School of Engineering

Mechanics of Materials (MoM)

Following a number of years under the leadership of Professor Jingzhe Pan, the MoM group is now led by Professor Bo Chen. The group was established by Professor Frederick Leckie in 1968 and currently has 10 academic staff (10 FTE). The group core values are nurturing the next-generation academic leaders and delivering world-class research and impact. Our successes are evidenced by many internationally renowned researchers who came from this group (e.g., Professors Alan Ponter, David Hayhurst and Alan Cocks, to name a few) and left important footprints in improving the safety and reliability of the UK’s nuclear systems. 

Our research strength

A unique strength of the MoM group is that it consists of colleagues from both materials science and computational mechanics backgrounds. The group is internationally leading in its research on material processing and material behaviour. Our work is underpinned by computational materials science, micro-mechanics and machine learning. The group has five overlapping signature themes: Metals and Advanced Manufacturing, Digital Twin of Ceramic Processing, Advanced Surface Technologies, Advanced Nuclear Systems, and Structural Integrity.

Outward-facing research culture

A number of different trends in research – team-based research, transdisciplinary approach, the push for greater actionable knowledge – require researchers outside of the traditional lens. The MoM group is a signatory to embracing the Outward-Facing Culture. We have been very successful in cutting across traditional disciplinary boundaries, by working with colleagues from Schools of Chemistry, Computational and Mathematical Science, Geography, Geology and the Environment, and Physics / Space Park Leicester, as well as the Colleges of Life Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities within the university, and beyond. Our forward vision is to continue our community building strategy with everyone walking hand in hand to tackle the materials and circularity challenges for the Net Zero. 

Infrastructure and facilities

The MoM group hosts the following centres and laboratories:

  • Advanced Microscopy Centre (contact: Dr Ben Grew)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing - IMPaCT (contact: Professor Simon Gill)
  • Digital TWIN laboratory (contact: Professor Jingzhe Pan)
  • Mechanics of Materials Laboratory (contact: Dr Ben Grew)
  • High Temperature Creep and Fatigue Laboratory (contact: Professor Bo Chen)
  • EPSRC Strategic Equipment – The Hercules (contact: Dr Gareth Douglas)

Solution to industrial problems

We are keen to provide solutions to industrial problems using our computational and experimental expertise. Informal discussion can be made with the Head of Group. The MoM group has considerable experience in working with the industry. Our current industry links include: Alstom; TWI; Doncasters; Purac; Morgan Matroc; Jaguar; Tata Steel; Ilmor; Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines; Delphi Systems; Pankl Motorsport; Teer Coating; GSK; Caterpillar; Siemens (Lincoln); Doosan Babcock; NPL; NG; Qinetiq; FEI; EoN; RSP; Bodycote HIP; Holset; 3M (Atherstone); Perkin-Elmer; Mettler; TA Instruments; Netzsch (Germany); Setram (France); Rolls Royce; Deritend Precision Castings; Centrax; Howmet; Oxley; Federal Mogul; Astra Zeneca; Plansee (Austria); Caleva; Various Police Forces; National Police; Improvement Agency and Frenzak (Poland); University Hospitals of Leicester; Welding Alloys.

Academic staff


  • Professor Bo Chen (Head of MoM Group)
    • Specialises in additive manufacturing, advanced microstructural characterisation as well as creep and fatigue related high-temperature structural integrity
  • Professor Simon Gill
    • Kinetic and thermodynamics modelling how materials mainly metals and ceramics change over time at high temperatures and/or stresses
  • Professor Jingzhe Pan
    • Working on two different materials, advanced ceramics and biodegradable polymers, with a common strategy of developing computational tools to understand and predict their behaviours


  • Dr Mohammed Azeem
    • Understanding the microstructure-property relationship via advanced characterisation including lab X-ray tomography and synchrotron X-ray based techniques
  • Dr Agostino Maurotto
    • Optimisation of surface conditions including ultrasonic machining and robotic machining
  • Dr David Weston
    • Design and processing nanostructured electrodeposited coatings for wear and corrosion resistance
  • Dr Christos Skamniotis
    • Allow jet engines burn fuels at higher temperatures than the current ones, offering significant energy savings, as well as to understand the implications of alternative hydrogen fuels on the structural integrity of key components
  • Dr Dimitris Statharas
    • Understanding the mechanisms that cause solidification cracking during welding and developing strategies to quantify it and prevent it
  • Dr Elsiddig Elmukashfi
    • Computational multiscale and multiphysics modelling of different material systems including polycrystalline solids, rubber and rubberlike materials biological tissues
  • Dr Gebril El-Fallah
    • Design new alloys for energy efficient automotive and aerospace applications using a variety of advanced characterisation techniques and thermodynamics calculations
  • Dr Ramy Mesalam
    • Understanding fundamental material science of advanced thermoelectric materials, design and development of novel Space Nuclear Power systems, as well as advanced spectroscopy and microscopy

Research technical professionals

  • Dr Ben Grew, Technical Services Manager
  • Mrs Charlotte Watts, College Administrator and Project Manager for Hercules
  • Dr Gareth Douglas, Senior Experimental Officer for Hercules
  • Mr Vinay Patel, Experimental Officer
  • Mr Graham Clark, Technician

PhD applications

We welcome applications from students who wish to study for PhD degrees in any of our research areas. Informal discussion can be made with either the Head of Group or any of the MoM Group members directly. Details of our research activities can be found within the personal web-pages of MoM Group members.

Learn more and apply for research degrees in engineering

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