Posts By / Zulfiqar Khan

COVID – a reflective account, an engineering perspective.

There have always been challenges and opportunities. Some might say that challenges could be over and an opportunity could be lost, really?

There are several key subjects in mechanical engineering, majority attempt to bridge the gap between theory and practice and simultaneously present a simplified solution such as engineering maths, machine design, theory of machines and power plants etc. there are two core subjects which are more challenging in terms of the nature of problems we are asked to solve – such as thermodynamics and thermofluids which in turn are multidisciplinary  subjects and do incorporate elements of functional analysis, linear and nonlinear relationships, physics, energy and flow.

Mechanical engineering itself is an interdisciplinary subject which is underpinned by mathematics and physics. To simplify physical analyses, like the recent landfall in Dorset, although it is a geological event, lets for the time being ignore this element. Two categories, in physics have been defined in terms of whether a body is in motion or at rest, are referred to as dynamics and statics. There is a major mechanism which is called erosion, just before the landfall, the state is static, during the landfall the state is dynamic. Let’s consider, if a body is in motion and there is an element of power, not the power we associate with the words like, politics or megalomaniac, but say heat energy, for example recent Icelandic volcanic eruption, although generally speaking this would fall under volcanology, let’s assume we are not discussing this, there is an element of heat energy in motion which is called thermodynamics.

If we have understood what thermodynamics is, then let’s move to statics. Anything in stationary state, not moving, will come under statics. A coffee table in our lounge, a parked car, a bookshelf etc. in turn the analysis is relatively easy and simple. Are these stationary? is the motion zero? think again.

We talk about destination(s). What is ‘the destination’?

Locally (lounge, car park, library /study) the motion is zero, and we have a zero value. Globally the motion is not zero as the earth is spinning and orbiting. Therefore, universal motion cannot be zero. In turn there is no absolute zero.

Fridge and freezer in our kitchens run on a thermodynamic cycle, there are four distinct processes in a thermodynamic cycle: compression in the compressor, evaporation in the evaporator, condensation in the condenser and expansion in the throttle (expansion) valve. We keep our food and drinks cold in the fridge or food frozen in the freezer. Although in terms of the objective, a lower and controlled temperature is desired, is it destination? thermodynamic cycle is composed of processes and there is no final stage, unless the fridge or freezer stop working. Initial point of a process is connected to the final point of preceding process, and final point of a process is connected to the initial point of proceeding process – all processes are interconnected, it is a ‘cycle’ where is the destination? in turn a destination would mean no motion, static, this is not desired.

What happens after the destination?

We have sources of energy, finite (fossil fuel) to infinite (sun). The energy which is responsible for making chemical reactions happen is called Gibbs Free Energy (GFE). When GFE runs out chemical reactions will cease to occur. For example, by pouring hot water, providing energy, on washing soda, a reaction will happen, a good old recipe to unclog drains. The reaction will stop when that energy runs out.

All sources of energy lead to thermodynamics behaviour which is called Entropy. Let’s take a carboard box, put a few green tennis balls on one side, and a few red tennis balls on the other side, this is a state of order. Now shake the box, green and red balls will mix – this is a state of disorder, if heat energy was involved in this process, then this was Entropy. For example, climate change, rising sea levels, volcanic eruptions and landfalls are all examples of Entropy.

We know that there is no absolute zero, therefore the Entropy has to increase or at its best remain constant, but only locally, for example the landfall in Dorset may not be happening now, it does not mean that erosion elsewhere is not taking place, rising sea level is not the same everywhere. Entropy must increase or could remain constant – disorder must increase or could remain constant.

Let’s go back to March 2020. I was getting out of our staff kitchen on my office floor with a cup of coffee, a work colleague was coming from the opposite side. My colleague told me that, they are planning to go to superstore for shopping to stockpile provisions and utilities. To justify this, my colleague added, we would go to lockdown soon following France.

Lockdown? is it static or dynamic? is it increasing or keeping the Entropy constant?

Stockpile? is it static or dynamic? is it increasing or keeping the Entropy constant?

Soon the Government issued a statement that “people ‘must’ stay at home and certain businesses must close”. A state of zero Entropy?

Wait a minute, do you recall if anyone mentioned anything about flatulence, diarrhoea or indigestion etc, remember stockpiling toilet rolls?

There are economic and psychological aspects to this, “In Auckland, New Zealand, supermarket spending shot up by 40% comparing to the same day the previous year”.

It is rational to prepare for something bad that looks like it is likely to occur,” says David Savage, associate professor of behavioural and microeconomics.

Ben Oppenheim, senior director at San Francisco-based infectious disease research firm Metabiota, agrees. “It’s probably true that panic buying is ultimately a psychological mechanism to deal with our fear and uncertainty; a way to assert some control over the situation by taking an action.”

