Academics and Engineers from Stuttgart and Luxemburg travel to Bradford to witness the longest composite beam test

Professor Fun Hu and her team showcase Project SANDRA at Paris Air Show

Internationally acclaimed research professors develop original idea to assist in the detection of blockages in sewer pipes


We have several research active academics in the School of Engineering, Design and Technology who are pursuing cutting edge research in the various disciplines of Engineering. Below is a list of some of these academics and their areas of research interests.  



Mechanical & Process Engineering



Key Research Areas

Dr Jian-Ping Li

Optimisation theory and algorithm
   - Multidisciplinary Optimisation
   - Multiobjective Optimisation using Genetic Algorithms
   - Multimodal Optimisation
   - Gradient-Based Optimisation
   - Species Conservation Genetic Algorithm (SCGA)

Engineering Modelling and Optimisation
   - Mechanical
   - Healthcare
   - Automotive 
   - Service
   - Reliability and Maintenance

Prof Alastair Wood

Optimisation relating to MDO frameworks, response-surface modelling, and evolutionary techniques. Applications being addressed include engine calibration (GA, CO), model-based condition monitoring (PSO), and algorithm development (species conservation). 

Professor M K Ebrahimi

Dynamics and control of powertrains and drivelines of mechatronic systems with specialization in mathematical  modelling, identification and validation using short distance telemetry and condition monitoring for energy recovery.

Current activities include:
  - Powertrain modelling, testing, simulation and calibration.
  - Laser based vibration monitoring of turbochargers
  - Model based condition monitoring and fault diagnosis of rotary systems
  - Electric vehicle dynamics and drive line control
  - Hybrid powertrain optimization

Professor IM Mujtaba

Sustainable production of freshwater and  wastewater treatment via desalination (MSF and Reverse Osmosis). Sustainable production of green fuel (refinery crude hydrotreating) and reduction of carbon footprint in refinery processes (heat exchanger network optimisation). Generation of green electricity from municipal solid wastes and biogas from kitchen wastes. Dynamic and steady state modelling, control and  optimisation of processes such as distillation, absorption, chemical reactor, solvent extraction, and polymerisation.


Materials / Polymer Engineering


Key Research Areas

Professor Hadj Benkreira

Rheology of coating formulations & Effects on Coating Performance (stability & Air Entrainment).
Very Thin Films with Reverse Roll Coating at near zero and negative gaps.
High Speed Deformable Roll Coating.
Curtain Coating with a Multilayer Slot-Die.
Dynamic Wetting in coating flows: effect of gas viscosity on air entrainment speed.
CFD simulation of the misting phenomenon in roll coating.
Rheology of waxy crude oils and pipeline start-up pressures.
Upcycling of elastomeric waste residues into Acoustic and Heat insulation materials.
Formulation of polymer nanocomposites using the Bradford bench top minimixer.
Polymer Foams with sc CO2 using a novel rotating rollers die.

Dr Leigh Mulvaney-Johnson

The general research area is polymer processing technologies, with a particular emphasis on injection moulding.

Research has included the following:

Conventional, gas assisted and water assisted injection moulding
Machine and process control
Reprocessing of polymer materials
Simulation of injection moulding processes

Dr Fin Caton-Rose

Solid phase polymer processing for enhanced material properties (both experimental and theoretical analysis)
Finite element analysis of polymer deformation
Finite element analysis of medical devices
Injection moulding analysis within Autodesk Moldflow
Short and long fibre reinforced polymers for automotive applications (experimental and theoretical analysis)
Reverse engineering and virtual prototyping

Professor IM Mujtaba

Modelling, optimisation & control of processes such as desalination, refinery (hydrotreating &, heat exchanger network), distillation, chemical reactor, solvent extraction, and polymerisation.

Dr Mike Martyn

Melt processing instabilities- research in area to determine melt rheological properties leading to instabilities in the processing of polymer melts, particularly interfacial instabilities in stratified coextrusion flows.
Powder injection moulding- application of injection moulding technology to fine metal or ceramic powders to produce dense net shaped products. Particular interest in the micromoulding of these materials.
Gelcast processing - application of gelcast technology to manufacture of net shaped ceramic products.
Smart polymer products – create shape memory polymeric products using die drawing technology.

