Metallic alloy

Advanced Materials and Acoustics

Design, characterisation, synthesis and manufacturing of advanced structural and functional materials as well as sound attenuation materials.

Professor Jiawei Mi

The discovery of new materials, and finding more efficient ways of making them into the desired structures and functionalities, is the foundation of modern industry and society.

The Advanced Materials and Acoustics group focuses on designing, developing and exploring new structural and functional materials with step change in performance and functionalities as well as sustainable materials manufacturing technologies for modern industry. Our research and expertise includes

  • Design and development of advanced metallic alloys, composites, biomaterials, 2D functional materials and sound attenuation materials.
  • Development of novel ultrasound and magnetic field based sustainable manufacturing technologies.
  • In situ and operando studies of materials structure evolution using synchrotron X-ray and neutron-based imaging, tomography, diffraction and spectroscopic techniques.
  • Modelling and simulation of materials synthesis and processing using the phase field method and finite element method.
  • Modelling and experimental investigation of sound propagation and attenuation theories in different media and devices for noise controls.


Group lead

Professor Jiawei Mi

Telephone +44 (0)1482 465670

The Approach

We undertake fundamental and applied research in designing and developing new materials and sustainable manufacturing technologies. We use a wide range of experimental and modelling techniques and work together with academic and industry collaborators in the UK and worldwide to tackle these challenges. In particular, we use the most advanced synchrotron X-ray and neutron sources around the world as well as the University’s high performance computing cluster (VIPER) to study the fundamentals of materials synthesis in situ and search the optimal manufacturing strategies in operando.



  • Discover the new physics and improve the basic understanding on the synthesis and manufacturing of advanced materials in highly dynamic and non-equilibrium conditions.
  • Design and develop new structural and functional materials with step changes in properties and functionalities for the 21st-century modern society.
  • Develop green and sustainable materials manufacturing technologies for the transport, energy and aerospace industry in the UK and beyond.

The Impact

By designing and developing new materials and sustainable materials manufacturing technologies, we provide society and industry with new materials and environmental-friendly solutions. For example, new metallic glassy alloys with highest neutron absorption capability (Mi); viscoelastic morphing polymer composites (Fancey); responsive programmable materials and photonic devices for highly efficient energy harvesting (Zhao); scalable on-chip single-photon sources for integrated quantum photonic circuits and networks (Itskevich); pulse magnetic field and ultrasound based environmental-friendly materials processing technologies for metallic alloys and 2D functional materials (Mi); new sound attenuation devices in industrial gas turbine combustors (Rubini, Qin); simultaneous gas temperature and velocity measurement of heated air jet flow based on thermo-graphic phosphor particles (Heyes).


  • All projects

    EPSRC (07/2018 – 07/2022)

    Sustainable and industrially scalable ultrasonic liquid phase exfoliation technologies for manufacturing 2D advanced functional materials (EP/R031819/1, EP/R031665/1, EP/R031975/1, EP/R031401/1).

    EPSRC and Siemens UK (2016 – 2021)

    Acoustic investigation of perforated liners in gas turbine combustors.

    Diamond Light Source (10/2015 - 05/2020)

    Experimental study of novel melt-processing methods for recycled aluminium alloys.

    Saudi Arabia Government (10/2016 - 07/2021)

    Development of Mg based alloys for biocompatible and biodegradable applications.

    EPSRC (09/2014 - 12/2017)

    Development of efficient and scalable ultrasound-assisted solidification technologies for manufacturing advanced metallic alloys (EPSRC, EP/L019965/1, EP/L019884/1, EP/L019825/1).

    EPSRC (10/2015 - 09/2016)

    Ultrasound-enhanced catalytic esterification of pyrolysis bio-oil.

    The Royal Society Industry Fellowship (02/2012 - 02/2016)

    Development of novel external field solidification technologies for Ni Superalloys.

    Ministry of Science and Technology of China (06/2012 - 05/2015)

    The atomisation and spray deposition of novel Ni-based superalloys (A major UK-China collaborative research).

    Baosteel Co. Ltd (01/05/2012 -30/09/2015)

    Development of high performance products comprising dissimilar materials by spray deposition (funded by, the largest steel company in China).

    Thai Government sponsored PhD Studentship (10/2010 - 04/2015)

    Solidification of metal alloys in pulse electromagnetic fields.