Physical disorder continued, “Evidence to the Commons EFRA Committee from the British Retail Consortium stated that the main difficulty in meeting the rapid increase in retail demand was the logistics of moving food through the supply chain quickly enough, with deliveries to stores increasing by 30%.” [Source]. “News of empty supermarket shelves and other disruptions in the food supply chain in countries already affected by COVID-19 influenced UK consumer behaviour and led to relatively short lived ‘stock piling’ buying behaviour to prepare for a worst case scenario.” [Source].

A state of lockdown meant zero Entropy, carbon emissions fall down by more than a third, should it continue, there is a chance of Entropy is going in the reverse direction, thermodynamically it is not possible. Stockpiling added to Entropy.

When the lockdown was eased, eat out to help out, we went to several local restaurants to make our contributions to local economy.

We also went to Stonehenge, it was a gorgeous day and outdoor coffee was a bonus, what? Stonehenge is static, I am a dynamist.

When will the Entropy stop and what would the scenario look like?

There is always a gradient therefore change in pressures and temperatures, flow of water, heat flow: boiling or freezing water will continue to take place. No flow means equilibrium, it is a local phenomenon, a lake. And for example, mechanical equilibrium, a seesaw should be dynamic (interesting) when both persons on either end change their loading configuration, seesaw will move up and down. If the load (person on each side) is equal then seesaw would not move, it is static, it is local equilibrium (limited to seesaw), it doesn’t mean that temperature is not changing or the tides are not going out or coming in. I did not stockpile anything because the flow must happen. Stockpiling meant excessive gradient, must be followed by accelerated supply and production – increased Entropy.

Destination is static; the uncertainty associated with destination distracts from the process, the journey. The destination is a state of absolute zero, I will let you interpret this. Challenges will not go away and opportunities will never be lost – absolute zero cannot be reached, Entropy will always increase or if we are very lucky then it could remain constant. Globally Entropy must increase, journey must continue, challenges will be there and opportunities will cross our path.

Each end of a process is a destination, but that is also the final point of a process, so the process hence the journey must continue to connect to the next initial point of another process in the cycle. Presence in the process and enjoying the journey will lead to impactful outcomes.

COVID is just a process within a cycle, and we are on its final point.

Corrosion Condition Monitoring

Collaborative research with The Tank Museum in terms of experimental investigations to evaluate and analyse corrosion induced damage to high value assets led to further collaborations with NASA Materials & Corrosion Control Branch and BAE Systems. The experimental research provided valuable data to develop precision based mathematical models in collaboration with Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Ministry of Defence (MOD) to predict and prognose fracture, electrochemical and coating failures in military vehicles. Further work was conducted to develop in-situ and remote sensing, prediction and prognosis models incorporating advanced sensing techniques to predict and prognose corrosion, coating and fracture led failures.

Subject of this study

Subject of this study

In a separate research additional work has led to state-of-the-art novel sensor design and has been recently patented (GB2018/053368). A framework of remote sensing techniques have been developed and has been adopted by Analatom Inc. USA which are successfully applied in several key installations in the US.

Telescopic Electrochemical Cell (TEC) for Non-Destructive Corrosion Testing of Coated Substrate. Patent number GB2018/053368

Since 2009 a suite of numerical models – and published algorithms and methodologies that have enabled other researchers to reproduce the methods – have been developed at NanoCorr, Energy & Modelling (NCEM) Research Group (previously SDRC[1]) to simulate corrosion failures in large complex engineering structures and to predict averaged material properties, typically measured in laboratory experiments, such as hardness and corrosion resistance.

Experimental work at NCEM was started in 2009 with a focus on corrosion issues and expanded to multidisciplinary research with new grants from several key stakeholders into wear-corrosion, nanocoating failure, fracture mechanics, in-situ and remote sensing techniques. This research was led and conducted by Professor Zulfiqar A Khan and his team including Dr Adil Saeed, Dr Mian Hammad Nazir, Dr Jawwad Latif and several other PGRs and Post Docs.

At the start of project, research was conducted to analyse corrosion and tribological failures in The Tank Museum Bovington military tanks. Based on collected data, (3.5 years of live data, over 153k data points) numerical models were developed for simulating corrosion failures in nonconductive polymeric coatings applied to large engineering structures such as automotive and aerospace applications. These models represented the failing structure as bending cantilever beam subjected to mechanical and/or thermal loading which produces both residual and diffusion-induced stresses in beam. These numerical models were later extended to include nano-composite metal and sea water resistant coatings.

These structures are affected by corrosion

This numerical modelling technology developed at NCEM was combined with remote sensing techniques, which enabled predictions in static structures and high value mobile assets substituting conventional methods which require expensive & time consuming experimental setup and laborious while often unreliable visual inspection. The technology allowed faster structural analyses with greater reliability and precision compared to experiments in turn saving money, labour and time. Further developments included the performance enhancement of coatings under extreme temperatures and pressures. Recent plans are to extend the model capabilities to simulate the effects of deep zone residual stresses on corrosion failures.

