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Prof Bin Xu


Department: Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Dr Ben B. Xu FRSC, FIMMM, FRSA, CENG, CSCI, is a full professor in materials and mechanics with a multi-disciplinary research interest covering functional materials, applied mechanics, micro-engineering and sustainable and energy technology. Ben obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Heriot-watt University in 2011. He subsequently worked as a postdoc researcher in Professor Hayward’s Group (Polymer Science and Engineering) at University of Massachusetts Amherst (2011-2013). Ben holds the title of visiting professorship in 10+ universities globally, including UCLA (US), Texas A&M University (US), University of Alberta (CA), The University of Sydney (AU), Manipal University (India), etc. 

Ben is leading the Smart Materials and Surfaces Lab (SMSL) in Northumrbria and chairing the Materials Characterisation&Properties Group in the Institute of Materials, Mining and Minerals (IoM3).He has published 6 patents, 6 book(incl. chapters) and over 150 peer-reviewed articles in the leading journals, including Sci. Adv.Nat. Commun., Adv.  Mater., Adv. Energy. Mater., Adv. Fun. Mater., Energy. Environ. Sci., Nano Energy, Small, Phys. Rev. Lett., etc (h-index 32). Ben has been invited to give 90+ invited/plenary talks in international conferences/leading institutions, chaired 10+ international events and reviewed paper publications for 80+ journals. He serves as an associate editor for Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials (Springer Nature), Advanced Devices & Instrumentation (AAAS) and ES Engineered Science, and an editorial board member for Polymers (MDPI). He received awards as the Outstanding Paper Award at the 2018 IEEE International Flexible Electronics Technology Conference, Outstanding Reviewer for Journal of Molecular Liquids (2018), 2016 Young Investigator Award from the International Polymer Networks Group, 3rd prize in the 2016 EPSRC photo competition, 2016 RSC-CSCST Emerging Talent Grant from Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), etc.  

He was elected to the Advisory Council and Nomination Committee in IoM3 from 2019, and the RSC Materials Chemistry Division Council and Newcastle upon Tyne and North East Coast Committee from 2020, the executive committee for The Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology (CSCST-UK) from 2016. 

Progresses from Ben’s research have been featured by media presses in 



Materials World

Materials views china   






UK Fluids Network


Materials views china


Before 2019:




Materials views china

Bin Xu

Campus Address

Ellison Building


Dr Xu is currently leading the research group of Smart Materials and Surfaces Lab (SMSL) in Northumbria to develop multidisciplinary research programmes, from fundamental understanding on engineering science to innovating the enabling technologies. His researches in extreme mechanics and functional materials includes the design and understanding of morphing structures, the development of novel flexible/wearable sensing/actuating structure/devices, the realization of functional surface/interface with unique chemical-physical features, the innovation of new circular economy technology using recycled plastic wastes and the exploration of future renewable energy solutions.

He has developed a novel approach to realise the sensing/actuation function by introducing elastic instabilities into the micro-engineered structure in a controllable manner, which shed extra lights in developing future micro-devices, especially in the sectors of flexible/wearable electronics, soft robots, etc. His work on soft active matter and developing novel micro-device is supported by the Royal Society, EPSRC and industries.

