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Mechanics of Composite Materials Group


Mechanics of Composite Materials Group (MCM Group) at Queen Mary University London is a vibrant team led by Dr. Wei Tan. Our group focuses on the understanding, predicting and optimising the mechanical properties of composite materials. Lightweight composite materials are finding increasing applications in aerospace, automotive and energy sectors due to their high specific strength, modulus and energy absorption. Particularly, lightweight composite materials that make future vehicles lighter and safer are particularly relevant to UK in achieving the 2040 net-zero target. The synergy of multi-phase materials often results in unique behaviour of composite materials, outperforming the single-phase constituents. We aim to reveal the deformation and failure mechanisms of composite materials by a combination of experimental, analytical and numerical approaches. This will not only address some fundamental scientific questions, but also accelerate the discovery and development of composite materials.

Research Highlights


The deformation and failure mechanisms of composite materials

Recent News


July 2021 – Dr. Tan’s group has recently published a paper on “Journal of Energy Storage” regarding the recent development of structural power composites. These composites can simultaneously carry mechanical load and store electrical energy. The developed electrodes possess up to 63% of their theoretical capacitance, and their tensile strengths are comparable to those of engineering alloys. Their specific power and specific energy lies between supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries. More details can be found from the link here.

July 2021 – Applications are invited for a full-time Postdoctoral Research Assistant to work on a three-year EPSRC project “CELLCOMP: Data-driven Mechanistic Modelling of Scalable Cellular Composites for Crash Energy Absorption”. The post is based at the Mile End Campus in London. It is full-time, with an expected start date of Oct/Nov 2021. The initial term will be 2 years with the potential to extend the appointment for up to 3 years (the project duration). Applicants will have a PhD (or be near completion) in Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline (e.g. Engineering Mechanics, Mathematics, Aerospace Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, etc.). You should have knowledge and experience in solid mechanics, finite element modelling and data-driven methods. The link in the Jobs.ac.uk is here.

June 2021 – A new PhD position is available in our group. The project title is “Developing crashworthy cellular composites using machine learning”. The detail information for the position can be found from FindAPhD and QMUL.

May 2021 – MCM group has been awarded a significant grant from EPSRC to develop new, lightweight and low-cost materials for the manufacture of safer zero emission vehicles. MCM researchers at Queen Mary form a consortium in collaboration with leading experts from Imperial College London, Delft University of Technology and University of Washington and industrial partners (Q-Flo Ltd and Ultima Forma Ltd) to address the challenges in developing lightweight cellular composites for future zero emission vehicles. Together, the research team will integrate computational modelling and data-driven methods to design the architected cellular composites and ultimately, improve the crashworthiness of future vehicles. More details can be found from the link here. Job posts for a postdoctoral fellow and a PhD will be advertised soon.

April 2021 – MCM group will give three presentations in the coming UK Association for Computational Mechanics conference (UKACM2021) from 14th to 16th April 2021. Dr. Tan will give a presentation on “Phase field modelling of the microstructural fracture and bridging behaviours of composite materials”. Mr. Gomez will give a talk on “Thermo-mechanical modelling on Lithium ion battery cells” and Mr. Kansara will present our recent work on “Data-driven modelling of scalable spinodoid structures for energy absorption”. Please check the following link for the full program.

March 2021 – Our collaborative work with Sid Kumar from TU Delft is now published on line via the link. Mr. Kansara and other MEng project students are all contributing this novel work on “Data-driven modelling of scalable spinodoid structures for energy absorption”.

February 2021 – Dr. Tan is honoured to be elected as a board member of UK Association for Computational Mechanics.

November 2020 – My co-author (E. Martínez-Pañeda) and Dr. Tan would like to announce that our new paper titled “Phase field predictions of microscopic fracture and R-curve behaviour of fibre-reinforced composites” has been accepted in Composites Science and Technology (The most prestigious journal in the composite field, IF=7.09), The free online version can be found in here or the archived version from the link (https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.00779).

September 2020 – Welcome Mr. Emilio Felipe Gomez, PhD candidate, working on the thermal-mechanical modelling of graphene-related materials.

June 2020 – 5 PhD Studentships from September 2020 in Graphene Materials at QMUL. Queen Mary University of London is launching a miniCDT in graphene materials with significant co-funding from the EU Graphene Core 3 Flagship programme. QMUL will establish this new activity with a cohort of five fully funded PhD studentships in the School of Engineering and Materials from September 2020. For more detail, please find the job post in Jobs.ac.uk, FindAPhD or QMUL webstite. We are looking for enthusiastic and talented PhD students to work on these projects.

April 2020 – Our new paper titled ‘A physically-based constitutive model for the shear-dominated response and strain rate effect of carbon fibre reinforced composites’ has been published in Composites Part B (IF=6.82), please enjoy reading this paper through a free link.

February 2020 – Welcome Ravi and John to join the Mechanics of Composite Materials (MCM) lab. We will work on the next generation battery electrode materials.

January 2020 – Dr. Tan has joined School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University London. Please check his University Profile.

November 2019 – Congratulations to our paper published in the Aeronautical Journal (https://doi.org/10.1017/aer.2018.78), which was awarded the Bronze Award (Authors: Dr Liu, Prof. Falzon, Dr. Catalanotti and Dr. Tan). This was featured in the annual ‘Honours, Medals and Awards 2019’ of Royal Aeronautical Society, the global aerospace community’s most prestigious and long-standing awards honouring achievement, innovation and excellence. Check the full winner list here: ow.ly/wgtU50xl20k.

November 2019 – I am going to give a talk in the 1ST EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON CRASHWORTHINESS OF COMPOSITE STRUCTURES, 19-21st November 2019, Riddel Hall, at Queen’s University Belfast. Looking forwarding to meeting my colleagues there.

October 2019 – I am looking for an enthusiastic and talented PhD student to join my new group at Queen Mary University London, starting from January 2020, fully funded for 3.5 years for UK/EU students. More information can be found from the Application Guideline or the Job Post . Visiting scholars, outstanding MSc and undergraduate students are welcome to inquire regarding research opportunities at my group.

October 2019 – Delighted to announce that, from January 2020, I will be working at Queen Mary University London as a Lecturer (Assistant Prof.). I will be leading the Mechanics of Composite Materials Lab.

Academic Collaborators


MCM group is also actively collaborating with QMUL colleagues (Graphene Mini CDT), University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Queen’s University Belfast, Delft University of Technology and University of Washington.

Industrial Partners


MCM group has established a broad collaboration with industrial partners. Particularly, MCM group is closely working with advance material development companies such as Q-Flo, Tortech nano fibre and Ultima-Forma. Q-flo and Tortech is manufacturing macroscopic carbon nanomaterials using a scalable method.

© 2021 by MCM group