Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Professor in Tribology



+44 (0)20 7594 7242d.dini Website




669City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Professor Dini's Inaugural Lecture: Releasing Friction's Potential

Professor Daniele Dini, FREng, D.Phil., CEng, FIMechE, FInstP, FSTLE and FHEA holds a post as a Professor in Tribology. Prior to joining Imperial College in 2006, and after receiving an M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from the Politecnico di Bari (Italy) in 2000, Professor Dini studied for a D.Phil. in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford (2004).

Professor Dini is Head of the Imperial College Tribology Group, one of the largest tribology groups in the world (about 60 full time researchers).  Its mission is to perform world-leading research, support the application of tribology in industry and train the next generation of tribologists. In 2008 the Group was awarded the annual Imperial College Rector’s Research Excellence Award which recognises an outstanding research group in the College.  He leads the advanced modelling research within the Tribology Group and collaborate closely with its experimentalists. His passion for research and mentoring has been recognised at Imperial College by a Medal in Research Supervision (2012) and two other Teaching awards. His current individual research portfolio supports a team of 16 researchers focused on studies related to the modelling of tribological systems and materials.  Most of these projects are multidisciplinary and range from atomic and molecular simulation to the modelling of machine or biomechanical components.  His industrial collaborators include: Afton Chemical, Bosch, BP, Caterpillar, Element Six, Ford, Rolls-Royce, Shell, SKF, Tenaris, Toyota, Volvo.  He has academic partners at various institutions: Politecnico di Bari, Politecnico di Milano, Universities of Swinburne, Warwick, Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Salento, Saarland, Michigan Ann Arbor, Sao Paulo, KIT, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics.

Professor Dini’s research centres on the application of advanced modelling strategies to applied mechanics, materials, physics, chemistry, biomechanics and structural integrity, with a particular focus on tribology.  It consists of three basic elements: (i) development of advanced numerical tools for the solution of tribological and related problems, including molecular dynamics simulations and fluid and solid mechanics solvers (ii) development of multi-scale strategies to couple molecular-, meso- and macro-scale solvers, (iii) application of advanced numerical tools, both at a fundamental level to understand the underlying mechanisms governing tribological behaviour and for practical use in design, troubleshooting and virtual testing. His work is published in major international journals in the fields of tribology, solid mechanics, computational and experimental material science, soft matter physics, physical chemistry and biomechanics. Professor Dini has published over 250 journal papers presented a number of keynots and invited talks and contributions at conferences on these subjects in teh last decade. 

Professor Dini is the recipient of a number of awards, including: the Tribology Trust Bronze Medal awarded by the IMechE (2004); the Jacob Wallenberg Foundation Award (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science, 2007); three best paper awards: Thomas Bernard Hall Prize (IMechE 2008 and 2010) and the K.L. Johnson Award 2012 (ASME); Teaching Excellence in Engineering Education (Imperial College London, 2014).  He has also been elected a Fellow of the IMechE in 2014 and is the recipient of the prestigious EPSRC Established Career Fellowship, awarded in 2016.  In addition to his contribution to the academic community through his published work, he is also Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Solids and Structures and member of the editorial board of Tribology International and other internationally reputed journals and national (e.g. IMechE) and international (e.g. STLE) committees.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Rong M, Liu H, Scaraggi M, et al., 2020, High lubricity meets load capacity: cartilage mimicking bilayer structure by brushing up stiff hydrogels from subsurface, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol:30, ISSN:1616-301X

Hu S, Cao X, Reddyhoff T, et al., 2020, Liquid repellency enhancement through flexible microstructures, Science Advances, Vol:6, ISSN:2375-2548, Pages:1-7

Eder SJ, Rodriguez Ripoll M, Cihak-Bayr U, et al., 2020, Unraveling and mapping the mechanisms for near-surface microstructure evolution in CuNi alloys under sliding, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol:12, ISSN:1944-8244, Pages:32197-32208

Shen L, Denner F, Morgan N, et al., 2020, Transient structures in rupturing thin-films: Marangoni-induced symmetry-breaking pattern formation in viscous fluids, Science Advances, Vol:6, ISSN:2375-2548

Ewen JP, Ayestarán Latorre C, Gattinoni C, et al., 2020, Substituent effects on the thermal decomposition of phosphate esters on ferrous surfaces, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol:124, ISSN:1932-7447, Pages:9852-9865

Ma S, Scaraggi M, Yan C, et al., 2019, Bio-inspired 3D printed locomotion devices based on anisotropic friction, Small, Vol:15, ISSN:1613-6810, Pages:1802931-1802931

Verschueren J, Gurrutxaga-Lerma B, Balint D, et al., 2018, Instabilities of high speed dislocations, Physical Review Letters, Vol:121, ISSN:0031-9007

