the development of novel materials for electronics and photonics including high-k dielectrics on Si and III-V substrates and on the synthesis and self-assembly of colloidal photonic crystals. 

Research involving the atomic bombardment of surfaces (Donnelly, van den Berg) is also strong. The EPSRC has recently funded a unique combined SEM/in situ ion implantation facility for examining radiation damage as it is produced (Donnelly, van den Berg) (EP/E017266/1).  This is a unique national facility of importance to the nuclear industry and modellers of nuclear materials.  Once running, there will be collaboration with Imperial College, Manchester University Materials Modelling Centre, Oxford University Materials Department and ANSTO (Australia).  Donnelly is also the leader of a worldwide network linking in situ TEM/ion accelerator facilities (EP/F012853/1). Other projects include direct observation of bubble growth in surface layers (Donnelly) and disorder formation and annealing in semi-conductors following implantation (van den Berg, Armour). The results of this work are modelled by Carter.

In addition to her work in magnetism, Kilcoyne has developed a strong research profile in kinetic studies of processing routes for biomedical materials in collaboration with Leeds Dental Institute (UK) and HMI (Berlin) (EPSRC EP/C003446/1, MRC G0200692).  This work has been well received by neutron, synchrotron and biomaterials communities, resulting in two invited talks (Montpellier, 2003, Cork, 2005).

Pilkington has a broad research portfolio encompassing vacuum deposition of semiconductor/photovoltaic materials, laser-surface interactions and analysis (LIBS) and the analysis of mechanisms underpinning dendrite growth. The high level of vacuum technology involved enabled Pilkington to set up the only MSc in vacuum engineering in the world. He will represent the UK as the IoP Cockcroft-Walton visiting lecturer to India in 2008.

Other projects in FM include studies of magnetoelastic materials to reduce noise and vibration in aircraft (Mellors), ion exchange in zeolites and other exchangers, with particular reference to radiochemical remediation (Dyer) and the development of novel polymers, particularly hydrogels (Huglin).  Hughes and Boag are active in the development of membranes for the separation of hydrogen from other gases. Boag is also involved in the synthesis of organo-metallic precursors for use in the preparation of semi-conductors, with strong industrial links (eg SAFC Hitech).  

FM staff have many successful international collaborations.  Boag and Shen have positions at Universities in USA and China involving annual research stays. Donnelly has a long standing collaboration in ion implantation with Argonne National Laboratory and Wyn-Jones has a major cooperative programme with Max-Planck Institute, Berlin on the thermodynamics of colloids.  Bull, Dyer, Grundy, Kilcoyne, Mellors, Ross, Shen, van den Berg and Wyn-Jones are major users of the STFC’s Central Research facilities (ILL and ESRF in France, ISIS, SRS and MEIS in UK), Berkeley Light Source and the Max-Planck InstituteBetween them they have obtained, through international peer review, almost £2M of facility time.  Their work is highly regarded and is regularly cited as Scientific Highlights in the Annual Reports (ILL 2001,2002,2003, ESRF 2006). (NB. Kilcoyne has been awarded an additional £0.57M facilities funding but this will be returned by Leeds University). 

Ross and Morrison are members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Task17 and its successor, Task22, and co-ordinate a collaboration with Chinese and Russian laboratories (HySIC).  

The CVD group’s world-leading position in APCVD technology for photo-voltaic films can be measured by the prominence of their partners.  As part of their FP6 projects, Pemble, Sheel and Yates collaborate with the Franhofer Institute (Dresden), Phillips, St. Gobain Glass, University of Duisberg, EMPA (Zurich), University of Westphalia and EADS, Munich (Airbus).  Sheel and Yates have established collaborations with Helianthos BV (a Dutch manufacturer of flexible photo-voltaic modules), Centrotherm (a leading German photo-voltaic fabrication company) and several other leading European institutes. Sheel is also joint co-ordinator, with Fraunhofer IWS, Germany, of two large EU-funded projects (Activated CVD and Photocoat (G5RD-CT-2002-00861)) with total project costs of €14M.  


2.  Centre for Theory and Modelling  

Current staff:  Professors A.D.Boardman, I.Morrison, Drs E.A.Chadwick, J.M.Christian, G.S.McDonald, K.J.Sandiford, D.Tsiklauri

Theory and Modelling staff have published 191 papers, graduated 24.5 students and have received over £1.0M in external funding since 2001.