Dr Elaine Brown

Polymer melt processing, extrusion, injection moulding, micromoulding, hot melt extrusion
Thermal and energy conditions in polymer melt processing
In-process measurements
In-process measurement of polymer melt temperature
In-process ultrasonic measurement of polymer properties including temperature, density, viscosity and filler/blend variations
In process ultrasonic measurements in combination with infrared and/or Raman spectroscopy
In-process measurements of pharmaceutical hot melt extrusion
Ultrasonic tomography
Ultrasonic properties of polymers, ultrasonic characterisation of filled materials

Dr Adrian Kelly

Polymer processing, including extrusion and injection moulding
Pharmaceutical polymer engineering
Polymer rheology
Polymer characterisation
In-process monitoring


Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering


Key Research Areas

Prof Ray Sheriff

Satellite Communications
Mobile Communications
Information and Communications Technology
Technology Enhanced Learning

Dr SMR Jones

Radio Propagation Measurement and modelling
Terrestrial, satellite, cellular and indoor propagation
Communications System Simulation (Physical Layer)
Signal Processing for Communications Systems
Multiple-antenna communications systems (MIMO)
Wideband wireless communications, OFDM, PAPR in OFDM
Direction-finding and radio-location

Dr Roz Halliwell

Wireless Sensors & Embedded Systems
Mobile Communications
Network Modelling

Dr Prashant Pillai

Wireless/Network Control
Protocol Development in Heterogeneous Networks
Authentication, Authorization and Accounting Protocols for Mobile/Satellite Networks
Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) System
Embedded Systems
Advanced robotics with wireless control
Wireless Networks - WLAN and BLUETOOTH
Mobile Communications Technologies – 2G, 3G and beyond
Wireless Sensor Networks.

Dr Haile S. Rajamani

Power Electronics and Converters
Smart Grid technology
FACTs systems
Sustainable Energy
Embedded generation
Applications of power electronics including Electric Vehicles and Robotics.

Dr Darwin Liang

Power electronics
Motor drive and converter
Intelligent robotics
Medical assistive technology
Ultrasonic tomography
Ultrasonic properties of polymers, ultrasonic characterisation of filled materials

Prof Simon Shephard

Cryptography & Computer Communications Security
Genomic Research - Information Theory aspects and Bioinformatics
Vascular research / Multiple Sclerosis / Brain fluid dynamics
Financial Engineering



Civil Engineering



Key Research Areas

Dr A. F. Ashour

Strengthening and repair of concrete and masonry structures to extend their life.
Use of fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bars as internal reinforcement for concrete structures.
Use of recycled aggregate in concrete production.
FRP composites bridge decks.
FRP grid shell structures.
Application of innovative techniques to predict structural behaviour, for example fuzzy logic and neural network.
Cost/material minimisation of structures using evolutionary optimisation techniques.
Concrete technology and advances, for example self-compacting concrete, pre-placed aggregate concrete, etc.
Structural engineering research projects investigating construction materials (steel, concrete, timber, composites and masonry)

Prof Dennis Lam

Prof Dennis Lam has an international reputation in the research on steel and composite construction.
In the area of composite construction with precast hollow core slabs, extensive research has been focused on long span composite beam and semi-rigid connections. It shows these forms of composite connections, when used in design will lead to reduction in beam sizes, which in turn will reduce the overall cost of the building.
The other area of composite construction has been extensively researched is in the behaviour of shear connectors in composite beams with metal deck flooring, his work has underpinned the design treatments in British, European and other national standards for composite construction. Finite element models were developed and have been confirmed against the results of laboratory tests to properly represent each major facet of behaviour. This has permitted a better understanding of the complex load transfer mechanisms and explained some initially puzzling experimental findings.