Coating delamination issues due to corrosion

This research has developed state of the art cells fabricated by using a special magnetic aluminium compound, which is highly electrically conductive and resistant to corrosion. The research has commissioned for deploying this novel sensing technology for micro-defects detection, corrosion rate measurement and condition assessment of defective coatings. This technology has been successfully tested and commissioned in automotive, hazardous compartments with polymeric coatings and bridges to assess their coating condition in terms of their structural integrity. Post design testing involved the installation of these cells, running diagnostics, data acquisition, and macro-graphs to predict structural defects and the resulting corrosion rate. Taking above research further, an NDT apparatus for use in sensing the electromechanical state of an object was invented to monitor the health/condition of coatings.

Further details can be found in [1, 2, and 3]. If you have interest in the above subjects or have questions and would like to discuss then contact Professor Zulfiqar A Khan.

[1] Sustainable Design Research Centre

Grand Challenges – Clean Growth and Future of Mobility

There are several initiatives to develop state of the art low carbon energy technologies to capture, generate and store energy from renewable sources. Non-renewable sources of energy especially those derived from fossil fuels are finite, and have been contributing to greenhouse gases. In turn ozone depletion and global warming are on the rise.

There have been recent developments in terms of tidal, wind, solar PV and solar thermal technologies, however there are still challenges in terms of efficiency and amount of useful energy that can be generated versus global demands. In addition, dependency on rare earth materials still exists, thermal efficiency of thermo-fluids (fluids used as a medium of heat energy transfer) have upper thresholds and have implications on the durability of systems. Costs of conventional energy materials such as cobalt and lithium carbonates have been rising sharply since 2015-16. Thermal instability of lithium ion batteries and issues are still significant.

At BU NanoCorr, Energy & Modelling (NCEM) Research Group we are developing novel solar thermal (low carbon) technologies incorporating nano enhanced thermofluids and storage materials.

Research and development in low carbon technology at BU is focused on two main themes; clean growth and future of mobility. For further details and to take part in discussion by providing your comments please click on the link (it takes less than a minute to register).

Multidisciplinary research: where Fusion meets REF

“We have developed multidisciplinary research within the Department of Design & Engineering, Faculty of Science & Technology at BU in collaboration with major international, national and regional industrial and HEI partners”, Associate Professor Zulfiqar Khan said. He added, “multidisciplinary research within NanoCorr, Energy & Modelling (NCEM) theme is a direct response to industrial needs in terms of enhancing design for durability & reliability, meeting the demands for generating energy from renewable sources and enhancing students learning experience through research informed education. New knowledge, created during this process, is shared with stakeholders and academic communities through relevant platforms.

Multidisciplinary research within NCEM is led by Zulfiqar and includes the development of nano coatings (nano composites and graphene; materials science and engineering) to increase service life of machines and equipment deployed in harsh operational and environmental conditions (design & engineering), understanding corrosion (materials science and mechanical engineering) issues to prevent structural failures within machines, automotive, locomotives, large structures & marine applications (preventative and predictive condition monitoring; MEMS, NEMS, Micro LPRs) and developing cutting edge solar thermal techniques to generate mechanical and heat energies from renewable sources (mechanical engineering; heat transfer and nano additives).

The objectives of this research are to develop state of the art novel and innovative energy efficient design for durability and reliability solutions applied in wide ranging industrial applications, bring about socio-economic benefits including impacts on cultural life via public engagement. This research is fully and match funded through a current portfolio of one postdoctoral research assistant and four PhD students by major industrial and HEI partners plus three PhD projects were completed early this year.

Majority of you would have had a chance to read through the Stern’s review of REF which was released in late July, steps taken to promote interdisciplinary and other joint working internally and externally and to support engagement and impact, beyond that which is just the aggregate of individual units of assessment (para.88)”. “The proposal to allow the (tick-box) identification interdisciplinary outputs, as well as document the role of ‘interdisciplinary champions’ (para. 100)

Zulfiqar said, “our vision of developing and engaging in multidisciplinary research which is industrially relevant, academically robust and has significant socio-economic value will play an important role in the REF 2021 and beyond and we are better positioned to lead in this area”. He has previously led the University Sustainable Design Research Centre between 2007-2015 and the centre received its REF14 Panel Feedback as, “Sustainable Design Research Group had the highest proportion of outputs judged to be internationally excellent”.

Fusion of research, education and professional practice is a key to lead to multidisciplinary research. BU Fusion of research, education and professional practice is at the heart of BU 2018 strategy. Zulfiqar said, “we have been and are currently delivering research informed education through the delivery of several UG/PG taught courses. This is a major contributor in enhancing students’ learning experience and enabling them to be more employable both in the country and globally.