    EPSRC (06/2014 - 12/2014)

    Studies of nucleation controlled carbide morphology during the solidification of cast Ni superalloys.

    The Royal Society Newton International Fellowship (03/2012 - 03/2014)

    Synthesis and in situ study of the deformation mechanism of ductile Ti-based bulk metallic glasses.

    The Royal Academy of Engineering (04/2012 - 12/2013)

    Research exchange with China award.

    Siemens Energy Orlando, USA (2015 – 2017)

    Optimisation of resonant devices for attenuation of gas turbine combustor noise.

    Humboldt Research Fellowship 2018-2019

    Filling all in one fibre: upconversion luminescence leverages a multifunctional optical fibre.

    Adelaide Enterprise at University of Adelaide

    GLAS technology to endorse a library of colour codes in glass, Commercial Accelerator Scheme (CAS).

    University of Adelaide

    Investigation into the Structural Capacity of Optical Glass with Application to Sustainable Façade Design and Building Technology, Beacon: Interdisciplinary Research Fund 2016.

  • Funders and collaborators


    EPSRC, STFC, Innovate UK, The Royal Society, The Royal Academy of Engineering; China Scholarship Council, Ministry of Science and Technology China; EU, Siemens UK.


    Universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield, Manchester, Cranfield, Brunel, Birmingham, Oxford Brooks, Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, The Advanced Photon Source Argonne National Laboratory, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, The Swiss Light Source, The European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility, BESSY II.

  • Group members

    Academic staff

    Professor Jiawei Mi

    Professor of Materials & Director of Research |

    Professor Philip Rubini

    Professor, Director of Studies and Deputy Head of Chemical Engineering |

    Dr Kevin Fancey

    Senior Lecturer |

    Dr Qin Qin

    Lecturer in Acoustics |


    Dr Tim Zhao

    Dr Ling Qin

    Dr Zhiguo Zhang

    Dr Shifeng Luo

    Dr Bing Wang

    Dr Chuangnan Wang

    Dr Yongjiang Huang

  • Outputs and publications


    • Zhang, J. C. Khong, B. Koe, S. Luo, S. Huang, L. Qin, S. Cipiccia, D. Batey, A.J. Bodey, C. Rau, Y.L. Chiu, Z. Zhang, J.C. Gebelin, N. Green, J. Mi
      Multiscale characterization of the 3D network structure of metal carbides in a Ni superalloy by synchrotron X-ray microtomography and ptychography. Scripta Materialia, Vol.193 (2021), 71-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2020.10.032
    • Wang, Z. Guo, J. Kang, M. Zou, X. Li, A. Zhang, W. Du, W. Zhang, T.L. Lee, S. Xiong, J. Mi
      3D Phase Field Modeling of Multi-Dendrites Evolution in Solidification and Validation by Synchrotron X-ray Tomography, Materials 2021, 14(3), 520. DOI: 10.3390/ma14030520


    • A.V. Tyurnina, I. Tzanakis, J. Morton, J. Mi, K. Porfyrakis, B.M. Maciejewska, N. Grobert, D.G. Eskin
      Ultrasonic exfoliation of graphene in water: A key parameter study. Carbon, Vol. 168 (2020), 737-74, DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2020.06.029
    • B. Wang, K.A. Seffen, S.D. Guest, T.L. Lee, S. Huang, S. Luo, J. Mi
      In-situ multiscale shear failure of a bistable composite tape-spring. Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 200 (2020), 108348. DOI: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2020.108348
    • B.Wang, S. Zhong, T.L. Lee, K.S. Fancey and J. Mi
      Non-destructive testing and evaluation of composite materials/structures: A state-of-the-art review. Advances in Mechanical Engineering, Vol. 12 (2020),1–28; DOI: 10.1177/1687814020913761
    • B.Koe, C. Abraham, C. Bailey, B. Greening, M. Small, T. Connolley and J. Mi
      A novel electromagnetic apparatus for in-situ synchrotron X-ray imaging study of the separation of phases in metal solidification. HardwareX, Vol. 7(2020), e00104; DOI: 10.1016/j.ohx.2020.e00104
    • J.Zhao, C. Qi, G. Li and M. A. Schmidt
      An improved spectrophotometry tests the Einstein-Smoluchowski equation: a revisit and update, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 21784-21792. DOI: 10.1039/D0CP03392H.
    • X.Pan, J Zhao, et al.
      Mechanistic insight into the non-hydrolytic sol-gel process of tellurite glass films to attain a high transmission’, RSC Advances, 2020, 10 (4), 2404-2415. DOI: 10.1039/C9RA10731B.
    • W.Huang,…, J. Zhao
      A Multiplexed microfluidic platform toward interrogating endocrine function: simultaneous sensing of extracellular Ca2+ and hormone’, ACS sensor, 2020, 5 (2), 490-499. DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.9b02308.