The Centre comprises a balance of senior (Boardman, Morrison, McDonald) and relatively new (Chadwick, Christian, Sandiford, Tsiklauri) staff.  A full range of computational techniques is being developed and exploited, with new analytical frameworks which facilitate insightful modelling investigations. Much of the work shares common groundings in nonlinear matter-wave theory, including photonics (Boardman, McDonald, Christian), plasma beams and oscillations (Tsiklauri), and theoretical solid mechanics (Sandiford), which complements work in fluid dynamics, boundary effects and full-scale engineering stress modelling (Chadwick, Tsiklauri), which also has strong connections to EM themes.  Further strength resides in materials modelling (Morrison); ab initio and semi-empirical atomistic techniques are combined to predict and interpret material properties in collaboration with FM and elsewhere.  Modelling of hydrogen-storage materials are supported by EC Framework grants, NESSHy, HyTrain and HySIC, and include participation in the IEA Task17 on hydrogen storage.  As part of NESSHy, Morrison leads a European consortium of modelling experts.  Boardman is at the forefront of international research in the emerging field of meta-materials (optics in nano-structures) and within magneto-optics, holding several grants in this area (eg EP/E031684/1).  This work has been described recently in Nature (450, 397 (2007)) and it has been suggested that it could mark a revolution in computing.  McDonald leads nonlinear science activities, e.g. reporting the discovery of a new generic fractal-formation mechanism, potentially in all nonlinear matter-wave systems (PhysRevLett94,174101), and deriving a remarkable generalisation of Snell's Law to describe nonlinear beam refraction at material interfaces (OptLett32,1126).  Christian is extending such angular-beam considerations to encompass many nonlinear materials.  His internationally-collaborative work includes the development of a new branch of exact analytical soliton theory extending photonic applications to other glassy, semiconducting and polymeric materials.  

In a series of Royal Society publications Chadwick has developed powerful new analytical frameworks describing motion of slender (e.g. missile-shaped) and thin (e.g. wing/plate-shaped) bodies through fluids. Understanding and modelling the resultant vortex wakes is crucial in both aircraft design and safety and complements the full-scale, multiphysics-based aeronautical modelling in EM, as does a significant suite of new analytical results, dealing with various elastic wave contexts, by Sandiford. This latter work has many applications including understanding vibration control in externally-loaded structures (e.g. involving rubber-like materials), dynamical and mechanical properties of periodically-layered M-ply pre-stressed materials, the role of compressibility in annealed-metal plates, and vibration modes of fibre-reinforced elastic strips. 

Evidence of quality can be seen in the award of the 2006 William Hume-Rothery Award to Oates, for outstanding scholarly contributions to the science of alloys and advances in thermodynamical modelling of compounds, the presentation to Tsiklauri of the prestigious Young Scientist Award for his fundamental contributions to plasma wave theory, with applications in solar contexts and generic plasma physics and the award of the 2001 Kapitsa Medal of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences to Rogerson.


3.  Centre for Engineering Materials  

Current staff:  Professors R.D.Arnell, P.J.Webster, Drs M.Moatamedi, G.G.Nasr, Y.Wang

Engineering Materials staff have published 61 papers, graduated 18 students, received over £2.5M in external funding and almost £1.3M in facility time since 2001.

EM specialises in areas of stress analysis and surface engineering involving mechanical spraying, plasma assisted physical vapour deposition, strain scanning and structural materials.  The Centre is funded by EPSRC, European and DTI grants and by industrial partners. Experimental equipment includes high-speed cameras, laser measuring techniques including Phase-Doppler and Laser-Doppler Anemometry, a variety of experimental rigs and high-speed computational facilities for simulation of multiple simultaneous physical phenomena (multiphysics).

Stress analysis studies (Moatamedi, Wang) utilise advanced computational techniques and experimental facilities funded by governmental and industrial organisations e.g. Jaguar, Electrolux, HSE and EU.  Current studies include impact analyses, extreme loading cases and fluid-structure interactions involving multiphysics (with applications in biomedical, automotive and aerospace engineering) and the development of legal standards for certification of airbags in cars.  Other projects characterise flow behaviour of non-Newtonian fluids (e.g. simulation of blood circulation), excessively non-linear properties (e.g. aircraft ditching processes), and phase changes especially those concerning the design and manufacture of products which are produced by moulding and solidification (MOD contract).  Moatamedi holds three visiting professorships in Japan, China, and France and visits regularly to carry out collaborative research programmes on underwater explosive- forming, multiphysics modelling and structure-acoustics interaction.  