Gattinoni C, Ewen JP, Dini D, 2018, Adsorption of Surfactants on α-Fe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>(0001): A Density Functional Theory Study, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol:122, ISSN:1932-7447, Pages:20817-20826

Vakis A, Yastrebov V, Scheibert J, et al., 2018, Modeling and simulation in tribology across scales: An overview, Tribology International, Vol:125, ISSN:0301-679X, Pages:169-199

Ewen JP, Kannam S, Todd B, et al., 2018, Slip of alkanes confined between surfactant monolayers adsorbed on solid surfaces, Langmuir, Vol:34, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:3864-3873

Tan Z, Parisi C, Di Silvio L, et al., 2017, Cryogenic 3D printing of super soft hydrogels, Scientific Reports, Vol:7, ISSN:2045-2322

Shen L, Denner F, Morgan N, et al., 2017, Marangoni effect on small-amplitude capillary waves in viscous fluids, Physical Review E, Vol:96, ISSN:1539-3755, Pages:053110-053110

Putignano, Dini D, 2017, Soft matter lubrication: does solid viscoelasticity matter?, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, Vol:9, ISSN:1944-8244, Pages:42287-42295

Hu H, Wen J, Jia L, et al., 2017, Significant and stable drag reduction with air rings confined by alternated superhydrophobic and hydrophilic strips, Science Advances, Vol:3, ISSN:2375-2548, Pages:1-10

Ewen J, Gattinoni C, Zhang J, et al., 2017, On the effect of confined fluid molecular structure on nonequilibrium phase behaviour and friction, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol:19, ISSN:1463-9084, Pages:17883-17894

Ma S, Scaraggi M, Lin P, et al., 2017, Nanohydrogel brushes for switchable underwater adhesion, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol:121, ISSN:1932-7455, Pages:8452-8463

Ewen JP, Gattinoni C, Morgan N, et al., 2016, Nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of organic friction modifiers adsorbed on iron oxide surfaces, Langmuir, Vol:32, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:4450-4463

Medina S, Dini D, 2014, A numerical model for the deterministic analysis of adhesive rough contacts down to the nano-scale, International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol:51, ISSN:0020-7683, Pages:2620-2632

Mattei L, Campioni E, Accardi MA, et al., 2014, Finite element analysis of the meniscectomised tibio-femoral joint: implementation of advanced articular cartilage models, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Vol:17, ISSN:1025-5842

Heyes DM, Smith ER, Dini D, et al., 2014, The method of planes pressure tensor for a spherical subvolume, The Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol:140, Pages:---

Bertocchi L, Dini D, Giacopini M, et al., 2013, Fluid film lubrication in the presence of cavitation: a mass-conserving two-dimensional formulation for compressible, piezoviscous and non-Newtonian fluids, Tribology International, Vol:67, ISSN:0301-679X, Pages:61-71

Accardi MA, McCullen SD, Callanan A, et al., 2013, Effects of fiber orientation on the frictional properties and damage of regenerative articular cartilage surfaces, Tissue Engineering Part B-Reviews, Vol:19, ISSN:1937-3368, Pages:2300-2310

Gurrutxaga-Lerma B, Balint D, Dini D, et al., 2013, A dynamic discrete dislocation plasticity method for the simulation of plastic relaxation under shock loading, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, Vol:469, ISSN:1364-5021

Medina S, Nowell D, Dini D, 2013, Analytical and Numerical Models for Tangential Stiffness of Rough Elastic Contacts, Tribology Letters, Vol:49, ISSN:1023-8883, Pages:103-115

Hills DA, Thaitirarot A, Barber JR, et al., 2012, Correlation of fretting fatigue experimental results using an asymptotic approach, International Journal of Fatigue, Vol:43, ISSN:0142-1123, Pages:62-75

Medina S, Olver AV, Dini D, 2012, The Influence of Surface Topography on Energy Dissipation and Compliance in Tangentially Loaded Elastic Contacts, Journal of Tribology - Transactions of the ASME, Vol:134, ISSN:0742-4787

Heyes DM, Smith ER, Dini D, et al., 2012, Pressure dependence of confined liquid behavior subjected to boundary-driven shear, J. Chem. Phys, Vol:136, Pages:134705-134705

Scaraggi M, Carbone G, Dini D, 2011, Experimental Evidence of Micro-EHL Lubrication in Rough Soft Contacts, Tribology Letters, Vol:43, ISSN:1023-8883, Pages:169-174

Balcombe R, Fowell MT, Olver AV, et al., 2011, A coupled approach for rolling contact fatigue cracks in the hydrodynamic lubrication regime: The importance of fluid/solid interactions, Wear, Vol:271, ISSN:0043-1648, Pages:720-733

Giacopini M, Fowell MT, Dini D, et al., 2010, A Mass-Conserving Complementarity Formulation to Study Lubricant Films in the Presence of Cavitation, Journal of Tribology - Transactions of the ASME, Vol:132, ISSN:0742-4787

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