He previously led the final year Design Engineering, Advanced Technology & Innovation 40 credit unit. Students participated in research activities which led them to publish journal and international conference papers including an invited Springer book chapter.

He developed a 20 credit Thermo fluids & Heat Transfer unit, taught in the second year of BEng/MEng course. Education in this unit is research informed and the unit is supported by laboratory experimentations. This provides an opportunity for the students to bridge the gap between theory and practice. He has also developed two new units Fluids and Thermodynamics L5/Year 2 MEng (Hons) Mech Engg and Thermofluids and Energy Conversion L6/Year 4 MEng (Hons) Mech Engg for recent IMechE accreditation. Education in these units will be supported by state of the art experimental techniques with in kind support from industrial partner and informed by current research in renewable energy technology within NCEM.

Zulfiqar is also leading first year Design Methods & Projects a 40 credit unit in the Design Engineering course. This unit has several projects that allow students to solve real world industrial problems and engage in research within corrosion, contact mechanics and materials science through a live project with The Tank Museum Bovington.

Both Fusion and multidisciplinary research are benefiting students in terms of their learning experience, solving immediate and challenging industrial problems, improving standard of life and bringing economic impacts including impacts on cultural life.

Some latest research activities are documented in recent publications, for further information you may contact Zulfiqar Khan.

What does Safety, Reliability & Durability mean to you?

You must have heard about the recent tragic accident at Alton Towers. Unfortunately it involved one of the most popular rides, the Smiler. Accidents are bound to happen due to various reasons e.g. human error or faults in mechanical, electrical, electronics or control systems/components. Some of the accidents are catastrophic and involves the loss of human lives that includes today’s (Saturday August 22, 2015) vintage plane crash at the air show at Shoreham.

Among several reasons, corrosion is one of the major phenomena which plays an important role in structural deterioration and compromising reliability and durability of components, systems within petrochemical & process industries, automotive, locomotive and aircrafts.

Special attention to corrosion in terms of design, detection and prediction of failures is needed especially where human lives are involved. Here are some of the images from major international and home theme parks where there are visible signs of structural deterioration. Although corrosion initiation, its propagation and affects on structural deterioration may not be physically and visually very prominent, it needs full attention to avoid accidents. IMG_4234 IMG_4235 IMG_4386 IMG_4387 IMG_4388

A significant portfolio of research & development in corrosion has been developed at BU, which responds to structural integrity issues. Earlier work [15-17] in corrosion fatigue has led to a successful research portfolio in corrosion at BU [1-17]. We have developed a meso-mechanics based approach incorporating fracture mechanics and electrochemical processes to predict corrosion through a novel holistic modelling tool.

A PhD degree research in sustainable methodology of conserving historic military vehicles subject to structural deterioration due to corrosion [13, 14] has been successfully completed. This research was conducted in collaboration with The Tank Museum at Bovington. Controlled environment within the newly designed VCC (Vehicles Conservation Centre) is informed by the outcomes of this research. In addition NASA [13] has also been collaborating in corrosion research at BU along with BAE Systems and Analatom Inc. Discussions with Analatom are currently in progress for further collaboration in corrosion sensors technology.

A second project in corrosion monitoring techniques in collaboration with Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence, through a match funded PhD is currently in progress [1-5]. Recent publications [2-4] from this research have made to the Taylor & Francis top 20 most read articles list. This is an evidence of novel contributions to corrosion and corrosion modelling techniques.

A third project in collaboration with Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence through BU match funded PhD programme has been awarded to look into wireless corrosion monitoring techniques.

In addition nano coatings (in collaboration with Schaeffler, a major industrial partner) have been developed at BU incorporating corrosion issues to solve current corrosion problems within industrial applications.

A collaborative research project with National University of Science & Technology & Future Energy Source Ltd (the overall portfolio includes 2 x fully funded PhDs, 2 x match funded PhDs and 1 x Post Doctoral Research Assistant, PDRA) is currently underway to investigate corrosion issues within thermal storage applied in renewable technologies.

We have state of the art corrosion bench testing (environmental simulation) and modelling tools. We have micro LPRs (Linear Polarisation Resistors) & MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems) based live corrosion monitoring stations for large stationary and moving vehicles.

