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In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, through our staff's personal commitment to research informed teaching and industrial Research and Development, we carry out wide and varied inter-disciplinary research. On account of this Faculty-wide philosophy the department provides an environment for creative and supportive research and development in which new ideas are created and flourish.

A considerable amount of the research and development that is carried out within the Department of Mechanical Engineering is conducted in conjunction with industry. This enables the enrichment of the student teaching and learning experience through current and directed research informed teaching which is heavily aligned to industry. This is significant as it makes inroads to achieving industry ready graduates who are aware and have an appreciation for the current needs of industry.

Chester Laser Laboratory

The University of Chester Laser Laboratory conducts research into all aspect of laser materials processing. In addition to laser processing, we also have an interest in the science, development and application of coatings.

Our lasers are capable of engineering the surfaces of the majority of material types; at Chester this commonly includes:

  • polymers
  • metals
  • ceramics
  • glasses
  • woods
  • composites

One of our primary applications involves using laser processing to control the adhesion of bacteria and subsequent growth of biofilms. This has particular application to the food and biomedical industries where control of bacterial contamination is of upmost importance. We are also keen to explore bacterial interactions with surfaces in a range of different non-medical environments. Other key areas of research for us involve photon management, friction and wear, wetting and adhesion, and the machining of advanced materials that are difficult to process by conventional means.

We are keen to work with both industry and academia on all kinds of surface engineering, be it micro- and nano-machining of surfaces, materials processing techniques, or machining (i.e. drilling, cutting and welding).

For more information, please visit the group website.

Advanced Composite Research Group (ACRG)

  • Finite element analysis of composite behaviour
  • Impact dynamics
  • Machining of composite
  • Multifunctional composite
  • Damage assessment of composite
  • Non-destructive techniques
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Energy harvesting for aircraft application
  • De-icing of composite for aircraft
  • Recycled composite and repair

Academic Lead: Dr Yu Shi (

What has been said about our research?

Alice Gillett - "It’s very exciting to see the potential of today’s laser material processing research projects saving lives tomorrow. Using Excimer lasers to treat surfaces to minimize the attachment of deadly bacteria opens the door to a safer environment in hospitals and also in industry, a great example of how all contributions including this one from the University of Chester make ICALEO such an exciting conference."

Chi-Ho Ng - "The University of Chester’s paper on improving the surface of biomedical implants with laser surface treatment at ICALEO 2015 shows how laser material processing can be instrumental in tailoring material characteristics. We valued the contribution especially since it supported our expansion into biomedical applications of lasers and laser material processing in 2015, and hope to hear about further work in 2016."