Imperial College London

Mr Kian Kun Yap

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Research Postgraduate







564City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Yap is currently a PhD student in the Tribology Group at Imperial College London. His project is supervised by Dr Marc Masen and Dr Janet Wong, funded by the college’s department of mechanical engineering, and supported by DuPont.

Yap’s main research interest is on polymer tribology. Focusing on the graphite-filled polyimides/stainless steel high-temperature sliding, his research aims to elucidate the transfer film formation of high-performance polymers (HPPs). His approach includes in-situ and real-time surface characterisation at the contact interface. With the support from DuPont, novel and highly customised parametric studies, for example, the alteration of polymer backbones is made possible as a strategy to better understand the fundamental tribological phenomena. The success of his research would improve the self-lubricating property of HPPs and subsequently promote energy efficiency in engineering design.

Yap is also actively involved in biotribology research. He is currently working with a team led by Dr Marc Masen on preventing skin injury due to the personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the project, Yap is coordinating the development of shear-reducing lubricants.

Prior to his PhD study, Yap completed his MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (with Distinction) at Imperial College London in 2019. During his MSc, he studied the effect of temperature and filler’s content on the tribological response of polyimides/bearing steel sliding. In 2018, he worked as a researcher in a tribology laboratory at Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) for a year, right after obtaining his first degree, BEng in Mechanical Precision Engineering (First Class Honours) from University Technology of Malaysia (UTM) in 2017. Back in Malaysia, his research was about the influence of absorbed water on the adhesive wear of self-mated stainless steel sliding. He also performed his internship as a R&D engineer at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki in 2016 during his BEng. He involved in the investigation of the wear behaviour of a turbocharger’s wastegate and the EHL simulation of the conrod/crankshaft interface of a V18 diesel engine.