Please contact Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor) if you would like to know more about the research activities or have interests in corrosion related issues,

Publications in Corrosion

  1. Nazir, M. H., Khan, Z., & Stokes, K. (2015). A Holistic Mathematical Modelling and Simulation for Cathodic Delamination
Mechanism – A Novel and an Efficient Approach. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology. doi:10.1080/01694243.2015.1071023
  2. Nazir, H., & Khan, Z. (2015). Maximising the interfacial toughness of thin coatings and substrate through optimisation of defined parapmeters. International Journal of Computational Methods & Experimental Measurements, 1-13. doi:10.2495/CMEM-V0-N0-1-13
  3. Nazir, M., Khan, Z., & Stokes, K. (2015). Optimisation of Interface Roughness and Coating Thickness to Maximise Coating-Substrate Adhesion – A Failure Prediction and Reliability Assessment Modelling. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 29(14), 1415-1445. doi:10.1080/01694243.2015.1026870
  4. Nazir, H., Khan, Z., & Stokes, K. (2015). A Unified Mathematical Modelling and Simulation for Cathodic Blistering Mechanism
incorporating diffusion and fracture mechanics concepts. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 29(12), 1200-1228. doi:10.1080/01694243.2015.1022496
  5. Nazir, H., Khan, Z., & Stokes, K. (2014). Modelling of Metal-Coating Delamination Incorporating Variable Environmental Parameters. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 29(5), 392-423. doi:10.1080/01694243.2014.990200
  6. Nugent, M., & Khan, Z. (2014). The effects of corrosion rate and manufacturing in the prevention of stress corrosion cracking on structural members of steel bridges. The Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering JCSE, 17(16). Retrieved from
  7. Wilton-Smith, K., Khan, Z., Saeed, A (2014). Accelerated Corrosion tests of Waste-gated Turbocharger’s Adjustable and Fixed End Links. In High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials Vol. 137 (pp. 501-508). Southampton: Wessex Institute of Technology, UK. doi:10.2495/HPSM140461
  8. Ramesh, C. S., Khan, S., Sridhar, K. S., & Khan, Z. (2014). Slurry erosive wear behavior of hot extruded Al6061-Si3N4 composite. Materials Science Forum, 773-774, 454-460. doi:10.4028/
  9. Ramesh, C. S., Khan, S., Khan, Z., & Sridhar, K. S. (2013). Slurry Erosive Wear Behavior of Hot Extruded Al6061-Si3N4 Composite. Materials Science Forum, 773-774(2014), 462-468. doi:10.4028/
  10. Chinnakurli, R., Adarsha, H., Pramod, S., & Khan, Z. (2013). Tribological Characteristics of Innovative Al6061-Carbon Fibre Rod Metal Matrix Composites. Materials and Design, Volume 50(September 2013), 597-605. doi:10.1016/j.matdes.2013.03.031
  11. Dobson, P., & Khan, Z. (2013). Design considerations for carbon steel pipes materials’ selection applied in fossil powered plants subjected to wet-steam flow accelerated- corrosion review paper. Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering, 16, 1-13. Retrieved from
  12. Denham, L., & Khan, Z. (2013). The prevention of corrosion and corrosion
stress cracking on structural members of
fixed deep sea oil rigs. The Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering, 16, 1-13. Retrieved from
  13. Saeed, A., Khan, Z., & Montgomery, E. L. (2013). Corrosion Damage Analysis and Material Characterization of Sherman and Centaur – The Historic Military Tanks. Materials Performance and Characterization, 2(1), 1-16. doi:10.1520/MPC20120016
  14. Saeed, A., Khan, Z. A., Nel, M., & Smith, R. (2011). Non destructive material characterisation and material loss evaluation in large historic military vehicles. Insight – Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring, 53, 382-386. doi:10.1784/insi.2011.53.7.382
  15. Khan, Z. A., & Zhen, P. J. (2001). Corrosion Fatigue & Remaining Life Assessment Techniques of 16MnR Pressure Vessel Steel (96-918-02-04). Shanghai: Ministry of Labour, Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
  16. Khan, Z. A., & Zhen, P. J. (2000). Corrosion fatigue of 16Mn pressure vessel steel in H2S environment. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (Publication) PVP, 413, 49-54.
  17. Zhen, P. J., & Khan, Z. A. (2000). Pressure Vessel Materials: Handbook (1 ed.). Beijing, PR China: Industrial Equipment and Information Engineering Centre.

BU Academic International Engagement

Asia Conference on Power and Electrical Engineering (ACPEE 2016) has invited Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor) to join as a Technical Committee Member. ACPEE is organised by Hong Kong Society of Mechanical Engineers. The conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 20-22 March 2016.

Renewable Energy Sources and Technology is one of the conference themes. This theme includes topics such as Solar Energy Systems, Wind Energy Systems, Marine Renewable Energy, Energy Management & Environmental issues, Hybrid Power Systems, Distributed & Co-Generation Systems, Biomass Energy and Geothermal Resources, Hydro Power Plants, Hydrogen Systems and Fuel Cells.

