Advanced Polymer and Composites (APC) Research Group

About us

Advanced Polymer and Composites (APC) Research Group led by Dr Zhong Yi Zhang is affiliated to the School of Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, UK. The Department 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. Research at MDE has been assessed as internationally recognised at the level of 85 per cent – with 45 per cent of the research assessed as internationally excellent.

APC Research Group undertakes a variety of research and development activities including analysis, formulation, characterisation, manufacturing, design, modelling, rapid prototyping, testing, repair, structural integrity evaluation, applications and technology transfer of thermoplastics, thermostes, coatings, elastomers, adhesives, polymeric composites and nanocomposites.

Dr Zhong Yi Zhang.jpgDr Zhong Yi Zhang is a principal lecturer in the School of Engineering at University of Portsmouth. He holds his BSc and MEng degrees in Polymer Science and Engineering from Sichuan University, P R China and PhD degree in Polymer Composites from Loughborough University, United Kingdom. He is active in research, consultancy and teaching in polymer and composite materials. His academic interests involve processing and fabrication, characterisation, physical and mechanical property testing, applications, and damage evaluation of plastics, composite materials and nanocomposites as well as online learning and teaching via internet.  A number of papers have been published in the journals and presented at conferences.

Dr Hom Nath Dhakal.jpgDr Hom Nath Dhakal is a senior lecturer in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering in the School of Engineering. He has BEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Technology Management. He earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, dissertation concerned “The Manufacture and Properties of Natural Fibre/nanoclay Reinforced Unsaturated Polyester Composites”. His academic and research interests include techniques for fabrication and evaluation of various properties of composite and nanocomposites, metallic and non metallic materials. Dr Dhakal earlier worked with the University of Plymouth as a Lecturer in Mechanical and Marine Engineering. He has many years of teaching and research experiences and has published extensively in scientific journals and conference proceedings.

Dr Jovana Radulovic_2.jpgDr Jovana Radulovic is a Lecturer in Manufacturing Systems and Supply Chain Management in the School of Engineering. She has a background in Organic Chemical Technology and Polymer Engineering and she holds MSc in Materials Science.  Jovana received her PhD “Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of the Interfacial Phenomena Associated with Wetting and Spreading of Trisiloxane Solutions” from the University of Edinburgh in 2010. Her research interests are interfacial phenomena, behaviour of complex fluids and their application to heat transfer and wetting processes, hybrid thermodynamic cycles and renewable energy.

Photo of Dr James MacMullenDr James McMullen specialises in the development and characterisation of novel nanoparticulate treatment systems for facade materials performance enhancement and protection. His recent work has focused on the use of photo-catalytic nanoparticulates in facade treatment systems that do not alter the substrates aesthetics. Benefits include improved superhydrophobic water-repellence, antifouling through photo-induced sanitisation and energy conservation. Due to the nature of such treatments they may play an extensive part in future retrofit and heritage applications.

Prof Nick Bennett.jpgProfessor Nick Bennett is holding the chair of Engineering Manufacture & Innovation in the School of Engineering. He holds BSc (Hons) Mechanical Engineering (Bath) and Master of Business Administration (OBS). His academic interests involve materials, manufacturing, design, rapid prototyping and management. He has led Research & Knowledge Transfer projects worth £6.5m. He has published 65 industrial and academic reports, conference papers and journal publications. He delivered 18 seminars and workshops to local, national and international industries. He is the director of the centre of excellence of rapid prototyping. He undertook a great number of consultancies in design, management, manufacturing, expert witness and testing.

Dr Jiye Chen.jpgDr Jiye Chen is a senior lecturer in Composite Structures at School of Civil Engineering and Surveying. Dr Chen obtained his PhD in the area of computational mechanics of composite structures from the Department of Civil Engineering, at the University of Birmingham, UK, 1998. As a research associate, he worked for the Centre of Composite Materials and Aeronautics Department, Imperial College, London, from 1997 to 2000. In late 2000 he as a research fellow worked for the School of Engineering Science, University of Southampton. He joined the centre for Composite Materials and Structures, Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Bristol in early 2004. At the end of 2006, he was appointed a senior lecturer by the University of Portsmouth.

Prof Mel Richardson.jpgProfessor Mel Richardson is an emeritus professor. He is also a visiting professor and International Advisor to universities in P R China, Malaysia and Portugal. He is active in research, consultancy and teaching associated with Composite/Plastics Materials Engineering specialising in nanotechnology and nanocomposites and also charity projects. He is currently a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Peer Review College. He has over 210 publications, holds major European Union and EPSRC Research Grants. He was awarded the MBE for "humanitarian services to Tibetan area in China" in 1998 which included applying the results of his research work to disadvantaged people in the Far East. He is also Economic Advisor to Pingxiang Municipal Government and Honorary Citizen of Pingxiang City, P R China.