Institute of Functional Surfaces

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Institute of Functional Surfaces

Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS)

We are a vibrant research community with a passion for understanding the physical and chemical processes that occur in functional interfaces. Surfaces and their relationship with the environment often dictate how an engineering system performs. We recognise that processes at the nanoscale can affect performance through to the macro scale.  

The world is adapting to some major challenges associated with climate change, an ageing population and the security of food and energy. In iFS we can provide a scientific understanding of how we can adapt technologies to cope with these new demands. Particularly, where materials have to survive in new, challenging and often arduous environments.   

The Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS) is underpinned by scientific and engineering excellence. This stretches across our core areas of expertise in Corrosion, Tribology and Surface Engineering. Research areas include:

As a renowned centre of excellence in engineering education and research, we engage strongly with industry, publish widely and educate research students to go on to be research leaders of the future. We also offer postgraduate training and continual professional development through our Centres for Doctoral Training and our short courses. 

Working with business

We have a flexible approach to working with business and can provide a range of collaborative research, including specific projects to address a business need and pre-competitive joint industry projects. 

With a diverse range of funding portfolio of over £10m we support over 60 PhD students and 20 research fellows with expertise spanning from mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, maths, surface engineering, particle science and materials science. 

Facilities and services for business

  • Modelling using commercial software (FLUENT, COMSOL, ANSYS)
  • Bespoke models for corrosion based on mechanistic understanding; these include multimode models for mass transfer and electrochemical processes at flowing interfaces, condensation models for top-of-line-corrosion and coupled electrochemical/mechanics models for tribocorrosion
  • World-leading surface analysis facilities through access to the LEMAS facility in Leeds. 

TRIBOS+ joint Masters programme

This innovative programme provides high-level, state-of-the-art tribological knowledge, equipping students with the skills to address the next wave of advanced engineering problems.  Delivered by a consortium of leading European universities, it forms part of the Erasmus+ mobility scheme, and so offers exciting networking and travel opportunities alongside a unique study experience. Scholarships for both EU and non-EU students are available from the European Commission. Find out more.

PhD projects

We have opportunities, including dual PhD opportunities, for prospective postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Further information

View all members of our research group, our recent projects and publications.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, please get in touch through our iFS email address.