Dr Zulfiqar Khan is leading a significant research portfolio in renewable technologies in collaboration with Future Energy Source Ltd and National University of Science & Technology. This includes three PhD degree research projects: 1) Energy Recovery at Thermodynamic Expansion and Thermal Boosting Through Convection in Flat Plate Solar Thermal Systems (match funded by NUST), 2) Experimental investigation and mathematical modelling of dynamic equilibrium of novel thermo fluids for renewable technology applications (fully funded by Future Energy Source Ltd), 3) Research and development in novel alternative renewable energy technology (fully funded by Future Energy Source Ltd) and a recently awarded Post Doctoral Research Assistant PDRA, 3) Modelling & development of thermo-fluids incorporating nano-additives (funded by Future Energy Source Ltd).

ACPEE is an international forum for the dissemination of latest research findings in the fields of Power and Electrical Engineering. The conference will provide a forum for exchange of ideas, networking and initiating collaborations among world leading researchers, engineers and scientists from around the globe.

All submissions will be peer reviewed, accepted papers will be published in the ACPEE 2016 conference Proceedings and will be submitted to IEEE Xplore review.

If you have interests in renewable energy technologies or would like to know more please contact Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor)

BU research in the spot light

Taylor & Francis one of the major international publishers publishes a list of top 20 most read/downloaded papers in the Journal of Adhesion Science & Technology. Three of the BU’s Sustainable Design Research Centre (now Cluster) recent publications are in the top 20 most read publications list, of which one is now the top most read publication.

It is note worthy that most of the publications in the top most read articles have been available since 2012. BU publications have been available since December 2014 and Mar/April 2015.

Current research in corrosion is conducted in collaboration with the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence and led by Dr Zulfiqar Khan. This research focuses on structural deterioration through corrosion, its monitoring and prediction. A second project in collaboration with the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence in wireless corrosion monitoring techniques will start soon.

A recently successful research in collaboration with The Tank Museum at Bovington in corrosion has led to significant contributions and has informed environmental controlled Vehicle Conservation Centre at the Museum.

If you have interests in this area or would like to know more about the corrosion, its implications on structural integrity, longevity, durability & reliability then do contact us.

Dr Zulfiqar Khan

BU publications in Taylor & Francis top 20 most read articles

SDRC has developed a significant research portfolio in collaboration with industrial partners within corrosion, corrosion modelling, corrosion simulation, in-situ and remote corrosion condition monitoring.

SDRC industrial partners in corrosion research include The Tank Museum at Bovington, Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence and Wessex Institute of Technology.

SDRC researchers have delivered invited guest speaking on the above topics in corrosion at the University of Oxford, Cranfield University, Institute of Physics and University of Southampton.

This activity also led to organising the 1st BU-International Tank Museums Conference at BU and organising a special session at the recent Contact & Surface conference that included solving corrosion issues through Surface Engineering.

Recent publication “Optimisation of interface roughness and coating thickness to maximise coating–substrate adhesion – a failure prediction and reliability assessment modelling” has made to the top 16th in the top 20 most read Taylor & Francis publications list with 409 article views/downloads.

Another recent publication “Modelling of metal-coating delamination incorporating variable environmental parameters” now stands 2nd in the above list with 1161 article views/downloads.

It is worth noting that the first publication was available since April 13, 2015 and the later publication was available since December 15, 2014. The rest of the papers (except one Feb 7, 2014) in the Taylor & Francis most read articles list were available since April-Aug 2012.

If you have interest in the above research area or would like to know more please visit SDRC webpage or contact

Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor)


BU SDRC Contributions to WIT Contact & Surface 2015 International Conference

BU SDRC Director Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor) organised a special session on “Surface Engineering” at the WIT 2015 Contact and Surface International Conference and contributed as a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) as a reviewer during 2014-15.

SDRC Professor Mark Hadfield chaired the special session and also helped the conference as a member of the ISAC to support review process.

BU academics and researchers along with the SDRC international partners from Gazi University Turkey contributed presentations and have submitted the following extended full length papers to the WIT International Journal of Computational Methods & Experimental Measurements (CMEM), which are all currently under review for publication.

  1. Khan, Z., Pashaei, P., Bajwa, R., Nazir, M. H., & Cakmak, M. (2015). Fabrication and characterisation of electrodeposited and magnetron sputtered thin films. In Contact and Surface 2015. València, Spain. Retrieved from
  2. Saeed, A., Khan, Z., & Hadfield, M. (2015). Performance Evaluation of Surface Protection Applied to Large Vehicles. In Contact and Surface 2015. València, Spain: Wessex Institute, UK. Retrieved from
  3. Gultekin, A., Pashaei, P., Khan, Z., Ozturk, M. K., Tamer, M., & Bas, Y. (2015). X-ray and ab initio study of structural, electronic, elastic and optical properties in Be1-xZnxS alloys depending on Vegard’s law. In Contact and Surface 2015. València, Spain. Retrieved from
  4. Nazir, M. H., Khan, Z. A. (2015). Maximising the Interfacial Fracture Toughness of Thin Coatings and Substrate through Optimisation of Defined Parameters. In Contact and Surface 2015. València, Spain: WIT. Retrieved from

WIT is currently collaborating with BU in Corrosion research through a post doc programme Mark Hadfield (PI), Zulfiqar Khan (Co-I) led by Dr Adil Saeed as a post doc researcher.