    • D.G. Eskin, I. Tzanakis, F. Wang, GS.B. Lebon, T. Subroto, K. Pericleous, J. Mi Fundamental studies of ultrasonic melt processing, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry Vol. 52 (2019), 455-467, DOI: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2018.12.028
    • Y.Wei, H. Ebendorff-Heidepriem, J. Zhao
      Recent advances in hybrid optical materials: integrating nanoparticles within a glass matrix, Adv. Opt. Mater., 2019, 1900702. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201900702).
    • J.Wang, P. Rubini, Q. Qin, B. Houston
      A model to predict acoustic resonant frequencies of distributed Helmholtz resonators on gas turbine engines. Applied Sciences, 9(7), 1419. DOI: 10.3390/app9071419


    • S.Wang, J. Kang, Z. Guo, T.L. Lee, X. Zhang, Q. Wang, C. Deng. Wang, Z. Guo and J. Mi
      In situ high speed imaging study and modelling of the fatigue fragmentation of dendritic structures in ultrasound fields, Acta Materialia, Vol. 165 (2019), 388-397. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2018.11.053
    • B.Wang, D. Tan, T.L. Lee, J. C. Khong, F. Wang, D. Eskin, T. Connolley, K. Fezzaa, J. Mi
      Ultrafast synchrotron X-ray imaging studies of microstructure fragmentation in solidification under ultrasound, Acta Materialia, Vol. 144 (2018), 505-515. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2017.10.067
    • T.L. Lee, J. Mi, S. Ren, S. Zhao, J. Fan, S. Kabra, S. Zhang, P. S. Grant
      Modelling and neutron diffraction characterization of the interfacial bonding of spray formed dissimilar steels, Acta Materialia, Vol. 155 (2018), 318-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2018.05.055
    • Y.Zhao, W. Du, B. Koe, T. Connolley, S. Irvine, P. K. Allan, C. M. Schlepütz, W. Zhang, F. Wang, D.G. Eskin and J. Mi
      3D Characterisation of the Fe-rich intermetallic phases in Al-5%Cu alloys by synchrotron X-ray microtomography and skeletonisation, Scripta Materialia Vol. 146, 2018, 321-326. DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2017.12.010
    • D.G. Eskin, J. Mi (ed.)
      Solidification Processing of Metallic Alloys Under External Fields (2018), Publisher: Springer International Publishing.


    • F.Wang, D. Eskin, J. Mi, C. Wang, B. Koe, A. King, C. Reinhard, T. Connolley
      A synchrotron X-radiography study of the fragmentation and refinement of primary intermetallic particles in an Al-35Cu alloy induced by ultrasonic melt processing, Acta Materialia, Vol. 141(2017), 142-153. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2017.09.010
    • F.Wang, I. Tzanakis, D. Eskin, J. Mi, T. Connolley
      In situ observation of ultrasonic cavitation-induced fragmentation of the primary crystals formed in Al alloys, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry 39 (2017) 66–76. DOI: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2017.03.057
    • F.Wang, D. Eskin, A. Khvan, K. Starodub, T. Connolley, J. Mi
      On the occurrence of a eutectic type-like structure in solidification of Al-Zr alloys, Scripta Materialia (2017), Vol. 133, 75–78. DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2017.02.027
    • L. Zheng, T.L. Lee, N. Liu, Z. Li, G. Zhang, J. Mi, P.S. Grant
      Numerical and physical simulation of rapid microstructural evolution of gas atomised Ni superalloy powders, Materials & Design (2017), Vol.117, 157–167. DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2016.12.074
    • Y.Liu, Y. Lu, X. Yang, X. Zheng, S. Wen, F. Wang, X. Vidal, J. Zhao, D. Liu, Z. Zhou, C. Ma, J. Zhou, J. A. Piper, P. Xi and D. Jin
      Amplified stimulated emission in upconversion nanoparticles for super-resolution nanoscopy, Nature, 2017, 543, 7644, 229-233. DOI: 10.1038/nature21366).
    • J.Wang, P. Rubini, Q. Qin
      Application of a porous media model for the acoustic damping of perforated plate absorbers. Applied acoustics. Acoustique appliqué. Angewandte Akustik, 127(2017), 324-335. DOI : 10.1016/j.apacoust.2017.07.003


