Advanced Materials & Manufacturing

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing encompasses building materials, composites, electronic materials, material characterization, and material processing.

Research Themes

Fabrication of light materials (Al and Mg alloys, fiber-reinforced polymers) for transportation and energy sectors. Combining multi-scale modelling with laboratory experiments, advanced characterization techniques and manufacturing laboratories to improve composites, enhance the performance of high-temperature ceramics and the next generation of ultralight metal alloys.

Composite materials are changing the way advanced products are designed enabling faster, stronger, and cheaper materials. Research in the areas of aerospace, automotive, marine, and construction are taking investigating these materials to develop further efficiencies while eliminating defects and product failures

Core research activities and industry-driven projects in multi-disciplinary and multi-objective optimization of engineering products and processes. Simulation-based design, engineering multi-attribute decision making, machine learning, artificial intelligence, design of experiments, and robust product design are among main research areas under this theme.

Fabrication of diverse materials, as well as development of their optimal processing technologies. Developing semiconductors and modern materials, microsystems and microelectronics, and wireless technologies. Exploring the characterization, processing, and use in design of metallic and non-metallic materials.

Experimental research on metalcasting, sintering, composite fabrication, additive manufacturing and polymer-processing for wide industrial applications such as automotive, energy, biomedical, composite, aerospace and electronics industries is being carried out. This research is complemented with robust computer modelling and simulation, as well as process and materials characterization capabilities.

Enhancing the seismic performance of new and existing structures by investigating new design procedures and using innovative retrofit materials (base isolation, composites, shape memory alloy). Investigating the rehabilitation of damaged structures and seismic risk analysis.

Faculty Researchers

Ahmad Al-Dabbagh – Assistant Professor
Development of model-based and data-based approaches for the control, monitoring, and automation of systems and processes.


Ali Akbarishehat – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Synthesizing graphene and graphene oxide to developcconductive polymer-based biosensing nanocomposites. Also, graphene quantum dots and cellulose synthesis


Mohammad Arjmand – Assistant Professor
Processing, molding and characterization of multifunctional polymeric nanocomposites with a variety of properties including electrical, gas sensing, thermal, mechanical, optical and thermoelectric.


Ehsan Ebrahimnia Bajestan – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Experimental and numerical analysis of nanotechnology and microfluidics in the fields of thermal management of systems, sensors, biomechanics, and renewable energy


Lukas Bichler – Associate Professor
Development of new materials and processing methods; recycling of manufacturing by-products.


Kevin Golovin – Assistant Professor
Advanced manufacturing related to the aerospace industry including coatings, 3D printing and fibre composites.


Seyyedarash Haddadi – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Development and characterization of auxetic polymers and shear thickening fluids, polymer processing, advanced nanocomposites and corrosion science.


Roozbeh Hajiraissi – Post Doctoral Fellow
Exploring phenomenological rheology, polymer processing, and interface.


Huibing He – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Advanced materials for Li-ion batteries and next-generation batteries.


Ali Khosrozadeh – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Electrode materials for electrochemical energy storage devices


Abbas Milani – Professor
Advanced modeling, simulation, and multi-criteria design optimization of composite materials, structures and manufacturing processes.


Homayoun Najjaran – Professor
Mechatronics and control systems with applications in robotics, industrial automation and unmanned systems.


Ambreen Nisar – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Using natural, plant-based precursors to achieve oil-repellency; and developing durable oil-repellent textile finishes that do not utilize perfluorinated compounds utilizing nano particles.


Dimitry Sediako – Associate Professor
Advanced modeling, simulation, and multi-criteria design optimization of composite materials, structures and manufacturing processes.


Xiaoxiao Zhao – Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Surface modification and on the development of superhydrophobic materials. Developing liquid-repellent paper to replace traditional plastic membranes.

Stronger, lighter, smarter

Advanced materials and manufacturing are advancing science, engineering and medicine by addressing the way people use industrial and household items every day.  Researchers at the School of Engineering on the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia are working across disciplines to develop innovative approaches to advanced materials and manufacturing.