More recently, research on the behaviour of concrete filled columns has been conducted; work on the behaviour of concrete filled elliptical steel hollow sections is currently being funded by EPSRC

Dr SongDong Shao

River Hydraulics and Coastal Hydrodynamics
Sediment Erosion, Sedimentation and Debris Flow
Non-Newtonian Flow, Porous Flow, Multi-Density Flow, Turbulent Flow
Fluid-Structure Interaction
Mesh Free Numerical Modelling - SPH, MPS, DPM, PIC
Different CFD software

Dr Crina Oltean-Dumbrave

Sustainable built environment (construction, buildings and infrastructure)
Sustainability assessment
Sustainable refurbishment
Sustainable regeneration
Sustainable noise reducing devices
Whole life cycle costing
Decision support systems based on multi-criteria analysis and energy efficient buildings

Prof Simon Tait

Urban Drainage
Sewer system performance, sewer sediment transport and pollution transport
In sewer sensors
Integrated catchment modelling, especially with regard to uncertainty
Climate change impacts of urban drainage systems and adaptation measures
Heat recovery and energy studies in urban drainage systems
Civil Engineering Hydraulics
Sediment transport in rivers
Local scouring
Turbulence over rough boundaries
Flow and pollutant measurement sensors

Dr Feng Fu

Progressive collapse resistance of tall building
Earthquake engineering
Structural Fire
Tensegrity structure

Dr Mick Honnor

Nonlinear analysis using finite element, boundary element and mesh-less methods.
Finite strain geometric and material nonlinearities, contact and friction, discrete elements, fracture mechanics, error estimation and adaptivity, Implicit and explicit nonlinear transient dynamics, vibration, nonlinear buckling, parallel processing. Edge (Hcurl conforming) elements.
Coupled stress/thermal analysis, heat generated by plastic work and friction.
Phase change, liquid/solid, face/body centered cubic.
Stress/thermal/electric three field coupling.
Smeared rotating crack models for concrete, creep and transient thermal creep.
Numerical integration of highly oscillatory integrals

Prof Kiril Horoshenkov

New sensors for pipe inspection (electronics, acoustics and RF).
Noise control by natural means.
Turbulence and gravity waves in pipes and open channels.
Physical properties of porous media

Dr Mostafa  Mohamed

Extraction of thermal energy from grounds.
Consolidation of soft soils
Mechanical behaviour of saturated and unsaturated fibre reinforced soils
Soil Structure interaction
Treatment of wastewater using soil aquifers
Modelling of contaminant transport in saturated and unsaturated soils


Technology Management


Key Research Areas

Dr Eduardo Munive

Strategic management development in manufacturing organisations
Knowledge management practices in manufacturing organisations
Implementation of process improvement practices
Performance measurement and sustainable manufacturing
Performance measurement in manufacturing supply chains


Developing new methods of making co-crystals for Pharmatceutical Industry wins research group £500K funding


"It  was a great opportunity to raise awareness of our work to politicians and other academics, and to make valuable contacts at other research centres and within the government. "



"Working with The University of gives us great access to a real intellectual powerhouse. We’ve been close to the University for many years and undertook our first KTP [Knowledge Transfer Partnership] project in 2010"

Research has opened many doors for me that I did not know existed. Through research, I have been able to find what interests me and a group of people who have the same interests. 




Online Application

The easiest and quickest way to apply for postgraduate research courses at the University of Bradford is to use our online form.


The online application form can be found here:




Downloadable Forms

PDF and Word versions of our research application form are available to print out and fill in by hand to type into and email back.


The downloadable forms are available here:


The completed forms along with any supporting documents should be returned to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



 Supporting Documents


Along with an application form the following supporting documents are normally required:

  1. Degree certificates/transcripts
  2. Two references clearly indicating the applicant’s academic abilities to undertake a programme of research.
  3. Evidence of English language (if required)
  4. A copy of your passport
  5. Research Proposal (around 1000-1500 words). The proposal should consist of the following in your own words:
    • The title of your proposal
    • The Problem Statement setting out the precise nature of the problem you wish to investigate. This should include a justification for your research, why the topic requires a closer look, and how it will make an original contribution to knowledge.
    • You should describe the groundwork you have already done, and be able to show that you are familiar with the existing literature in the field, and how your work will relate to that.
  6. Statement of Purpose. This document is seen by the UKBA as evidence of your intent to study and should ideally cover the following areas:
    • Why you are applying for the above programme of study
    • Why you have chosen to study in the UK and why you have selected the University of Bradford
    • What you would like to achieve after completing your studies


If you apply online there is a facility to upload these documents at the end of the process. We prefer you to submit your application form and supporting materials electronically. This will help us to process your application more rapidly.