Websteris one of the pioneers of neutron and synchrotron X-ray strain-scanning, in particular through-surface and area scanning.  He was Task Group leader, responsible for experimental protocols, for the VAMAS TWA20 (International) and RESTAND (European) projects that provided the scientific base and draft for the first edition of the ISO standard for the determination of residual stresses using neutron diffraction (ISO/TS 21432:2005).  He was a member of the UK consortia that developed the EPSRC-funded neutron strain-scanners ENGINX at ISIS (GR/M51963), SALSA at ILL (GR/N01002), and developed strain-scanning facilities at the synchrotron X-ray sources SRS, Daresbury and ESRF, Grenoble.  He initiated and led the consortium that founded FaME38, the EPSRC-ILL-ESRF funded (GR/R48070) innovative joint facility to enable engineers to exploit the scientific ILL-ESRF resources for materials engineering.  At the end of the grant period, in 2005, the project was judged by EPSRC to be ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Internationally leading’.

Webster and McNicholas continued their EPSRC-funded (GR/L81888) development of a new range of high-performance building materials (suitable for wall, floor and ceiling boards) made from the waste sludge residue left when wastepaper is recycled.  They participated by invitation in the 10-partner EC-funded (GR/D1-2000-25244) ‘Zeogyp Board’ project for retrofitting existing plants to produce low-cost high-performance building boards incorporating a range of waste materials produced in high volumes across Europe. 

Surface engineering and atomisation studies (Nasr, Arnell) are dominated by experimental tests dealing with various coating techniques. The methods utilised include mechanical spraying and advanced magnetron sputtering techniques. Computational modelling of droplet formation and turbulent flows during the spraying process is studied in great detail using Laser-Doppler techniques with the aim of improving the uniformity of the spread and adhesive properties of the coating.  Much of this work has been funded by EPSRC e.g. the EPSRC-STi Link project in Household Aerosol (Nasr, GR/S25821/02) which was ranked as “Internationally Leading”, with 8 patents awarded to collaborating companies.  Arnell has recently completed two EPSRC projects (GR/M69258, GR/M72111) with Professor J.Bradley (ex-UMIST, now Liverpool University). These grants produced 10 archival papers and several invited conference presentations and was rated by EPSRC reviewers as “Internationally leading”.


Internal CollaborationsIn addition to the work carried out within the Centres extremely successful collaborations also exist between the Centres, and with members of other RIs within Salford.  Examples include, the work of Donnelly (FM) and Morrison (T&M) on TEM studies of ordering in fluid xenon published in Science (296, 507-510); the joint involvement of Morrison (T&M) and Ross (FM) in NESSHy, an EU-FP6 IP on the development of hydrogen storage materials; the work of Kilcoyne (FM) in applying the strain-mapping technique developed by Webster (EM) to studies of biomaterials (ESRF Scientific Highlight, 2006); and Christian (T&M) who has co-authored a paper with Potton, a visiting member of FM (PhysRevA76, 033834).  Moatamedi holds over £330K worth of grants (ST3a/4748 and NEET G002) with Howard in the Institute for Health & Social Care Research (IHSCR) for research into biomedical engineering, particularly biomechanical modelling of the foot and lower limb, Sheel and Foster in the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BSRI) are funded through the EC-grant Photocoat to investigate advanced materials and manufacturing technologies for photocatalytically active surfaces, Boardman leads an EPSRC-funded collaboration with McGown in BSRI (GR/S48189/01), Morrison was awarded SRIF funds in collaboration with Roberts in the Informatics Research Institute (IRIS) for investment into materials visualisation, and strong collaborations exist with Bellaby in the Institute for Social, Cultural & Policy Research (ISCPR), particularly in the area of social awareness of issues concerned with the introduction of hydrogen energy (Ross, Morrison, Bull).


Our regional links are substantial and include; Boardman as the leader and initiator of the North-West Photonics Association ( funded through a DTI-KTN, the North-West Development Agency (Ross), Ross on the Governing Board of Joule Centre for Energy Research and Development, membership of the North-West Science Council sub-groups (Ross, Moatamedi), and Morrison as a visiting scientist in the Materials Modelling Group at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory.  We also have strong links with local industry for example, the development of activated carbons for hydrogen storage with Chemviron Ltd. (Ross), and the use of ruthenium as a conducting barrier layer between copper and silicon with SAFC Hitech (Boag).  


Internal Funding: Although most of our research is funded by external awards, it has been significantly enhanced through funds received via competitive internal (University) processes.  Following the award of almost £2M from SRIF1 and 2, a further £330K was awarded from SRIF3 to complete laboratory refurbishments.  We secured an additional £81K of research capital funding for specialist equipment to purchase a high-speed camera, a gamma spectroscopy computer, an argon arc furnace, a digital camera for the microscope and to carry out an upgrade to an optical spectrometer with a heated stage.  

