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Professor Phil Coates

Professor Phil Coates

  • Title: Professor of Polymer Engineering
  • Email:
  • Extension: 4540
  • Room No. Chesham C2.30
  • Qualifications: BSc Physics Imperial College, London MSc Materials Exploitation University of Leeds PhD Polymer Physics University of Leeds
  • Additional Role: Director, Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science & Technology
  • Additional Role: Director AME RKT Centre & Polymer Centre of Industrial Collaboration
  • Additional Role: Director, Science Bridges China programme
  • Research Groups: Advanced Materials Engineering


My major research (around 50million total cash grants and contracts) is in-process measurements on polymers, real time computer control, analysis and computer modelling of polymer processing. I am Professor of Polymer Engineering at the University of Bradford, UK and Director of the internationally recognised Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Polymer Science and Technology, with some 30 researchers. I have published extensively - over 300 papers, in scientific journals and international conferences, and have co-authored 9 books, and edited 11 books. I hold 12 patents. My research is internationally recognised, with many keynote addresses and worldwide collaborations (particularly Europe, N America, China, Australia and Japan), and I have developed the UK centre for in-process measurements. Main themes are: (i) analysis/modelling of polymer processing mechanics, involving experimental characterisations of the solid and fluid phase rheology of polymers, with novel rheo-optical, ultrasound techniques and in-process spectroscopy; (ii) processing machinery design and control of processing, especially in the fields of injection moulding, extrusion and reactive processing - encompassing determination of process dynamic responses to the deconvolution of machine and raw material variables for real time closed loop process control; (iii) computer modelling of solid and melt phase processing - used in process design and control (with a licensed polymer orientation process), and for insight into deformation and flow mechanisms - my computer modelling research centre adjoins the experimental laboratory. I have strategically linked all UK academics in cooperative research, as leader or board member: Director of the Polymer IRC, leader of EPSRC major collaborative programme on Enhanced Polymer Processing (2.7m, 3 Universities and 10 companies), DTI In-process measurements programme (.25m, 40 companies) and EPSRC Networks for Computer Modelling of Polymer Processing (11 UK Universities and 6 organisations) and (b) In Process Measurements which links 14 UK Universities and a range of organisations); Board member of EPSRC major collaborative programmes on Microscale flows (2.5m, 6 Universities and 6 companies), Faraday Plastics (2.2m, 4 University groups and industry), and director of MeDe Innovation, the 5.7m EPSRC Centre of Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices, founded in 2013 across Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield Universities. I lead the EPSRC Science Bridges China programme (1.8m, with ~10m levered funding in China).


Future plans

Further expansion of the world-class IRC laboratories; build upon existing strong networks in UK and worldwide, and strategically develop the China links. Expansion: The University focussed investment in RKT Centres (2009 -13) has four Centres associated with the laboratory - Advanced Materials Engineering (Director Prof P Coates), Polymer Micro & Nano Technology (Dir. Dr B Whiteside), Pharmaceutical Engineering Science (Dir. Prof A Paradkar) which are platforms for future developments, together with Materials Chemistry led by Prof Steve Rimmer, Head of Chemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences.. Networks: we continue to have joint programmes with various universities and companies. Strategic overseas activity: I am an Honorary Professor at Sichuan University and Beijing University of Chemical Technology, and the Science Bridges China platform offers many new opportunities for us, in healthcare technologies.

Current, and significant recent, funded projects

Around £50m funding obtained at Bradford, with ~ £7m current value of grants and contracts.
the Polymer Centre of Industrial Collaboration (CIC), 2003 – present (initial~£0.7m, RDA supported, 2003-6, ongoing as the industry facet of the IRC at Bradford, and a EU Regio-stars winner,;
The RDA MNT Centre (£0.8m, 2004-7) for micromoulding manufacturing open access to regional industry,;
the DTI/DIUS MNT Network Centre (£0.33m, ) for micromoulding manufacturing open access to UK industry (see and );
the EPSRC Virtual Institute for Polymer Process Structuring (~£0.23m, 2007-9, for developing Far East research links especially with universities in China, Japan, Taiwan)
the RCUK top-ranked Science Bridges China programme (£1.3m), 2009- 13, on healthcare technologies (across the pharmaceuticals/drug delivery/advanced materials for medical devices areas) – Prof Coates is leading strategic developments with China for Bradford and the RCUK, at local and national government levels in China, including Open Innovation schemes which will soon involve other UK universities, ;
an EU supported polymer nanotechnology programmes, 2009 – 13, (EU FP7 COTECH with 22 mainly industrial partners) for convergent technologies for micro systems manufacturing, )
the ERDF funded Nanofactory ( ~£3m, 2009-13, with Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam, York) for regional development of nanomaterials manufacturing. ( )
2007-10 TSB with Smith & Nephew £245k
2010-13 TSB with Johnson-Matthey, £250k
EPSRC Thermal Control, £225k
the Advanced Materials Engineering RKT Centre, 2009 – present (Prof Coates is Director)
EPSRC Soft Tissue Fixation £882k + £210k industry support (Smith & Nephew, Corbion, Wittmann)
EPSRC Capital Great Technologies - Advanced Materials for Healthcare, £3.42m
EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices (£5.7m across Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield Universities)
Sinope £330k programme on polymer deformation
Sabin £210k programme on die drawing of polymers

