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Professor Phil Coates

Professor of Polymer Engineering

Faculty/Dept/School Department of Mechanical and Energy Systems Engineering
(Faculty of Engineering and Informatics)
Telephone +441274 234540


Professor Phil Coates is a Physics graduate (Imperial College), London. His PhD research was on solid phase deformation processing of polymers (Leeds University). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1995, and was Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Transfer at Bradford for 7 years (2004-11), and is Professor of Polymer Engineering, at the University of Bradford. He is Director of the internationally recognised Polymer Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) (Leeds, Bradford, Durham and Sheffield Universities), with 50 researchers at Bradford involved in leading edge in-process measurements, process monitoring, analysis and control, and computer modelling in a 4500 m2 laboratory. The research targets high value polymer products for a range of sectors – healthcare technology (especially orthopaedic applications), pharmaceuticals processing, optical, automotive and advanced materials developments, including nanocomposites and reactive grafting, all with pioneering in-process measurement and modelling. He is a director of MeDe Innovation, EPSRC Centre of Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices, founded in 2013. His research has substantial support (>£50 million total grants and contracts) from UK Government sources and industry, with >150 companies in the USA, Europe, the Middle East, China, Australia and Japan. His research involves strong academic cooperation in the UK, Europe, N America, India, Japan and particularly China. He directs the RCUK Bradford Science Bridges China programme – a government sponsored collaboration (with > £16m total UK and China support to date) with >20 Chinese Universities focussed on advanced materials for healthcare technologies. He co-founded (with Prof Li Guangxian, senior Vice President of Sichuan University) the UK-China Advanced Materials Research Institute ( ) in 2012, which maps onto our continuing Science Bridges China platform, which continues to thrive with researcher exchanges. He is an Honorary Professor of Sichuan University and Beijing University of Chemical Technology, and a Molecular Sciences Forum Professor at both the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and CIACAS Changchun. He has three joint laboratories with many joint high level publications and research exchanges with leading Chinese groups: (1) Sichuan University State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, on Polymer Microprocessing, 2010 –a MOST ‘national international’ laboratory (2014), with a range of joint international grants from EPSRC, MOST, NSFC and MoE in China; (2) Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Polymer Process Physics, 2015 with joint grants (RAEng Engineering Fellowship (2014-5) and a Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship (Prof Y Men, 2015-18), and (3) Beijing University of Chemical Technology on Soft Matter Technologies (2016). He is also a Famous Overseas Scholar and member of the National Bureau of Foreign Experts of China. In addition, Prof Coates is involved with research in India, particularly in the leading Institute for Chemical Technology, Mumbai and the CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. Prof Coates was a director of Medilink (Y&H) Ltd (2004-18). He was a founder member of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Business, Innovation and Growth Panel (for 8 years, part as chairman), and has continued to promote the international potential for links. He was honoured with the Institute of Materials (IOM3) Netlon Gold Medal for Innovation in Polymer Processing (1999); the Plastics Industry Award for personal contribution to the industry (2006); the IOM3 Swinburne Award (2008); the Tianfu Friendship Award of Sichuan Province (2015); the Sichuan International Cooperation Award (2106); the JL White International Innovation Award of the international Polymer Processing Society (2017); the National Science & Technology Award for International Cooperation of the People’s Republic of China (2017) – China’s highest honour for foreign scientists; and the International Award 2018 of the Society of Plastics Engineers, their top award. He is a long-standing member of the International Polymer Processing Society committee, and has organised a wide range of international conferences, and regularly gives invited, keynote and plenary lectures. He has published extensively – over 300 papers in scientific journals and has co-authored 9 books, and edited 7 books. He holds 15 patents. He is Chief Editor of the IoM3 international journal, Plastics, Rubber and Composites: Macromolecular Engineering. He is married to Jane (for over 47 years), with four children and four grandchildren; in addition to family, his chief interests are in music, his church and computers. Web sites: = the gateway web site to Prof Coates’ laboratories at Bradford, and