International collaboration is supported by the University through its CAMPUS Visiting Fellowships Scheme.  Distinguished international scholars are awarded funds to work with leading researchers at Salford for up to three months.  Despite strong internal competition for these awards the IMR has obtained nine CAMPUS Fellowships since 2001, namely Professors Sakai (University of Toyama, Japan), Yuan (Tsinghua University, Beijing, China), Souli (University of Lille, France), Brand (University of Nebraska, USA) Itoh (Kumamoto University, Japan) and Ren (University of Maribor, Slovenia) and Drs Ofman (NASA, and Catholic University of America, USA), Cheng (MechComp Inc, California, USA) and Stewart (Institute Laue Langevin, France).  An example of the success of the CAMPUS scheme can be seen in the visit of Professor Sakai to work with Tsiklauri in 2004 which resulted in a successful STFC grant (£145K, PP/D001838/1); an STFC studentship (£60K, ST/F004583/1); invited talks at the Royal Astronomical Society (London) and the 2006 European Solar Physics Meeting (Belgium); and 5 high-profile publications (eg Astron.Astrophys., 435, 1105-1113,(2005)).


Category C Staff

In addition to the Category A members of the IMR there are several Category C staff who add greatly to the strength, coherence and research culture of the Institute.  

Honorary Visiting Professor Oates (T&M) collaborates with Morrison and Ross on modelling the phase diagrams of metal hydrogen systems. Since 2001 he has published 25 papers in this area.  Visiting Professor Abyaneh’s (T&M) research is in the development of analytic models for the nucleation of nanocrystallite deposits by electrolysis.  This is of interest to several IMR members, e.g. deposition of catalysts in carbon frameworks for hydrogen storage/fuel cell electrodes (Ross, Morrison), dendritic growth of electro-deposits (Pilkington) and modelling battery systems (Mellors).  Visiting Professor Wyn-Jones (FM) has published 15 papers since 2001 including a distinguished series in Langmuir.  He collaborates with Penfold at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and with researchers at the Fritz-Haber Institut der Max-Planck.  ProfessorCarter (T&M) is prominent in modelling radiation damage, and continues to publish widely in this area (14 papers since 2001). He collaborates predominantly with Donnelly and van den Berg (FM).  


Research Students and Research Studentships 

Research students are recruited from the materials, physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering disciplines, often from our healthy undergraduate intake of 40-50 students p.a. in physics and ~200 p.a. in engineering.  There are currently 23 research students registered for higher degrees, with a further 11 students in their writing-up period.  A total of 122.5 students have graduated since 2001. The majority are funded either through the EPSRC’s DTA scheme, via the University’s Graduate Training Assistant scheme, or the Overseas Research Students Award Scheme (ORSAS). ORSAS awards are converted into full studentships by the University ensuring a strong cohort of top- class international research students at all times.  The IMR also takes students through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, eg Entre-prises (UK) Ltd (Moatamedi), Hughes Safety Showers Ltd (Nasr).

All students are trained in the advanced experimental and computational techniques available in the IMR. New students can take appropriate modules from our EPSRC-funded (£0.5M) Training Package on Vacuum Engineering and Process Control (GR/M79141/01) and/or the newly-created MSc in Materials Physics. Physics-oriented students also take courses in Materials Modelling and can attend the North-West Universities Condensed Matter Physics courses and relevant summer schools. Generic training is provided by the University’s Research and Graduate College.  Weekly seminars are arranged with both internal and external speakers. Overall student performance is monitored through individual learning agreements, pioneered in Salford, and students are in regular contact with their academic supervisor and their personal tutor.


Staffing Changes Since Last RAE

Since 2001 ten staff have either retired or moved to other establishments and the University has made nine new appointments.  

The appointment of Kilcoyne as Professor of Materials in 2006 has strengthened FM, particularly in neutron scattering, magnetism and biomaterials research. Bull was appointed as an RCUK Academic Fellow in FM in 2006. He is a well-established researcher in hydrogen storage and neutron studies, and will enhance the IMR’s work in these areas.  The appointment of Mellors (2006) has consolidated research into magnetic materials providing a bridge between the work of Shen and Kilcoyne.  He has already expanded his research portfolio to include neutron scattering and has gained beamtime (through international peer review) at the Institute Laue Langevin in Grenoble.  Yates was made a permanent member of academic staff in 2005.  She has already made a significant contribution to the work of the CVD group.  Two appointments have been made in T&M: Tsiklauri (2003) and Christian (2006).  Tsiklauri’s interests include astrophysical fluid dynamics, magneto-hydrodynamics, solar physics, large-scale numerical simulation and analytic theory of waves with applications to solar and generic plasma physics.  Christian was appointed as an RCUK Academic Fellow in 2006.  He will add considerable strength to multidisciplinary modelling with T&M.  