Corrosion (experimental, modelling and simulation) and Surface Engineering (nano coatings) research within BU SDRC is conducted in collaboration with multinational industrial partners through match funding with significant in-kind experimental support.

For further details on current research activity in SDRC please visit the Centre webpage. If you have interests in these areas and would like to find more please contact Dr Zulfiqar Khan

BU is leading research in areas identified in the top 10 emerging technologies

The top 10 emerging technologies will significantly influence the future landscape of research council funding, its initiatives, collaborative opportunities and formation of consortiums on global level.

Although service and product based economy is on the rise in the South and South East Asian countries, core Engineering and Technological disciplines have conventional and strategic importance in terms of education and research mainly due to higher employability both in academic and industrial sectors. The number of UG/PG students is usually high with highest tariff points in medicine and engineering.

Key BU partners such as PES University (MoU has been signed, joint Journal and Conference publications, funding proposals have been developed, mutual visits), National University of Science & Technology (match funded PhD studentships), National Institute of Technology (joint publications and organising international conference) and Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences & Technology (MoU has been signed, mutual research visits, and education activity through British Council funding) are some, which are a window, to their research and education activity.

SDRC has been leading research and research informed education in collaboration with national and international higher education and industrial partners in major themes of the top 10 emerging technologies.

Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMs):

Research in this area is conducted through a PhD programme entitled “In-situ corrosion health monitoring and prediction in military vehicles” in collaboration with a major industrial partner.


This research is performed through two PhD programmes entitled “Developing thin film nano-composite coatings for advanced applications” and “Electroplated composite coatings with incorporated nano particles for tribological systems with the focus on water lubrication”. Both these programmes are in collaboration with international HEI and industrial partners.

Advanced Energy Storage And Generation:

Research in this area is supported by industrial and HEI partners through “Energy recovery at thermodynamic expansion and thermal boosting through convection in flat plate solar thermal systems”, “Experimental investigation and mathematical modelling of dynamic equilibrium of novel thermo fluids for renewable technology applications” and “Research and development in novel alternative renewable energy technology”.

BU is best placed in terms of the above themes that provide a strong foundation to further enhance international collaborations for research and education.

If you would like further information or have interest in any of the above areas please contact Dr Zulfiqar Khan.

BU Academic’s Major International Engagement and Esteem

Dr Zulfiqar Khan FIMechE, CEng, SFHEA

Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor), Director Sustainable Design Research Centre SciTech has been invited to Chair Surface Engineering Track at the STLE (Society of Tribologists & Lubrication Engineers) 70th Annual Meeting & Exhibition May 2015.

Zulfiqar is leading the Surface Engineering Technical Committee as Vice-Chair. He is also Technical Editor of Tribology & Lubrication Technology (TLT), STLE’s official membership publication. Around 126 STLE members were invited to submit a case for support to become technical editor, only 17 were selected, of whom Zulfiqar is the only non-US member of the technical committee.

He has been actively engaged and making significant contributions to the STLE since May of 2008, as conference track Chair, Vice-chair, Paper Solicitation Chair and is currently leading the selection process of the Surface Engineering 2015 best paper award.

SLTE mission is “to advance the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering in order to foster innovation, improve the performance of equipment and products, conserve resources and protect the environment.” [STLE website].

STLE is serving the needs of more than 10, 000 members and over 150 industrial partners within the Tribology & Lubrication Engineering sector. STLE has a 24 member elected board with elected president (annual) who leads STLE as CEO and heads the board as Chair, 23 technical committees and councils and has an annual budget of around 2.25 million USD [STLE website].

If you would like to know more or have interests to get involved please contact Dr Zulfiqar Khan directly.

Taylor & Francis one of the most read publications

Corrosion in large vehicles in the museum environment

Corrosion in large vehicles in the museum environment

Sustainable Design Research Centre recent publication “Modelling of metal-coating delamination incorporating variable environmental parameters” by Hammad Nazir (PhD student), Dr Zulfiqar Khan and K Stokes (Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence industrial partner) has made it to the most read articles list on the Taylor & Francis website.

This research is co-funded by BU and Defence Science & Technology Laboratory Ministry of Defence, with in-kind support from The Tank Museum at Bovington and other industrial partners.

This paper has been available online since December 15th 2014 with 338 downloads/views recorded on Feb 28th 2015.


cathodic delaminationcoating delaminationdegradationmathematical modellingdiffusionadhesion

An Example of Research Informed Education

I have been leading final year Design & Engineering “Advanced Technology & Innovation” unit. This is a 40 credit unit and 50% of the course work is assessed through a research publication.

