Advanced Materials

Taking a multidisciplinary approach to combat society's challenges

Join our Advanced Materials and Surface Engineering Research Centre, which focuses on themes that support local, national and global sustainable development.

Read below to find out more about your new home of research or get in touch with an Advanced Materials professor today.

For an informal discussion about Advanced Materials research at Manchester Metropolitan, please contact Professor Peter Kelly.


Here we undertake research that profoundly affects people’s lives for the better. Not only is your work recognised here – it’s valued.
Professor Peter Kelly

Our research strength

Join our Advanced Materials and Surface Engineering Research Centre, part of our Faculty of Science and Engineering and a large community of research-led science and technology educators. Here, we focus on key themes that support our goals in sustainable development.

For example, we specialise in the Physical Vapour Deposition of functional films for applications in hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers for green energy production; catalysts and photocatalysts for reducing engine emissions or water treatment processes; energy-efficient architectural glazing; and protective coatings for safer nuclear reactors as part of the BEIS funded Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme.

We are closely aligned with regional and national strategies, which identify the importance of advanced materials in combating societal challenges. We take a multidisciplinary approach and work closely with colleagues in areas including additive manufacturing, microbiology, nanotechnology and smart infrastructure.

For the latter, we’re introducing digitalisation methodology into traditional analogue processing to develop Industry 4.0-ready systems.

Meanwhile, our research in low-carbon fuels, electrochemistry and additive manufacturing underpinned a successful submission to the Engineering unit of assessment in REF 2021.

The results revealed that 88% of our outputs were rated world leading and internationally excellent, and we ranked sixth overall for the impact of our research. Such success is the result of our supportive environment where material scientists, engineers, microbiologists and chemists work across disciplines to create new knowledge that makes a big impact on society.

Notable initiatives

The Surface Engineering Group, one of the leading groups of its kind internationally, has secured significant funding to support major UK initiatives in advanced nuclear fuels and also in nuclear defence, helping to maintain the UK’s continuous at sea nuclear deterrent.

Our Advanced Materials research is led by electrochemist and REF 2021 panellist, Professor Craig Banks, whose work on next-generation screen printing and additive manufacturing has been cited more than 37,000 times.

As part of our Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC), we lead a coalition of regional SMEs, industrial partners and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Together, we recently secured a £300m investment to create the UK’s largest green hydrogen scheme.

Meanwhile, our PrintCity digital manufacturing facility uses our range of additive manufacturing expertise, and they recently demonstrated the world’s first 3D-printed battery.

And due to our commitment to helping businesses innovate for growth, we consistently rank as one of the top five UK universities for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

Hear from our professors

One the great things is that there are minimal barriers to cross-disciplinary working here, making it incredibly easy to collaborate with colleagues across different faculties.
Professor Dominic Medway
As a researcher, I’ve always been independent, worked hard and had goals. But feeling valued and being recognised by Manchester Metropolitan has made me even more motivated. Wherever you are, someone recognises you and values your contribution, so you will feel rewarded.
Professor Liangxiu Han
Joining Manchester Metropolitan has been a great move for me. It's brought me into contact with wonderful, supportive colleagues and the most creative and innovative educational research community I've ever had the pleasure of working with.
Professor Nicola Ingram