PG Research

"Working with The University of gives us great access to a real intellectual powerhouse. We’ve been close to the University for many years and undertook our first KTP [Knowledge Transfer Partnership] project in 2010"

Research has opened many doors for me that I did not know existed. Through research, I have been able to find what interests me and a group of people who have the same interests. 




A research degree at University of Bradford would give you the opportunity to determine and work on your own field of study.

During your studies you are supported by two academics who you will meet with regularly.  Your supervisors will help formulate your research topic and ensure you are on schedule to complete your research on time. A research degree requires an in-depth study in a specialised area. A research student undertakes a major thesis, under the guidance of the supervisors.

The following degrees are offered by the School:

sm-bulletMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)
sm-bulletDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Modes of Research:

It may be possible (with the department’s agreement) to combine two or more of these modes (listed in order of popularity):

Full-time Internal:

You will work alongside other students and staff in your department, and will be expected to complete the research for your PhD within three or four years.

Part-time Internal:

This mode is most suitable if you have a full-time job in a related area. You should live close enough to Bradford to maintain contact with your supervisor, and perhaps participate in research training. The minimum period for completion is four years.

Part-time External:

This mode may be available for students based overseas. You will need to visit Bradford at least once a year in order to have extensive discussions with your supervisor.

Full-time External:

This may suit people such as academics employed in institutions outside the UK. You should be able to commit an average of about 40 hours per week to your research, and be in a position to make regular use of library, computing or necessary equipment resources. You will need to meet your supervisor regularly and make at least one visit of two weeks or perhaps a month each year to Bradford to discuss the progress of your research.





Period of Study for a PhD:


Normal minimum period of registration

Normal maximum period of registration including writing-up period

Full-time doctorate

3 years

4 years

Part-time doctorate

4 years

7 years


Period of Study for an MPhil:


Minimum period of registration

Maximum period of registration

Full-time masters

1 year

2 years

Part-time masters

2 years

4 years


PhD Structure:

The first year of a full-time PhD is spent on an initial registration for MPhil. It may well be taken up with a review of existing literature in your proposed area, and the refining of your research proposal, combined with formal training in research skills in the Graduate School.

If you make good progress in your first year your academic supervisor will apply for your registration to be transferred from MPhil to PhD. If you opt nevertheless to submit for an MPhil then your remaining work should be accomplished in the following year.

The second year of your PhD programme may well be taken up with actual data collection. Towards the end of the year it should be possible to attempt an initial analysis of your results.

In the third year you may conduct detailed collation and analysis of your results, and organise them into a logical and persuasive thesis.

Following submission, your thesis will be read by two examiners. Your supervisor will also already have read your thesis, and may be consulted by the examiners. You will then be required to attend an oral examination, at which will be expected you to answer questions on your thesis.

Admission Criteria:

For the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD):

    sm-bulletFirst or upper-second class degree of Bachelor at an approved university or institution

    sm-bulletA higher degree at an approved university or institution

    sm-bulletExceptionally, candidates with lower than above but with experience and training as suitable preparation

    For the degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil):

    sm-bulletDegree of Bachelor at an approved university or institution

    sm-bulletProfessional qualification approved by Research Degrees Committee and suitable general education and training

    sm-bulletExceptionally, candidates with less than above but able to give satisfactory evidence of having obtained adequate standard of knowledge may be accepted by the Research Degrees Committee


    Note 1: Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy are normally initially registered for the degree of Master of Philosophy and may only be transferred to PhD registration in accordance with procedures outlined in the Regulations for Research Degrees.

    Note 2We will check the approved University and degree award (where you have indicated at an approved university) with the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC). NARIC is the National Agency, managed on behalf of the UK Government, and provides the only official source of information on international qualifications to organisations recruiting from overseas and to individuals wishing to work or study in the UK. You are free to contact NARIC at who will be pleased to confirm your degree in comparison to a UK qualification. Please note there will be a charge for this service.



