Professor Huirong Le


Position: Professor in Composite and Aerospace Engineering

College: College of Engineering and Technology

Department: Engineering

Subject area: Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

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I am a Professor in Composite and Aerospace Engineering, Deputy Chair of College Research Committee, Research Excellence Framework Coordinator for General Engineering at the Colllege of Engineering & Technology, University of Derby. I am currently leading a European Regional Development Fund project on 'Catalysing Growth through Research for Transport Equipment Manufacturing' to support a wide range of SMEs in D2N2 region.

I have held a number of academic positions previously. I was a Research Associate then Senior Research Associate at Cambridge University Engineering Department during 1997-2005; Lecturer in Engineering Design at the University of Dundee during 2005-2010 and Associate professor in Mechanical and Marine Engineering at Plymouth University during 2011-2015.

I have obtained considerable experience in materials processingmechanics of composite, surface engineeringt and tribologynumerical modelling. My current research interests include fracture and fatigue of fibre reinforced plastic composites, surface coating technologies, tribology of power transmission systems.

I have authored/co-authored over 100 publications so far including book chapters, book reviews, journal papers and international conference presentations. I have served as referee for more than 30 established journals in materials and mechanical engineering.

I have acted as Session Chair for several NanoMedicine conferences and International Conference on Composites Engineering. I am a Fellow of HEA, Committee Member of IMechE Tribology Group and a Chartered Engineer. 

Teaching responsibilities

Advanced materials

Failure mechanisms of engineering materials

Professional interests

Interntional Collaboration;

Industrial Collaboration and Knowledge Transfer;

Research Informed Teaching in Higher Education.

Research interests

PhD applications in the following areas or related areas are welcome:

(1) Mechanics of composite pressure vessels and pipelines;

(2) Advanced surface coatings for offshore structures and instruments;

(3) Nanocomposites and nanocoatings for biomedical implants;

(4) Mechanics and tribology in power transmission systems.


Membership of professional bodies

Committee Member of IMechE Tribology Group

Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Chartered Engineer

Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers


BEng in Materials Science and Engineering;

PhD in Materials Science and Engineering.

Recent publications

H. R. Le*, R Rothwell, M Meng. Tribological Properties of Nanoceramics Reinforced Polyimide Nanocomposite Coatings on Steels. International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, 2017. DOI: 10.1111/ijact.12747.

R Sieh, H R Le*, “Evaluation of environmentally friendly Ag-PTFE composite coating for use in threaded compression fittings”. Proc IMechE Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology, 2017. DOI: 10.1177/1350650117719775.

A. Besinis, S. D. Hadi, H. Le, C. Tredwin, R. Handy*. Antibacterial activity and biofilm inhibition by surface modified titanium alloy medical implants following application of silver, titanium dioxide and hydroxyapatite nanocoatings. Nanotoxicology 2017, Doi: 10.1080/17435390.2017.1299890. 

K. Collins*, H. R. Le, D. Greaves, N. Bellamy. Modelling of the Buckling of a Diaphragm / Spine Structure for a Wave Energy Converter. Materials and Design DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2017.01.041.

R. Sieh, H. R. Le*, "Non-Cyanide Electrodeposited Ag–PTFE Composite Coating Using Direct or Pulsed Current Deposition ", Coatings, 2016. doi: 10.3390/coatings6030031.

P. Manikandan, R. Sieh, A. Elayaperumal, H. R. Le*, and S. Basu, "Micro/Nanostructure and Tribological Characteristics of Pressureless Sintered Carbon Nanotubes Reinforced Aluminium Matrix Composites," Journal of Nanomaterials, vol. 2016, Article ID 9843019, 10 pages, 2016.

M. Meng, M. J rizvi, H. R. Le*, S. M. Grove. Multi-scale modelling of moisture diffusion coupled with stress distribution in CFRP laminated composites. Composite Structures 138 (2016) 295-304.

M. Meng, M.J.Rizvi, S.M. Grove, H.R. Le*. Effects of hygrothermal stress on the failure ofCFRP composites. Composite Structures, 133 (2015) 1024-1035. DOI:10.1016/j.compstruct.2015.08.016.

M. Meng, H.R.Le*, M.J. Rizvi, S.M. Grove. The effects of unequal compressive/tensile moduliof composites. Composite Structures, Volume 126 (2015) 207–215.

M. Meng, H.R.Le*, M.J. Rizvi, S.M. Grove. 3D FEA modelling of laminated composites in bendingand their failure mechanisms, Composite Structures, Volume 119 (2015) 693-708.

K Natesan, W Shah, H RLe*, C Tredwin. A Critical Comparison on Biocompatibility of Different Phasesof Sol-gel Derived Calcium Phosphates as Bone Graft Materials. Journal of Biomaterialsand Tissue Engineering, Volume 5, Number 8, August 2015, pp. 655-664(10).

R Sieh, H R Le*, A Cree. Process optimisation ofnon-cyanide Ag-PTFE metal matrix composite plating for threaded connections. Transactionsof the Institute of Materials Finishing, 93 (2015) 232-240. DOI: 10.1179/0020296715Z.000000000256.

U Danookdharree, H. R. Le*, C. Tredwin. The effect ofinitial etching sites on the morphology of anodised TiO2 nanotubes on Ti-6Al-4Valloy. Journal of Electrochemical Society, 162 (2015) E213-222, 2015. DOI:10.1149/2.0011511jes.