We have been particularly proactive in recruiting to EM, with all the current full-time staff joining the IMR since the last RAE return: Moatamedi in 2002 to carry out research into multiphysics, Nasr in 2002 who rapidly established a successful Spray Research Group; and Wang, as an RCUK Academic Fellow in 2007, modelling fluid dynamics with applications to composite materials.  This will complement the work of Moatamedi.

Strong collaborative links still exist with some of the staff that left during the RAE period.  While at Salford, Rogerson developed a high profile within the area of elastic deformation theory, surface waves and the mathematical description of singularities beyond the scope of finite element calculations. He became Professor of Mathematics at Keele University in 2006 but still collaborates with SandifordKelly was responsible for developing the use of unbalanced magnetron sputtering for providing novel surface coatings to enhance the engineering properties of components. He moved to a Chair in MMU in 2005 but continues to collaborate with ArnellHull (with Price) moved his activities in Fire Chemistry to join the Textile Materials group in Bolton in 2004.  He has since moved to take up a chair at UCLAN.  Close collaboration continues through use of the IMR’s mass spectrometers and NMR instrument. 

To ensure continuity in our research programme the University offers successful research staff a Research Professorship upon retirement.  These positions overlap with new appointments enabling experienced researchers to mentor and guide younger staff, for example Ross and Bull in neutron scattering and hydrogen storage, and Grundy and Mellors in applied magnetism.  The scheme also gives Research Professors an opportunity to concentrate on research without the distraction of administration or teaching.  This has been particularly successful for Boardman and Ross, who between them have secured almost £0.8M of external funding in the last 18 months.


Commercialisation of Research 

Salford University has a long-standing reputation for the quality of the cost-effective research, technical services and support provided to industry. To consolidate and build on this reputation IMR members use the University’s Commercial Enterprise Unit (CEU) which provides a central focus for commercial activity.  Collaboration between Busby (CEU) and Ross has resulted in the commercial design and manufacture of sophisticated, state-of-the-art engineering equipment for use on neutron beamlines at ISIS, while work with Webster has created the LOCOMETRIC precision sample positioning system which is now used at ISIS, DIAMOND, ILL, ESRF and NECSA (South Africa).

The IMR has also been very successful in developing techniques that have been taken up by industry and has a number of spin-out companies.  These include CVD Technologies Ltd (Sheel, Pemble) which supports the University in exploiting our knowledge of chemical vapour deposition.  The company has a world-leading position in atmospheric pressure CVD coating technology (with over 90% of company business carried out outside UK) and holds patents and has signed technology licensing agreements with 3 large international companies.  Nasr and Yule formed PERDAC, a spin-off company from the IMR's Spray Technology Group. Ross was originally responsible for developing a new measurement technique, the Intelligent Gravimetric Analyser that is now produced commercially by HIDEN Isochema with a turnover in excess of £1M. This instrument has become an international standard in hydrogen storage research. The work of the Atomic Collisions group in developing low energy implantation has directly contributed to the development of equipment used in the production of the latest high-density microchips.  The NFAB project, under the supervision of Donnelly, is to develop an electron microscope "on a chip" using nanotechnology tools such as the Focused Ion Beam system to construct the device.  The project is jointly funded by the University and EU-FP6 CRAFT programme MonarCH (COOP-CT-2006-032732).


Future Research Plans

Currently Materials research at Salford is strong, and we will continue to strengthen our impact in high level Materials research by ensuring that every researcher has international recognition for their work, and by being proactive in appointing internationally renowned research staff.  

We have identified Aerospace Materials as a theme which will provide additional stimuli and direction for our research activities in EM.  A Chair in Aircraft Structures has recently been approved (appointment expected early 2008), and we intend to employ someone with interests in ceramics or aerospace materials who will bring a new dimension to collaborative research between EM and FM.  A subsequent, and related, expansion into Composite Materials, starting with the establishment of a new Composite Laboratory in late 2007 (Moatamedi) and the launch of an MSc course in 2008 (Moatamedi, Morrison) will justify the appointment of up to three new research posts, one of which would be at chair level.  

We also intend to extend Energy research within the IMR.  This will be achieved by building upon our existing programmes of damage studies for plasma-facing materials in fusion reactors (Donnelly) and extending our hydrogen storage materials research to membrane materials for fuel cells (Ross, Bull).  This will link to the development of coherent inelastic neutron scattering modelling, particularly as applied to nanomaterials, both areas in which we have substantial expertise (Ross, Morrison, Bull, Dyer, Shen).  Research will be complemented by the development of an MSc course in Energy which will run alongside existing Masters level programmes.  

