Manufacturing and System Engineering research overview
The Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering has a long established reputation for fostering and encouraging research between our students. This reputation has been achieved by sound teaching in a friendly atmosphere led by academic staff with national and international reputations in research, knowledge transfer and consultancy.
Our mission is to conduct quality research and knowledge transfer in response to practical demands in defence, healthcare, marine, manufacturing and service industries, supported by grants from the EPSRC, MRC, Royal Society, EU, MOD, US Air Force, UK charities and industries.
For more information about how to apply please contact the Faculty of Technology using the Contact us page.
If you have any questions about studying for a research degree at the University of Portsmouth, please complete our enquiry form.
RAE Rating: The Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering is particularly proud of the outcome of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which has recognised and placed MDE amongst the top research active departments in the UK. Our submission on the Unit of Assessment Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering included the work of the Materials and Structural Integrity Research Group, the Institute for Industrial Research and the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Research Group.
This covered work in the analysis of the deformation, fatigue, fracture, impact and buckling of engineering and bio-mechanical structures and components, manufacturing techniques, artificial intelligence, control and automation. 45% of this work was judged to be 'internationally excellent or world-leading', with 85% of 'international standing', reflecting the quality and industrial significance of our research projects.
Academic staff: 33 (please see the staff list).
Postgraduate research students: 22.
Internal links: We have close links with the Institute for Industrial Research (IIR) and the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying at the University of Portsmouth.
External links: The Department successfully attracts research funding from the Engineering and Physical Research Council, the European Community, the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Scheme and a variety of commercial organisations including Rolls-Royce.
The Department is well equipped with state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities, including laboratories for biomechanics, fatigue and fracture, manufacturing engineering and advanced polymer and composite materials.
The Institute uses AI techniques, which enable computational systems to adapt and learn by interacting with their environments. It is an emerging, multidisciplinary field that spans science, engineering, mathematics, psychology, computing and many more disciplines, to create systems which humans consider as being intelligent. We have been involved in many AI industrial applications. These include diagnostics and failure prediction for process machines, embedded intelligence for management systems, image processing for security and surveillance, and medical analysis. We provide first-class consultancy services combined with contract research and development work to businesses.
SEKE is a regional Centre for Knowledge Exchange within the HEFCE national programme of 22 centres that range across many skills and market sectors. It was established to work with schools, colleges, entrepreneurs, small and large companies and organisations to enhance the profile of design and manufacturing in the sustainable economic development of the south-east region.
Manufacturing and Systems Engineering
Our researchers are working and supervising research projects such as: Advanced manufacturing techniques; Artificial intelligence; Control, automation and telecommunication systems. In this area we have received substantial funding from government initiatives and knowledge transfer projects, with extensive collaborative work carried out with regional industry.
The Advanced Manufacturing Engineering researchers are very active in Knowledge Transfer projects with our regional industry. We play a major supportive role to research and supervision in fields such as:
- Rapid product development
- Rapid tooling
- Optimisation of process parameters
- Systems engineering
Our support facilities have been further strengthened by a major contract with HEFCE to create and operate a Knowledge Exchange Centre in the south-east region for manufacturing and design innovation, with potential for extension with additional funding. We have also gained HEIF2 funding to promote inter-disciplinary R and D in creative technologies and manufacturing and electronics.
Our Systems Engineering researchers have extensive experience in researching and supervising fields such as:
- Energy and efficiency
- Sustainable development
- Environmental engineering
- Sensor networks
Most of our research projects are funded by industry, NATO, the UK Research Councils, the European Union and the British Council.
If your research interests lie in this area, we can provide you with high quality supervision on specialisms such as:
- Solidification processing of light metals
- New alloy development
- Ultrasonic processing of light metals
- Thermodynamics of materials; including:
- Fundamentals of heterogeneous nucleation and grain formation on substrates of different potencies and geometries
- Grain refinement of magnesium and its alloys
- Development of new magnesium alloys for automotive and aerospace applications
- Development of functional new metallic materials for applications in the semiconductor industry
- Gibbs-Thomson effect and capillary shape evolution