During this unit the students had the opportunity to choose a topic for research within the area of coatings including nano coatings, structural integrity (corrosion simulation and modelling), thermodynamics, renewable energy and materials. These areas of research are supported through state-of-the-art experimental and analytical resources in Sustainable Design Research Centre and supported by significant industrial collaborations.

Final year design engineering students have been actively engaged with the research activity and were successful in publishing the following journal (open access) and conference papers.

Nugent, M., & Khan, Z. (2014). The effects of corrosion rate and manufacturing in the prevention of stress corrosion cracking on structural members of steel bridges. The Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering JCSE, 17(16). Retrieved from

Grover, M., & Khan, Z. (2014). The Comparison on Tool Wear, Surface Finish and Geometric Accuracy when turning EN8 Steel in Wet and Dry Conditions. In M. Grover (Ed.), World Congress on Engineering 2014: The 2014 International Conference of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management (pp. 1093-1097). Imperial College London: Newswood Limited International Association of Engineers. Retrieved from

Wilton-Smith, K., Khan, Z., Saeed, A., & Hadfield, M. (2014). Accelerated Corrosion tests of Waste-gated Turbocharger’s Adjustable and Fixed End Links. In High Performance and Optimum Design of Structures and Materials Vol. 137 (pp. 501-508). Southampton: Wessex Institute of Technology, UK. doi: 10.2495/HPSM140461

Dobson, P., & Khan, Z. (2013). Design considerations for carbon steel pipes materials’ selection applied in fossil powered plants subjected to wet-steam flow accelerated- corrosion review paper. Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering, 16, 1-13. Retrieved from

Denham, L., & Khan, Z. (2013). The prevention of corrosion and corrosion
stress cracking on structural members of
fixed deep sea oil rigs. The Journal of Corrosion Science and Engineering, 16, 1-13. Retrieved from

The paper “The Comparison on Tool Wear, Surface Finish and Geometric Accuracy when turning EN8 Steel in Wet and Dry Conditions” was accepted in the World Congress on Engineering 2014 organised by International Association of Engineers (IAENG) at the Imperial College London 2-4 July 2014. This paper was presented at the conference. This paper has now been selected to be contributed as a book chapter which will be published by Springer.

We are happy to inform you that Springer has invited us to publish the edited book [ Transactions on Engineering Technologies – World Congress on Engineering 2014] for our WCE 2014 and we are now inviting our WCE 2014 conference participants of selected papers for the edited book.” [extract from invitation].

Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor)

Director Sustainable Design Research Centre



SDRC newly appointed visiting professor

SDRC has developed significant portfolio of industrially funded research, national and international collaborations and visiting faculty. BU has recently appointed Professor Bob Cripps as visiting professor.

He is currently a Director of Longitude Consulting Engineering part of London Offshore Consultants (LOC) which was established to provide independent, high quality marine and engineering consultancy to the shipping and offshore industries.

Professor Cripps was previously Director Engineering College for BAE Systems Surface Ships responsible for developing and maintaining BAE Systems Surface Ships academic and engineering reputation as being world class and he was responsible for setting up University Technology Partnerships at six key UK universities.

Prior to this, Professor Cripps was Technical Director at VT Halmatic responsible for all technical aspects including boat design/engineering and composite development. He was Engineering Manager at RNLI for 18 years responsible for the design and development of all classes of lifeboat (offshore and inshore), launching equipment and moorings. He was instrumental in the development of the latest generation of lifeboats namely, Severn, Trent, Tamar and Atlantic 85 class lifeboats. He was also responsible for all research and development undertaken by the RNLI and he established the Advanced Technology Partnership between the RNLI and the University of Southampton in 2000.

Professor Cripps is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in the Principles of Engineering Design at the University of Southampton. He is well known for his work in the design and development of small craft and the use of composite materials in marine applications and this was recognised with the award of an Honorary Doctor of Engineering from Bournemouth University in 2005. Particular areas of interest and expertise are the development and integration of methods and processes to enable designers to utilise latest technical developments simply at an early stage of the design process.

Professor Cripps was instrumental in introducing different NDE methods into the construction and in-service inspection of composites hulls and this was recognised by The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing with the 2002 NEMET Award for outstanding examples of effective use of NDT.

He was a Senior Ship Surveyor with Lloyds Register of Shipping for nearly 13 years in the Research and Development Group and the Plan Approval Department. Graduating in 1976 from University of Southampton with a BSc.(Hons) Ship Science, Professor Cripps is also a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (FRINA), Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (FIMarEST), Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (FCMI), a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and European Engineer (EurIng).

If you would like to know more about the SDRC academic activity, please contact

Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor)

Director SDRC