As the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Advanced Materials and Polymer Engineering, Mohammad Arjmand, brings his expertise in nanomaterials, sensors, polymer processing, forming, and characterization to collaborations with colleagues and industrial partners.  “As we continue to develop nanomaterials and mix them with polymers, we are developing multifunctional composite cocktails that can address many issues such as friction, wear, and heat distribution at the molecular level, the results are prompting an evolution within industry,” Armand explains.

One floor down at the School of Engineering, is the Okanagan Node of the Composite Research Network.  Lead Investigator, Abbas Milani, also the Director of the Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute, works on advancing reinforcement and matrix materials for industrial sectors such as aerospace, automotive, marine, and construction.  According to Milani, industry is approaching CRN and MMRI with an eye on innovation.  “We are seeing a growing demand for advanced composites and related manufacturing technologies to build lighter and stronger products.”

An important component of the development process is material characterization.  Experimental research on metalcasting, sintering, composite fabrication, additive manufacturing and polymer-processing for wide industrial applications such as automotive, energy, biomedical, composite, aerospace and electronics industries is being carried out at UBC Okanagan. This research is complemented with robust computer modelling and simulation, as well as process and materials characterization capabilities.

Associate Professor Dimitry Sediako’s research focuses on stress characterization in automotive, aerospace, and marine powertrain components, as well as in-situ studies of solidification, phase evolution, and high temperature creep in new aluminum and magnesium alloys’ development for the transportation industries. “Our industry partners are working with us to create lightweight alloys and metal matrix composites that by virtue of their composition impact thermodynamic properties among other variables.”   Sediako’s most recent research at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories investigates unique properties of neutrons, allowing direct stress measurements and phase analysis inside metal parts and components.

With funding from the Government of Canada, Assistant Professor Kevin Golovin recently launched the Comfort Optimized Materials for Operational Resilience Thermal-transport and Survivability (COMFORTS) Micro-Network.  The funding is part of IDEaS Innovation Networks’ collaborations between Canadian universities, industry and other partners to help stimulate the free flow of ideas critical to solving modern defence and security challenges.  Golovin and his research collaborators will synthesize, fabricate, and test advanced fabrics and materials that combine intelligent, moisture-wicking materials with ballistic-resistant properties.  “Although the basic idea seems simple, binding all these different materials and technologies together into a smart armour solution that is durable, reliable and comfortable is incredibly complex,” says Golovin.

UBC Okanagan will open a new research facility in 2021, at 1540 Innovation Way, in collaboration with Kal Tire (and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies).  A number of manufacturing and mechanical engineering researchers will use the facility as a hub for innovative industry collaboration.  One example is the re-purposing of carbon black, a waste-product derived from used industrial tires, currently being undertaken by Associate Professor Lukas Bichler.  Bichler leads the Spark Plasma Sintering Lab at UBC Okanagan, and for the last several years has been partnering with Kal Tire’s Mining Group to test the viability of a number of solutions.  “Carbon has a number of applications,” Bichler says. “It can be used in paints, filters, thermo-insulators, tires and batteries.”  With a seamless collaboration with Kal Tire’s research and development team in Canada and beyond, Bichler is able to work beyond the lab-scale and access results based on in the field testing.

“We are going to be working together, trying to develop better materials that out-perform the existing benchmarks, and also materials which are cheaper to manufacture and easier to manufacture. This is an incredible opportunity for us both. And here we have a chance to open up and even show what we can do as a partner for other companies as well.”

Advanced Materials require advanced manufacturing processes and systems.  As a result, machine learning, computer vision and control systems are changing the way manufacturing is conducted.  While many observers describe the current evolution of manufacturing as Industry 4.0, some suggest today’s manufacturing has leapt beyond the fourth industrial revolution with the advent of new smart technologies. “The manufacturing process is no longer just automation, but machines, operators, and even products communicating with an intelligence that allows for the process to be continually changeable and adaptable,” explains Homayoun Najarran, a mechanical engineering professor and associate director of the Manufacturing Engineering program at the School of Engineering.

Faculty researchers and their research teams at the UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering are immersed in the process of innovating the advanced materials and manufacturing space.  These innovations are changing the way materials are created from their individual molecular level to their fabrication.  Strong collaborations with industry are propelling this research forward to realization and commercialization.