Appointments in Complexity and Non-linear science are planned to consolidate themes in T&M and to strengthen links between T&M and EM and FM.  The IMR is also looking to appoint a second researcher in the area of solar plasma/industrial use of plasma.  An Advanced Fellowship application has already been submitted to the STFC funding Council in this area.  Christian will play a major part in future developments in T&M.  He was appointed to play a key interfacial role between the IMR Centres and we see this area of his research increasing as his fellowship progresses.  Other plans in the Centre involve bridging multi-scale and wave-based applications (e.g. towards prediction and design of novel materials), application of new plasma and FSI theories, and ongoing plans for further procurement and utilization of high-performance computing as an IMR simulation and visualisation facility.  

Strong links between research and enterprise are essential and the appointment of Mellors to the IMR will strengthen these links.  We intend to establish the IMR laboratories as showpieces for internal academic research and of an appropriate standard to attract industrial collaboration.  We then plan to launch a Commercial Instrument Suite with UKAS-accredited facilities to meet industrial demand for high-precision measurements and testing.  This will involve additional upgrading of the building infrastructure and funds will be sought through the next round of SRIF.  There will be a continuous upgrading of research equipment to ensure that our facilities are at all times state-of-the-art, e.g. the purchase of GDOES instrument for compositional analysis of thin films including depth profiling, ensuring high-power computing facility is fully competitive against other leading modelling computational facilities, and the development of analysis of composite materials and other multiphysics problems (Wang).  It is also our ambition to be recognised as the home of the primary Spray and Atomisation Research group in the UK, and as a ‘Centre of Excellence’, particularly for industrially related research (Nasr).  We have already begun with an internal bid for the purchase of advanced instrumentation within the Spray and Atomisation Research Group and expansion of the laboratory space.

Finally, Ross is establishing a strong collaborative program with the RAE 6* rated Built and Human Environment Research Institute studying the mechanism of acoustic response of activated carbons.  Kilcoyne plans to extend her work on biomaterials into dental implantology with staff in the Faculty of Health and Social Care.  Pilkington is extending earlier work on ternary solar cell materials to novel wet chemical methods for large area film deposition.  



Staff have been sub-divided according to their experience in academia.  


Over 10 years:


Category A:  D.G.Armour, R.D.Arnell, N.M.Boag, A.D.Boardman, S.E.Donnelly, A.Dyer, C.Faunce, P.J.Grundy, R.Hughes, M.B.Huglin, I.Morrison, M.E.Pemble, R.D.Pilkington, D.K.Ross, D.W.Sheel, T.Shen, J.A.van den Berg, P.J.Webster


Category B: S.Amini, D.W.M.Arrigan, D.M.Bloor, N.N.Ekere, T.R.Hull, B.W.James, P.J.Kelly, D.G.Lord, R.J.Potton, D.Price, G.A.Rogerson, A.O.Taylor, C.Washington


Category C:  M.Y.C.Abyaneh, G.C.Carter, W.A.Oates, E.Wyn-Jones 



Honours and Awards

KAPITSA Medal of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences 2001,(Rogerson)

29th SAC Silver Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2001 (Arrigan)

William Hume-Rothery Award, 2006 (Oates


Fellowships of Professional Institutions and Societies

Institute of Physics (Armour,Arnell,Boardman,Carter,Donnelly,Grundy,Jones,Pemble,

van den Berg,Webster), 

Optical Society of America (Boardman)

Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (Boardman)

Royal Society of Chemistry (Pemble,Dyer)

Institution of Chemical Engineers (Hughes

European Engineer (Eur Ing) (Webster)


Visiting Professorship

Distinguished VP, University of Jilin, China (Arnell)

Adjunct Professor of Condensed Matter Physics and CMRA, Graduate Fellow, University of Nebraska (Boag)

Honorary Professor and Member of the International Advisory Committee of the Laboratory of Microfabrication, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Shen)



Topical Editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B (Boardman)

Invited Editor to Special issue of Microporous and Mesoporous Materials (Dyer)

Editorial Board Membership of International Journal of Nanomanufacturing (Pilkington,Pemble), Diffusion and Defect Data (Ross), Zeolites (Dyer), Microporous and Mesoporous Materials (Dyer)

Member Advisory Board, Journal of Saudi Chemical Society (Hughes)


Membership of External Bodies

Optics and Quantum Electronics Division of the European Physical Society Board (Boardman), 

European Board of Stakeholders of Photonics21 (Boardman), 

Optics and Photonics in the European Research Area 2015 (OPERA2015) (Boardman)

