School of Engineering

Design, Manufacture and Materials

Design, Manufacture and Materials


The Design, Manufacture and Materials Research Group focuses on the design, development, analysis and testing of novel materials, structures and processes.

Our research addresses the design and manufacture techniques, processes and systems required to underpin the development and delivery of innovative materials and products. Much of our research is carried out with industrial partners.

The group hosts two major centres whose research is aimed at particular industry sectors. There is the Newcastle Centre for Railway Research (NewRail), and the Gear Technology Centre (Design Unit), which is a British Gear Association 'Centre of Excellence'. 

Areas of specialist expertise

Our areas of specialist expertise include:

  • processing and analysis of composite materials and structures
  • fundamental and applied research related to mechanical power transmissions and machine elements, especially gear systems
  • railway research, particularly rail freight and logistics, rail infrastructure, rail systems, and rail vehicles
  • additive layer manufacturing (ALM), considering process and materials development, and the use of ALM in mass customisation applications

We have close links to the University’s Resource Centre for Innovation & Design, a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy.


The group has facilities for:

  • materials testing and failure analysis
  • product development and mechanical testing
  • metrology
  • pultrusion, filament winding, resin infusion and vacuum bag moulding
  • selective laser sintering and fused deposition modelling



Find out what we're currently working on, and what projects we've completed.

PhD Students

If you're considering doing a PhD with us, here's a list of possible PhD project titles and current research student projects to think about.

Possible PhD project titles

Here are some suggested PhD projects which you may wish to consider when applying to join us as a postgraduate research student.

This list is under development, it is not exhaustive and other projects may be available.

  • Additive Manufacturing for Medical Applications
  • 3D Printing of Multimaterial Structures
  • Fracture mechanics of composite repair methods for steel structures
  • Sub-sea applications of advanced composites
  • High-temperature performance of aerospace composites
  • Nanomaterials for improved bonding of composite repairs
  • Composite fire protection
  • Thermal transport properties of carbon fibre composites
  • Structural survival of aircraft in post-crash fires

Download a project description for our project on Organisation, Management and Economics of Train Movement (PDF: 153KB).

Current and recent research student projects

Mohd Shukry Abdul Majid - The long term failure behaviour of GRE pipes under biaxial loading.

Muhammad Saleh Jumani - A rapid manufacturing based mass customisation system for foot orthoses.

Recently completed research student projects

Modelling of wear and crack initiation in rails

Student: Gordana Vasic

Awarded PhD: April 2013

Numerical Techniques for Optimising Rail Grinding 

Student: Paul Hyde

Awarded PhD: June 2012

Supervisor: Prof AM Robinson

Aerospace Composite Material In Fire 

Student: Gaetano la Delfa,

Awarded PhD: May 2010

Supervisor: Prof AG Gibson

Dynamic Impact Load to Railway Bridges Induced by Structural Responses and Track Irregularities 

Student: Gunmo Gu,

Awarded PhD: May 2010

Supervisor: Dr FJ Franklin

Population Based Techniques for the Multiple Objective Optimisation of Sandwich Materials and Structures 

Student: Craig Hudson,

Awarded PhD: April 2010

Supervisor: Dr JJ Carruthers