The module descriptors for this programme can be found below.

Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Composite Innovation - Nanocomposites and Structural Power S9

Module aims

This module will take you through the latest composite innovations including nanophase reinforced composites and multifunctional composites. In nanocomposites, it will give a general introduction of various nanophase reinforced matrices, their potential and challenges, state of the art, their application and current research activities. In multifunctional materials, an overview of multifunctional structures and multifunctional materials will be presented, and then the course will focus on structural power composites. 

Module syllabus

Part I. Nanoparticle reinforced Composites (8h)

1.1 Introduction (1h):  Introduction to nanoparticle and their composites; General reinforcing mechanisms using nanoparticle; Their potential and challenges; Future application. 1.2 Nanoparticles (1h): Definition; Introduction to different kind of nanoparticles; Their mechanical and physical properties; Manufacturing methods. 1.3 Nanoparticle polymer composties (2h) and hierachical composites (1h):  1.4 Nanoparticle matrix composites (2h): 1.5 Nanoparticle ceramic composites (1h): State of the Art ; Mechanical and physical properties ; Manufacturing; Characterisation; Reinforcing mechanisms and property predictions; Challenges including dispersion and wettability; Simulation methods; Applications. 

Part 2. Multifunctional Composites (8h) 

2.1 Introduction (2hr): Introduction to multifunctional composites; Taxonomy; Smart materials; Multifunctional structures; Multifunctional materials. 2.2 Multifunctional design (1hr): O’Brien analysis; Advanced models; Case studies. 2.3 Principals of energy storage devices (1hr); Ragone plot; Supercapacitors; Batteries; Hybrid Devices. 2.4 Introduction to structural power (1hrs); Overview of developments; Structural supercapacitors; Structural batteries. 2.5 Constituents (1hr); Electrodes; Electrolytes; Separators; Current collection; Encapsulation. 2.6 Devices (2hr); Assembly, Fabrication;  Characterisation; In-service issues; Modelling; Demonstration.     

Part 3. Real practice/invited talks (4h)   

3.1 Four research students from Dr. Li and Prof. Greenhalgh's research groups will give a presentation on their current ongoing research, demonstrating to the students the real challenges and achievements in Aero labs. One student 30 minutes, in total 2 hours. 3.2 Two expertises from the areas of Nanoparticle-composites and Structural Power will give a lecture on their topics, each 1 hour and in total 2 hours.  

Teaching methods

The module will be delivered primarily through in-class lectures introducing the key concepts and methods, supported by a variety of delivery methods combining the traditional and the technological. The content is presented via a combination of slides, whiteboard and visualizer. Learning will be reinforced through tutorial discussions.


Coursework - A scientific report (max 3000 words) on selected topic (100%)