Applications submitted and under consideration

Newton R&I Bridges (Bradford - Sichuan)


1995 Elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng)
1996 I Mech E Thatcher Bros Award for best publication in Manufacturing
1998 Anbar Quality award (journal publication)
1999 Netlon Award (Gold Medal) for Innovation in Processing, Institute of Materials
2001 IoMat James Walker Award - best publication (gas-assisted injection experiment and modelling)
2002 IoMat James Walker Award - best publication (rheo optical measurements)
2004 IoM3 Composites Award - best publication on composites
2006 Plastics Industry - Award for Personal Contribution to the Sector
2007 Yorkshire Forward Innovation Award
2007 Materials Knowledge Transfer Network Best Poster Award
2007 Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership Award, NE England
2008 EU Regio-Stars Award - Centres of Industrial Collaboration
2008 Materials Knowledge Transfer Network Best Industry collaboration poster award
2008 Honorary Professor, Sichuan University, China
2008 IoM3 Swinburne Award & Gold Medal - personal
2009 IoM3 Composites Award (best paper)
2009 Honorary Professor, Beiiing University of Chemical Technology
2010 Director, Joint International Laboratory for Polymer Microprocessing (Bradford and Sichuan Universities)
2011 Famous Overseas Scholar, Sichuan/ Ministry of Education China
2012 Member National Bureau of Foreign Experts, China
2012 Director, UK-China Advanced Materials Institute
2015 Director, Joint International Laboratory for Polymer Process Physics (Bradford and Changchun CIACAS, China)
2015 Tianfu Friendship Award, Sichuan Province, Sep 2015 - the first ever awarded


Chief Editor of Plastics, Rubber and Composites (Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining international journal);
Member, International Polymer Processing Society Committee (2003-);
Honorary Professor Sichuan University (2008 - )
Honorary Professor Beijing University of Chemical Technology (2009 -)
Molecular Sciences Forum Professor at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (2008 - )
Keynote/plenary speaker at a range of international conferences -g.s:
Nanotech 2004 Tokyo
PPS-21 Leipzig (2005)
IPMEC Shanghai, 2005;
Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science Beijing 2005,
Ultrasound, Leeds 2006;
IUPAC Brazil July 2006
PPS-22-Japan, July 2006.
State Key Laboratory, Sichuan University July 2006
State Key Laboratory, ICCAS Beijing July 2006
M4 Grenoble, Sept 2006
PPS Europe & Africa Pretoria S Africa, Oct 2006,
Moldflow International Meeting, Tokyo, Oct 2006
PPS Asia, Shanghai, China - Plenary, July 2007
Inaugural lecture, Sichuan University, May 2008
BPF- Plastics Industry of Tomorrow, May 2008
IUPAC Macro Taipei, Taiwan, June 2008
Medical Polymers, SPE Europe, Belfast, Sept 2008
Swinburne Award Lecture, UK Polymer Showcase, York, Sept 2008
APS Melbourne - Plenary, Dec 2008
Inaugural lecture, BUCT Beijing, March 2009
CAS Engineering Polymers, Dalian, China, Aug 2009;
July 2010 PPS26 Canada;
Oct 2010 Beijing Nanocomposites - plenary;
Oct 2010 PPS Europe plenary
Nov 2010 4M Conference plenary, France
Sep 2011 CAS: Engineering Polymers, Kunming
PPS 2012, Americas - Niagara, Keynote
PPS 2012 Thailand, plenary
PPS-30 2013 Cleveland keynote
PPS 2014 Europe/Africa, Tel Aviv Israel keynote
PPS-31 2015 Jeju, S Korea keynote
PPS-32 2016 Lyon France keynote
PPS 2016 Asia/Pacific Chengdu - Plenary, Oct 2016
MEP-1 Fudan, Shanghai - Plenary, Oct 2016
ICA2016 Qingdao - keynote

Organiser of PPE bienniel international conferences;
Symposium organiser at Antec and PPS international conferences
Director of RCUK-Bradford Science Bridges China programme


Prizes, Medals, Awards

Tianfu Friendship Award, Sichuan Province - the first ever awarded


8 Postdoctoral staff, 10 research support staff


32 PhD students and 7 MPhil students successfully supervised; 2 PhD students current

Profile last updated on: 13-06-2016