H. R. Le*, K. Natesan, S. Pranti-Haran. Mechanical Property and Biocompatibiloity of Co-precipitated Nano Hydroxyapatite-GelatineComposites. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 4(2015) 1-7. DOI: 10.1007/s40145-015-0155-z.

H. R. Le*, KCollins, D. Greaves, N Bellamy. Mechanics and Materials in the Design of a BucklingDiaphragm Wave Energy Converter. Materials and Design, 79 (2015) 86-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2015.04.041.

H. R. Le*. F. Stewart,J A Williams. A Simplified Model of Surface Burnishing and Friction in RepeatedMake-up of Premium Tubular Connections, Tribology Letters, 59 (2015). DOI:10.1007/s11249-015-0562-x.

Recent conferences

K. Natesan, H. Le, C. Tredwin, R. Handy. Hydroxyapatite/Carbonnanotubes composite bone implants - Biocompatibility Vs ToxicityAnalysis.  International Association for Dental Research AnnualMeeting, 14-16 Sep 2015.

U Danookdharree, H. Le, R Handy, C. Tredwin. Antibacterial coating made of strongly adhered nanosilver to titania nanotubes for dental implants. International Association for Dental Research Annual Meeting, 14-16Sep 2015.

E Akpan, H. R. Le, A. Cree. Electrodepositionand Characterisation of Diamond-like-carbon Coating for Offshore PipelineConnections. International Conference on Diamond and Carbon Materials, Bad Homburg, Germany, 6-10 September 2015.

M. Meng, H.R. Le,M.J. Rizvi, S.M. Grove. Multi-scale analysis of moisture diffusion coupled withstress distribution in CFRP composites. 18th International Conference of Composite Structures, Lisbon, Portugal, 15-18 June 2015.

U Danookdharree, H. R. Le, Antimicrobial silver nanoparticles intitaniumdioxide nanotubes grown on Ti-6Al-4V medical grade alloy. The 2nd Symposium on Diagnostics and the Developing World, Brunel University, London, 23 March 2015.

KM Collins, ODavid-West, H Le, DG Greaves. FromConcept to Laboratory Testing: the Development Cycle of a Novel Wave EnergyConverter. International Conference on Ocean Energy. 04 Nov 2014 (Poster)

K. Natesan, H. R. Le, C. Tredwin, R. Handy. Reinforcement of Sol-GelProcessed Calcium Phosphate Cement using Functionalised CNTs, 26th Annual Conference of the European Society forBiomaterials (ESB), 31st August – 3rd September 2014, Liverpool, UK.

U. Danookdharree, H. R. Le, R. Handy, C. Tredwin. Tailoring the Interfacial Adhesion of Anodised TiO2Nanotubes on Ti-6Al-4V Alloy for Medical Implants. 26th Annual Conference ofthe European Society for Biomaterials (ESB), 31st August – 3rd September 2014,Liverpool, UK.

R. Sieh, H. R.Le, A. Cree. Advanced Nanocomposite Coating for Offshore Threaded Connections.9th Nanosmat International Conference, Sep 8-11, 2014, Dublin, Ireland. 

Additional interests and activities

Gardening; Mountain Climbing.

Experience in industry

I have been involved in R&D activities with manufacturing, offshore structures and automotive industries through consultancies, knowledge transfer partnerships and industrial CASE studentships for over 20 years. These are some of the projects I have participated in:

  1. European Regional Development Fund, “Catalysing Growth through Research in Transport Equipment Manufacturing”,  £1.04m, 2016-2019. (Project Leader)
  2. Schlumberger Faculty for the Future PhD Scholarship. "Advanced materials and surface coatings for offshore pipelines", 2014-2017, (Director of Study).
  3. EPSRC Supergen Challenge. “SQUID: hydrodynamics of deformable fabric structures for MRE”, 2013-2016, (Co-investigator).
  4. UKIERI-UGC (India). "Evaluation of Tribological Behaviour and Wear Corrosion of CNTs Reinforced Aluminium Metal Matrix Composites", 2013-2015, (UK Principal Investigator).
  5. Knowledge Transfer Partnership. “Innovative design, development and evaluation of future composite products”, 2011-2012,  (University Supervisor).
  6. Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP7682).  “Advanced surface coatings for premium tubular connections”; 2010-2012, (Lead Academic).
  7. Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP7504). “Mechanics and tribology in premium tubular connections”; 2009-2011, (Lead Academic).
  8. Royal Society of London Research Grant. “Nano-mechanical characterisation of epithelial cells”; 2008-2009, (Principal Investigator).
  9. EPSRC CASE PhD studentship.  “Development of micro-systems for cell and tissue manipulation”; 2007-2011, (Director of Study).

International experience

  • Visiting Professor, Shenzhen University, Dec 2014.

  • Guest Professor, Zhengzhou Institute of Aeronautic Industry & Management, April 2013.

  • International Conference Session Chair, the 7th China International Conference on High-Performance Ceramics, Xiamen, China. 4-9 November 2011.

  • International Conference Session Chair, the 19th International Composite Conference and Engineering, Shanghai, China. 24-30 July 2011.

  • International Conference Session Chair, BIT Life Sciences' 1st Annual World Congress of NanoMedicine-2010, Beijing, China, 23-25 October 2010. 

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