    • F.Wang, D. Eskin, J. Mi, T. Connolley, M. Mounib, J. Lindsay
      A Refining Mechanism of Primary Al3Ti Intermetallic Particles by Ultrasonic Treatment in the Liquid State, Acta Materialia 116 (2016) 354-363. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2016.06.056.
    • J.C. Khong, D. Daisenberger, G. Burca, W. Kockelmann, A.S. Tremsin, J. Mi
      Design and Characterization of Metallic Glassy Alloys of High Neutron Shielding Capability Scientific Reports 6 (2016): Article No. 36998, DOI: 10.1038/srep36998
    • W.Zhang, A. J. Bodey, T. Sui, W. Kockelmannd, C. Rau, A. M. Korsunsky, J. Mi
      Multi-scale Characterization of the 3D Microstructure of a Thermally-Shocked Bulk Metallic Glass Matrix Composite, Nature publication group journal: Scientific Reports 6 (2016), Article No. 18545. DOI: 10.1038/srep18545
    • J Zhao*, et al., ‘Upconversion Nanocrystal-Doped Glass: A New Paradigm for Photonic Materials’, Adv. Opt. Mater., 2016, 1507-1517. DOI: 10.1002/adom.201600296.


    • J.Yang, J. Zhang, Y. Dai, J. Ma, F. Li, F. Bian, J. Mi, B. Sun
      Ab initio simulation: The correlation between the local melt structure and segregation behavior of Fe, V, Ti and Si in liquid Al, Computational Materials Science 109 (2015) 41–48. DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2015.05.033
    • T. Manuwong, W. Zhang, P.L.Kazinczi, A.J. Bodey, C. Rau, J. Mi
      Solidification of metal alloys under electromagnetic pulses and characterization of 3D microstructures using synchrotron X-ray tomography, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Vol. 46 (2015), 2908 – 2915. DOI: 10.1007/s11661-015-2874-8
    • D.Tan, T. L. Lee, J. C. Khong, T. Connolley, K. Fezzaa, J. Mi (2015)
      High speed synchrotron X-ray imaging studies of the ultrasound shockwave and enhanced flow during metal solidification processes, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Vol. 46 (2015), 2851 – 2861. DOI: 10.1007/s11661-015-2872-x
    • T.L. Lee, J. Mi, S.L. Zhao, J.F. Fan, S.Y. Zhang, S. Kabra and P.S. Grant
      Characterization of the residual stresses in spray-formed steels using neutron diffraction, Scripta Materialia 100 (2015) 82–85. DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2014.12.019
    • Z. Austin, B. Chalk, G.H. Mehl, Q. Qin, P.A. Rubini, …V.N. Paunov (2015). Sound absorption of porous cement composites: effects of the porosity and the pore size. Journal of materials science, 50(9), 3495-3503. DOI: 10.1007/s10853-015-8912-5


    • Y.J. Huang, J.C. Khong, T. Connolley, J. Mi (2014)
      The onset of plasticity of a Zr-based bulk metallic glass, International Journal of Plasticity, 60 (2014) 87–100, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijplas.2014.05.003
    • Y.J. Huang, H. Fan, D. Wang, Y. Sun, F. Liu, J. Shen, J. Sun, J. Mi (2014)
      The effect of cooling rate on the wear performance of a ZrCuAlAg bulk metallic glass, Materials & Design, Vol. 58 (2014), 284-289, DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2014.01.067
    • L.Zheng, G. Zhang, C. Xiao, T.L. Lee, B. Han, Z. Li, D. Daisenbergerc, J. Mi (2014)
      The interdendritic-melt solidification control (IMSC) and its effects on the porosity and phase change of a Ni-based superalloy, Scripta Materialia 74 (2014) 84–87, DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2013.11.001
    • Y.J. Huang, J.C. Khong, T. Connolley, J. Mi (2014)
      Understanding the deformation mechanism of individual phases of a ZrTi-based bulk metallic glass matrix composite using in situ diffraction and imaging methods, Applied Physics Letters 104, 031912 (2014), DOI: 10.1063/1.4863095
    • Z.Guo, J. Mi, S. Xiong, P.S. Grant, (2014)
      Phase field study of the tip operating state of a freely growing dendrite against convection using a novel parallel multigrid approach, Journal of Computational Physics 257 (2014) 278–297, DOI: 10.1016/
    • Y Lu, J Zhao, et al.,
      Tunable lifetime multiplexing using luminescent nanocrystals, Nature Photonics, 2014, 8, 32-36, DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.322).
    • Y Lu, J Lu, J Zhao, et al.
      On-the-fly decoding luminescence lifetimes in the microsecond region for lanthanide-encoded suspension arrays, Nature Communications, 2014, 5, 3741; DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4741.