Vice-President of the UK Consortium for Optics [UKCPO]  (Boardman)

First Chair of European Synchrotron Radiation Facility review committee 'Materials Engineering and Environmental Matters' (Webster)

Consortium member and Task Group leader for the EC project RESTAND, (Webster)

Representing Ireland on European Science Foundation Panel Fundamentals of NanoElectronics 2005 (Pemble)

Founder member of The European-Japanese Initiative in Photocatalysis, EJIPAC Board member, member of Steering Committee;  DESNAFS: EU funded 'Network of Excellence' in Hard Coatings.  (Sheel)

Selection Panel for neutron scattering experiments at HMI, Berlin(Ross)

Governing Board and Forum of the Joule Centre for Energy Research in the North-West (Ross,Morrison)

Co-ordinator HyTRAIN (FP6 Marie Curie Research Training Network) (Ross)

Scientific Co-ordinator, Work Package Leader, NESSHy (FP6 IP) (Ross, Morrison)

Neutron Beamtime allocation panel of National Institute for Science and Technology, USA (Ross)

Enterprise Ireland Basic Research Grant Programme Grant Evaluation Panel (Ross)

NW Science Council - Nuclear sub-panel (Ross), 

International Advisory Committee of the Laboratory of Microfabrication, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Shen)

Sole UK member of French National “Groupement de Recherche sur Physique et Applications de la Matière sous Irradiation (GdR-PAMIR)” (Donnelly)



UK Research Council Committee Service

EPSRC Peer Review College : (Boardman,Hughes,Donnelly,Sheel,Ross,Dyer

Monitor of £1.4M EPSRC grant (Arnell), 

Chairman EPSRC Panel Chemists/Chemical Engineers (Hughes)

EPSRC Materials Programme Review Panel (Ross), 

EPSRC Steering Committee Surrey Ion Beam Centre (van den Berg), 

CCLRC’s Chemical Spectroscopy Users Group (Ross)

Member and ex-Chair of CCLRC’s ISIS User Committee (Ross)


Learned Society Committees

Institute of Physics Committees: Computational Physics (Morrison), Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Divisional (Morrison), Ion and Plasma Surfaces Group (Sheel,Arnell), Optics and Photonics Division (Boardman), Neutron Scattering Group (Ross)

Chairman of RSC’s Radiochemical Methods Group, of Analytical Division NW (Dyer), and of Electroanalytical Group (Arrigan)

Chairman and Founder Member British Zeolite Association (Dyer)


Plenary Talks and Invited Keynote Lectures

These include:  

Photonics North, Canada,2006;  SPIE Optoelectronics Conference, Poland,2005(Boardman

XIX Congresso da Sociedade Brasileira de Microscopia e Microanalise (SBMM), Brazil,2003;   EMAG: In situ electron microscopy meeting, London 2006 (Donnelly)

Meeting, Tregastel, France,2001;  ANSTO, Workshop on Neutrons for Engineering, Australia,2002;  French Neutron, ACTS, NMMU, South Africa,2005 (Webster

SISN - Congreasso Annuale, Genova,2006 (Ross)

ICCG conference, Germany,2006;  PSE conference, Germany,2006;  IS TCO International Conference 2006,(Sheel)

International Symposium on Transparent Conducting Oxides, Heraklion, Crete,2005;  5th International Surface Engineering Conference, USA, 2005;  Royal Society of Chemistry Lecture, UK 2006;  (Pemble)

URENCO/VG/VAT/Leybold/MKS specialised course on Vacuum engineering Hobbs, NM, USA 2006(Pilkington)

Heyrovsky Institute, Prague,2003 (Dyer)

International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems, Crakow 2004 (Morrison)


Examples of International Conference Organisation

International Symposia on Hydrogen-Metal Systems, Crakow (2004), Hawaii (2006);  International Workshop on Hydrogen Storage,2006;  International Programme Committee of the IASTED conference on Nanotechnology and Applications (NANA 2008) (Ross)

International Advisory Board to IS TCO International conference 2006(Sheel)

International Conference on Membrane Reactors, Germany,2004 (Hughes)

International Conference on Stress Evaluation 2003 (Webster)

EUROCVD 15 Bochum,2005 (Pemble)


Consultancies and Directorships

Pilkington plc, Akzo Nobel, Saint Gobain (France), Arcelor (Belgium), Fraunhofer (Germany), Bekaert (Belgium) (Sheel)

BNFL plc, Nexia Solutions (Dyer)

Spin-out company, CVD technologies Ltd. (Sheel,Pemble


Network Membership

HyTRAIN, NESSHy, HySIC, (Ross,Morrison)

CVD (Sheel)

