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Lightweight /Technologies Team

Professor Richard DashwoodProfessor Richard Dashwood

Professor Dashwood is head of the Lightweight Technologies research focus of WMG's HVM Catapult programme. He manages staff working on Catapult projects in:

Light weight materials and structures including full characterisation, sustainable materials - including lifecycle analysis, Additive Layer Manufacturing employing polymers and metals, simulation and modelling of materials, structures and joining processes.

Professor Richard Dashwood is Academic Director of WMG and the CTO of the WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult. He is head of the 50 strong Materials and Manufacturing Group. The group works in the processing, manufacturing, and performance of engineering materials (steels, light alloys, polymers, composites and hybrids), sustainable materials, smart materials, industrial biotechnology and applied electrochemistry. Prior to joining Warwick in 2008 he spent 25 years in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. He is a member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining Advanced Sheet-metal Forming Committee, the Advisory Board for the International Conference on Superplasticity in Advanced Materials, and the UK Automotive Council Lightweight Vehicle Group. He was an editor of the Journal of Materials (2006-2011) and is an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Automotive Engineering. He has published over 90 journal articles/conference papers/book chapters and has successfully supervised 28 PhD students in metallurgy and materials science (physical, mechanical and chemical).

Helen Ascroft

With a PhD in high speed / dry machining, she has experience in implementing new manufacturing techniques to improve quality and reduce the cost / time of manufacturing components in aerospace and automotive companies. Her present focus is investigating new joining technologies.

Richard Beaumont

Experience in working with high strain rate tensile testing and impact testing equipment, correlating the performance of advanced high strength steels with finite element simulations.

Dr Rohit Bhagat

Assistant Professor of Industrial Electrochemistry: expertise in electroanalytical techniques and electrochemical processes. Current focusses include electrochemical energy storage systems (batteries and fuel cells) and molten salt processes.

Dr Stuart Coles

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Materials with experience in the processing and extraction of natural materials and their application across industrial sectors and the scale up of metal salts, polymers, and catalysts.

Dr Greg Gibbons

With a Doctorate in Physics from the University of Warwick, he has over 15 years’ experience in the development of materials, processes and applications for Additive Layer Manufacturing across many sectors.

Dr Vanessa Goodship

Has 30 years’ experience in the plastics field covering a wide range of capability in formulation, processing and recycling activities for thermoplastic materials.

Dr Sumit Hazra

Expertise in various aspects of the sheet metal forming process. In particular, he has worked on quantifying the cosmetic quality of sheet metal components; predicting and measuring forming limit curves and measuring the sensitivity of the forming process to material and process factors.

Dr Darren Hughes

An Assistant Professor in Materials Performance, he is an expert in the evaluation of materials by non-destructive techniques and has over 20 years experience in characterisation using X-rays and neutrons. Dr Hughes has research projects in areas as diverse as welding optimisation, lightweight structures and nano-composites.

Dr Vit Janik

Research Fellow in physical metallurgy of metals and alloys; more than 7 years of experience in advanced material characterization with focus on elevated temperature performance and processing of Mg and Al-alloys for automotive and aerospace applications.

Dr Kerry Kirwan

An Associate Professor at WMG. He is a specialist in polymer materials, focussing upon innovative materials for automotive glazing and now undertakes extensive research in environmentally friendly materials/processes and resource efficiency within numerous industries.

Dr Pui Ki Leung

Experience in battery research on both electrode and separator materials.

Dr Dezhi Li

With a background in Materials Science, PhD in Electronic Packaging and experience in additive Manufacturing and Mechanical Tests and Analysis, his recent experience is in automotive body-in-white Structure Joining with different technologies, especially self-piercing riveting (SPR).

Dr Iain Masters

Over 25 years’ industrial and academic experience as a materials scientist. Recent work includes modelling the distortion induced in an assembly by the joining process and material characterisation. Currently researching methods to improve the robustness of sheet metal forming simulations.

Neil Reynolds

Senior Research Fellow with over 14 years’ experience working with polymeric composite materials, particularly in the areas of high volume processing for application within the automotive industry. Also has extensive experience of developing mechanical characterisation techniques for advanced materials.

Helena Simmonds

After graduating from the University of Birmingham studying Materials Science, she has spent over 5 years in the Aerospace industry supporting aircraft detail manufacture. Experience includes composite materials production support, quality engineering and lean management.

Darren Stewardson

20 years experience in welding and fabrication, including motorsport applications. Materials Technologist within the Materials Theme Group with a focus on developing light weight composite materials. Technical support for the 4th year undergraduate projects ‘Formula Student’ and ‘EvGP Electric Go-Kart’. Responsible for the daily running of the composite processing area and mechanical testing laboratories.

Martin Thornton

Over 20 years’ experience working the aluminium industry, with expertise in microstructural analysis. More recently, specialising in joining of lightweight structures; particularly resistance welding of aluminium.

David Williams

Over twenty years’ experience in managing product and process development projects in FMCG, IT and automotive sectors, specialising in simulation and modelling of solid and fluid systems, dimensional management and product complexity.

Dr Geraint Williams

Has gained extensive automotive experience over the past 30 years working within both product development and manufacturing divisions in the fields of materials engineering and environmental management, addressing issues related to lightweight materials, end of life vehicles and life cycle assessments.

Since 2005 he has been responsible for the materials and sustainability elements of a number of multi-million pound projects at WMG, delivering both technical and socio-economic outputs.

Prof Jeffrey Youngblood

Currently on sabbatical from Purdue University Materials Engineering, has classical training in polymer chemistry/engineering and surface science. Currently working on self-reinforced polymer composite processing, sustainable polymers/composites, and renewable nanocomposites.