    • Y.J. Huang, W. Zheng, H.B. Fan, D. Wang, J. Shen, J. Mi (2013)
      The effects of annealing on the microstructure and the dynamic mechanical strength of a ZrCuNiAl bulk metallic glass, Intermetallics 42 (2013), 192 – 197, DOI: 10.1016/j.intermet.2013.07.001
    • Y.J. Huang, J.C. Khong, T. Connolley, J. Mi (2013)
      In situ study of the evolution of atomic strain of bulk metallic glass and its effects on shear band formation, Scripta Materialia 69 (2013) 207–210. DOI: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2013.03.016
    • J.Zhao, et al.
      Single-nanocrystal sensitivity achieved by enhanced upconversion luminescence, Nature Nanotechnology, 2013, 8, 729-734. DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2013.171.
    • J. Zhao, et al.
      Upconversion luminescence with tunable lifetime in NaYF4:Yb,Er nanocrystals: role of nanocrystal size, NanoScale, 2013, 5, 944-952; DOI: 10.1039/C2NR32482B.


    • Shu, B. Sun, J. Mi, and P.S. Grant
      High-speed imaging and numerical study of catastrophic fragmentation of dendrites due to ultrasonic cavitations during solidification, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, Vol.43A (2012), 3755-3766, DOI: 10.1007/s11661-012-1188-3
    • Guo, J. Mi and P.S. Grant
      An implicit parallel multigrid computing scheme to solve coupled thermal-solute phase-field equations for dendrite evolution, Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 231, Issue 4, (2012) 1781-1796, DOI: 10.1016/
    • Shu, B. Sun, J. Mi, and P.S. Grant
      A quantitative study of solute diffusion field on heterogeneous nucleation and the solidified grain size of alloys, Acta Materialia 59 (2011), 2135-2144, DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2010.12.014
  • Research students

    Shi Huang

    “Synchrotron X-ray total scattering study of atomic structure evolution in liquid metals”

    Sponsored by UoH-CSC Scholarship (2018-2022)

    Abdulrahman Sumayli

    “Development of Mg based metallic alloys for biocompatible and biodegradable applications”

    Sponsored by Saudi Arabia Government (10/2016-07/2021)

  • Completed PhDs
    • Billy Koe, PhD thesis “In-situ synchrotron X-ray study of phase separation in metal solidification under alternating magnetic fields” (2020).
    • Abdullah Shahjalal, PhD thesis “Acoustic investigation of perforated liner in gas turbine combustors” (2020).
    • Wenjia Du, PhD thesis “In situ synchrotron X-ray studies of the solidification processes under pulse magnetic field” (2018). Now, postdoc at Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, London, UK.
    • Tung Lik Lee, PhD thesis “Modelling and experimental study of the spray forming of dissimilar materials” University of Hull International Scholarship (2016). Now, instrument scientist at Engin-X, ISIS Neutron Source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, UK.
    • Wei Zhang, PhD Thesis “Study of the multi-length scale structures of metallic glasses using synchrotron X-rays and phase-field crystal modelling” sponsored by UoH-CSC Scholarship (2016).
    • Jia Chun Khong, PhD thesis “In situ imaging and diffraction studies of the deformation of metallic glasses and composites”, University of Hull International Scholarship (2015). Now, postdoc at Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London, London, UK.
    • Dongyue Tan, PhD thesis “In situ ultrafast synchrotron X-ray imaging studies of the dynamics of ultrasonic bubbles in liquids”, UoH-CSC Scholarship (2015).
    • Theerapatt Manuwong, PhD thesis “Solidification of metal alloys in pulse electromagnetic fields”, Thai Government Scholarship (2015).


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