ANNA (Integrated Infrastructure Initiative) (van den Berg

UK Car-Parinello consortium (Morrison)

UK CCP9 working group (Morrison)



4 to 10 years:


Category AA.E.Chadwick, S.H.Kilcoyne, G.S.McDonald, M.Moatamedi, G.G.Nasr, K.J.Sandiford


Category B: D.J.Hughes, H.Sitepu, N.D.Telling 



Fellowships of Professional Institutions and Societies

Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers (Nasr)

European Engineer (Eur Ing) (Nasr)


Visiting Professorships

Kumamoto University, Japan; Tongji University, China; University of Lille, France   (Moatamedi)



Editor-in-chief and founder of ‘The International Journal of Multiphysics’ (Moatamedi)


Membership of External Bodies

NW Science Council Aerospace sub-panel (Moatamedi)

UK representative: European, Russian and African Chapter of the International Society for Muon Spectroscopy (Kilcoyne)


UK Research Council Committee Service

EPSRC Peer Review College (Kilcoyne

Monitor of £3.8M EPSRC grant, “MERLIN” (Kilcoyne)

CCLRC’s ISIS Beam Scheduling Panel: Excitations, Muons;  Chairman of ISIS Muon Users Group and ISIS User Committee;  ISIS Ombudsman (Kilcoyne)


Learned Society Committees

Membership of Institute of Physics committees: Magnetism Group; Structural Condensed Matter Physics Group (Kilcoyne)

Member of Pressure Vessels and Piping of ASME Honours and Awards Board (Moatamedi)

Chairman of Multiphysics task group of ASME FSI committee and Manchester Branch of Royal Aeronautical Society (Moatamedi)

Member of Continuous Professional Development Committee of Institution of Gas Engineering and Management (Nasr)


Examples of Invited Lectures

Fluid Structure Interaction Conference, France 2006 (Moatamedi), (Keynote lecture)

King's College London, November 2006;   International Conference on Advanced Optoelectronics and Lasers,  Ukraine,  2003 (McDonald)

European Dental Materials Conference, Cork, 2005,(Plenary);  European Conference on Neutron Scattering, Montpellier 2003;  International Conference on muSR Williamsburg 2002 (Kilcoyne)

International Conference on Mathematical Fluid Dynamics, India, 2002 (Chadwick)

EureMEch Colloquium 439, Saratov State University, Russia, 2002 (Sandiford)


Examples of International Conference Organisation

Conference Chair Multiphysics 2006, Slovenia;   2nd International Symposium on Explosion, Shock wave and Hypervelocity Phenomena, Japan 2007;  Senior roles in FSI PVP ASME Conferences, 2004/5/6, Conference Chair in 2007 (Moatamedi)

General Conference of European Physical Society Condensed Matter Division,2002 (Kilcoyne)

Editor (Industrial) and committee member of several ILASS conferences (Nasr)


Consultancies, Directorships etc

Kellogg's Ltd ( USA/UK), Sie?mens(UK)/Landis and Gyr (UK), Shaws Ltd (UK), Magneflo Ltd (USA/UK), Unilever (UK), Glanbia ( Ireland/Europe), HSS Ltd (UK) , Precision Valve (USA/UK), PRI (UK) (Nasr)

Electrolux, HSL, Aircelle, (Moatamedi)

ERDF (2004) and ESF (2006) projects (McDonald)

BAe systems (Chadwick)

Technical Director of Perdac Ltd, University of Salford, Technology House, (Nasr)


Network Membership




Early Career:


Category A:  D.J.Bull, J.M.Christian, N.J.Mellors, D.Tsiklauri, Y.Wang, H.M.Yates



Honours and Awards

Young Scientist Award 2005 (Int Union of Radio Science) (Tsiklauri)


Membership of External Bodies

External Communications Co-ordinator and member of the steering committee of the Management Committee of HyTRAIN (FP6 Marie Curie Research Training Network) (Bull)


UK Research Council Committee Service

Management committee of £0.57M EPRSC grant (Yates)


Learned Society Committees

Member of Institute of Physics Magnetism Group (Mellors


Invited Lectures

International Conference on New Energy Materials, Beijing, 2006(Bull)

The 8th International Conference on Flow Processes in Composite Materials, Ecole des Mines de Douai, France, 2006;  The 4th UK-CARE Annual General Meeting, 2004;  The 199th Meeting of The Electrochemical Society, USA,2001 (Wang)

International Conference on Advanced Optoelectronics & Lasers, Ukraine,2005; Photon06, 2006 (Christian)

Photon06,UK,2006 (Yates)


Network Membership


CVD (Yates)