Dr Nan Li’s research addresses one of the major challenges facing the transport industry world-wide: developing technological breakthroughs in the manufacturing and design of high-performance lightweight vehicles for a more environmentally-friendly footprint. Nan joined Dyson School of Design Engineering in May 2017. Before joining the School, she studied and worked in the Metal Forming and Materials Modelling Group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London (2009-2017). Her current main research focuses are:
- Developing innovative manufacturing processes for lightweight structures. She has conducted extensive research work on developing novel low-cost hot forming processes for high-strength, lightweight and complex-shaped panel components for a family of advanced lightweight materials, e.g. ultra-high strength steels, Al alloys, Ti alloys, and Polymer Matrix Composites.
- Lightweight structural design and optimisation. Key enablers proposed by Dr Nan Li: New design methods relating to hierarchical optimisation and manufacturing constraints; advanced Design-Manufacturing-Integrated modelling; and Machine-Learning empowered Design for Manufacturing.
All of Dr Nan Li’s research projects address real industrial needs, and tackle scientific and technological challenges in materials processing, manufacturing processes, and structural designs, through fundamental studies based on experimental, analytical, and numerical methodologies.
The applications of Dr Nan Li’s research are primarily in automotive and aerospace industries.
Dr Nan Li is highly motivated to explore technological innovations, particularly in relation to the design of novel manufacturing processes, mechanical testing methods and apparatus, and lightweight vehicle structures. She has authored 40 publications and contributed 10 patents. Her proposed research on producing vehicle lightweight structures is favoured by a wide range of industrial collaborators, including SAIC MOTOR (UK and China), Aisin Takaoka (Japan), TATA Steel (Europe), AP&T (Sweden), Lotus (UK), PAB Coventry (UK), Impression Technologies (UK), ESI (France), AVIC (China), Shougang (China), Doncasters (UK), etc. Nan was awarded the ‘Rowbotham Medal’ 2017 by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of the innovative use of materials for automotive applications. She was also recognized as one of the ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering under 35’ in 2017.
Positions: PhD Studentships for 2020/2021 are now open! Please find further details from the link below:
Interested applicants should send an up-to-date CV to Dr Nan Li, with GPA included. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be addressed by College Registry. Qualified candidates will be interviewed in due course.
et al., 2021, Optimization of graded filleted lattice structures subject to yield and buckling constraints, Materials & Design, ISSN:0264-1275, Pages:109746-109746
et al., 2021, A review on forming technologies of fibre metal laminates, International Journal of Lightweight Materials and Manufacture, Vol:4, ISSN:2588-8404, Pages:110-126
et al., 2020, A feasibility study on warm forming of an as-quenched 22MnB5 boron steel, International Journal of Lightweight Materials and Manufacture, Vol:3, ISSN:2588-8404, Pages:277-283
Tian F, Li N, 2020, Investigation of the feasibility of a novel heat stamping process for producing complex-shaped Ti-6Al-4V panel components, Procedia Manufacturing, Vol:47, ISSN:2351-9789, Pages:1374-1380
et al., 2021, A study of functionally graded lattice structural design and optimisation, 2020 6th International Conference on Mechanical Engineering and Automation Science (ICMEAS), IEEE, Pages:50-55