Zhong Yi Zhang

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PhD projects

Polymer Materials and Polymeric Matrix Composites.

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Personal profile


I am a principal lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering at the University of Portsmouth.  I am an active research member in the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM) research group.  This research group focus on the research and knowledge innovation activities in wide range of materials and manufacturing technologies.  My academic interests involve characterisation, analysis, identification, selection, formulation, manufacturing, rapid prototyping, testing, structural integrity evaluation, and applications of thermoplastics, thermosets, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, polymer composite, eco-composites and nanocomposites using a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities and software packages.

I am currently involving an Interreg FLOWER project (Flax composites, LOW weight, End of life and Recycling) funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This project aims to develop novel, low-cost, light-weight, non-woven and woven flax fibre reinforcements for the composites industry. The outcomes from this project will enable achieving the aspiration of transforming natural fibre composites as cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, light-weight and viable alternatives to glass fibre composites for the automotive and marine industries.

I led and participated different research projects funded by British Council, BBSRC, Europe Union and DTI.  I had a good track record of consultancy projects and technical service provisions for industries such as VT, Thales, MT Technology Ltd, Pall Europe, WPL Ltd, Halyard, SMR Automotive Mirrors UK Ltd, LaFarge, Elta Fan, McMurdo, Wartsila, GlaxoSmithKline, Gurit, Xyratex, PERA, etc.  

Research Interests

  • Characterisation and Evaluation of Polymer Durability and Degradation
  • Development of Water/Moisture Repellent and Energy Saving Coating for Building Materials
  • Development of Electrically and Thermally Conductive Composites for Fuel Cell Applications
  • Development and Evaluation of Novel Nano Gel Coat Systems with Improved Anti-blistering
  • Development and Characterisation of Natural Fibre Reinforced Eco-Composites

Teaching Responsibilities

  • Introduction to Materials and Manufacturing Technology
  • Materials and Manufacture
  • Advanced and Modern Materials 
  • Advanced Materials for Product Realisation  


I graduated from Sichuan University, P R China with award BSc in Polymer Science and Materials in 1984 and then MSc in Plastics Engineering in 1987.  I completed my PhD in 1999 at Institute of Polymer Technology and Materials Engineering (IPTME), Loughborough University, UK.

Before I came to UK, I was Lecturer in the Department of Plastics Engineering, Sichuan University from 1989-1996.

From 1999, I was a research associate at IPTME in the project of natural plant fibre reinforced phenolic composites as well as involvement learning platform and contents development for Internet based Virtual University.

In 2007, I joined the University of Portsmouth, initially as a research fellow, then senior lecturer and principal lecturer until now. I was the MSc course leader and leader of Advanced Polymer and Composites (APC) group.

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from media on my research.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Visualisation and Quantification of the Defects on Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyester Composite Materials Using Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry , Loughborough University

18 Sept 199421 Dec 1999

Award Date: 10 Dec 1999

External positions

Research Associate, Loughborough University

1 Aug 19981 Aug 2001


  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Polymers, Composites


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