    Language requirements:

    For students whose first language is not English the University sets a minimum standard entry requirement of 6.0 IELTS with no subtest less than 5.5 or TOEFL language requirement is 84 with no sub-tests below; listening 17, reading 18, speaking 20, writing 17.



    Tuition Fees and Information can be found at: 



    Group Leader: Professor I.M. Mujtaba

    Mechanical & Process Engineering (MPE) Research Group focuses on fundamental and applied research in the area of Mechanical, Chemical and Process Engineering. Academic staff in this research group is organized into sub-research groups that reflect their specific areas of research interest and activity. The members work collaboratively with colleagues across the sub-groups, the school and the University. At the applied level research the group (and sub-groups) works closely with industrial partners. Expertise in the group informs teaching for the different taught programmes where the students are taught in a research-led environment.


    Automotive and Competitive Design


    Automotive and Competitive Design  

    The group works closely with industry on a range of projects including competitive development of many complex devices, such as turbochargers, active filtration systems and control devices that are used in modern high-tech production.

    Members: Professor AJ Day, Professor AS Wood, Professor F. Campean, Dr. P. Olley, Dr. H. Qi, Dr. Jian-Ping Li, Dr. K. Hussain 

    Chemical & Process Engineering


    Chemical & Process Engineering

    Computer Aided Process Engineering is a leading-edge research topic in chemical engineering. We strongly encourage national and international collaboration on short and long term projects on the development and use of computational tools in all aspects of process engineering activities. Our current research focuses on modelling, optimisation & control of processes such as desalination, refinery (hydrotreating &, heat exchanger network), distillation, chemical reactor, solvent extraction, and polymerisation.


    Members: Professor IM Mujtaba, Professor AS Wood, Professor M Ebrahimi, Dr. CS Wright, Dr. C. Kara-Zaitri, Dr. Jian-Ping Li  


    Dynamics and Control

    Dynamics and control of powertrains and drivelines of mechatronic systems with specialization in mathematical modelling, identification and validation using short distance telemetry and condition monitoring for energy recovery. Current activities include: Turbocharger blade tip timing, powertrain testing and calibration, model based electric vehicle control.

    Members: Professor M Ebrahimi, Dr. Jian-Ping Li, Dr. B. Mason 

    Manufacturing & Materials

    Manufacturing and Materials group is researching into the broad system’s aspect of manufacturing: strategy, planning, control, maintenance, supply chain, process improvement and scheduling through the use of AI tools (Knowledge-Based systems, Expert Systems, Artificial Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms), with particular emphasis in the automotive manufacturing environment. The materials aspect of the research group focuses on powder metallurgy processing of ferrous-based materials with specific interests in optimising material compositions to enhance processibility, microstructure and end-use properties.

    Dr.M.K. Khan, Dr. J.E. Munive, Dr. C.S. Wright, Dr. H. Qi, Mr. J.D. Philby 

    Risk and Reliability Modelling

    This research sub-group explores new methods for modeling complex risk and reliability applications in large installations in the Nuclear, Military and Aerospace industries. New models are being developed to determine Minimal Cut Sets of complex Fault Trees and extended further to handle advanced Markov Modeling with particular application to Protective Systems - to properly account for different failure, repair and testing regimes. The research has already yielded a hardware-oriented solution (as opposed to software-oriented solution), using Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) and Programmable Logic Device (PLD) simulation software to store and analyse the failure logic of large and complex systems.

    Members: Dr. C. Kara-Zaitri, Professor IM Mujtaba, Dr. S.M.R. Jones, Dr. J.M.  Noras 

    Advanced Engineering Systems Optimisation

    The aim of this group is to improve the design process and designed products by effectively exploiting the combination of computational modelling and optimisation algorithms and tools to support and enhance the creativity and decision-making of engineering designers.


    Members: Professor AS Wood, Professor F. Campean, Dr. Jian-Ping Li, Professor IM Mujtaba


    New Collaboration Between Bradford and Yola, Nigeria 


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