Progresses from Ben’s research have been featured by media presses in EPSRC,Materials World, UK Fluids Network, 2020NECONNECTED 2020, 2019, GuardianTelegraphNECONNECTED 2019,, Materials views china 2019Materials views china 2016.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Deep learning artificial intelligence framework for sustainable desiccant air conditioning system: Optimization towards reduction in water footprints, Tariq, R., Ali, M., Sheikh, N., Shahzad, M., Xu, B. 1 Jan 2023, In: International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Mechanically-Robust Electrospun Nanocomposite Fiber Membranes for Oil and Water Separation, Nueraji, M., Toktarbay, Z., Ardakkyzy, A., Sridhar, D., Algadi, H., Xu, B., Althakafy, J., Alanazi, A., Abo-Dief, H., Adilov, S., Guo, Z. 6 Jan 2023, In: Environmental Research
  • Progress of layered double hydroxides-based materials for supercapacitors, Li, X., Ren, J., Sridhar, D., Xu, B., Algadi, H., El-Bahy, Z., Ma, Y., Li, T., Guo, Z. 20 Jan 2023, In: Materials Chemistry Frontiers
  • Progress of metal organic frameworks-based composites in electromagnetic wave absorption, Feng, S., Zhai, F., Su, H., Sridhar, D., Algadi, H., Xu, B., Pashameah, R., Alzahrani, E., Abo-Dief, H., Ma, Y., Li, T., Guo, Z. 1 Jan 2023, In: Materials Today Physics
  • Waterwheel-inspired high-performance hybrid electromagnetic-triboelectric nanogenerators based on fluid pipeline energy harvesting for power supply systems and data monitoring, Lian, M., Sun, J., Jiang, D., Xu, M., Wu, Z., Xu, B., Algadi, H., Huang, M., Guo, Z. 8 Jan 2023, In: Nanotechnology
  • 3D-Printing Enabled Reconfigurable Shape-Morphing Polyelectrolyte Systems For Smart Ocular Devices, Sun, A., Sridhar, S., Chen, S., Li, Y., Xu, B. 24 Mar 2022, ACS Spring 2022
  • A Facile Stratification-Enabled Emergent Hyper-Reflectivity in Cholesteric Liquid Crystals, Wei, Q., Lv, P., Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Qin, Z., T. de Haan, L., Chen, J., Wang, D., Xu, B., Broer, D., Zhou, G., Ding, L., Zhao, W. 28 Dec 2022, In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
  • An Active Bacterial Anti-adhesion Strategy Based on Directional Transportation of Bacterial Droplets Driven by Triboelectric Nanogenerators, Lin, J., Li, J., Feng, S., Gu, C., Li, H., Lu, H., Hu, F., Pan, D., Xu, B., Guo, Z. 9 Nov 2022, In: Nano Research
  • An efficient bifunctional Ni-Nb2O5 nanocatalysts for the hydrodeoxygenation of anisole, Xu, J., Zhu, P., El Azab, I., Xu, B., Guo, Z., Elnaggar, A., Mersal, G., Liu, X., Zhi, Y., Lin, Z., Algadi, H., Shan, S. 1 Sep 2022, In: Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering
  • A Strand Entangled Supramolecular PANI/PAA Hydrogel Enabled Ultra-Stretchable Strain Sensor, Liu, D., Zhou, H., Zhao, Y., Huyan, C., Wang, Z., Torun, H., Guo, Z., Dai, S., Xu, B., Chen, F. 24 Nov 2022, In: Small

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Smart materials and surfaces enabled resilience engineering technology, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 01/02/18 - 21/11/18, £1,025.00
  • EE 3D printed smart materials structure and device for advanced engineering, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), Jinbaian Steel Product Co Ltd, 01/10/16 - 30/09/19, £75,000.00
  • Dynamically monitoring in plane strain transformation/localization during creasing of the gel surface, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), The Royal Society, 31/03/16 - 30/03/17, £14,586.00
  • Stimuli-responsive gel based microfluidic switch, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, 01/10/15 - 30/07/17, £122,266.00
  • Mechanics and application of the micro-engineered smart structure, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), Reece Group Limited, 01/02/15 - 31/01/18, £41,400.00
  • SMSL-REECE Joint Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), Reece Group Limited, 09/06/14 - 30/09/14, £10,900.00
  • COST Training School - Particles at Liquid Interfaces: Fundamentals and Applications, Xu, B. (Principal Investigator), Xu, B. (Co Investigator), COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), 02/04/14 - 05/04/14, £508.00

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Examination: PhD examination in Manchester University 2022
  • Examination: PhD examination in Newcastle University 2022
  • Editorial work: Advanced Devices & Instrumentation (Journal) 2022
  • Membership of board: The IOM3 Materials Characterisation & Properties Group (External organisation) 2022
  • Editorial work: Editor board member for Green Energy and Environmental Technology (Event) 2022
  • Editorial work: Advanced Composites and Hybrid Materials (Journal) 2022
  • Examination: PhD examination in the University of Edinburgh 2022
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: The 28th CSCST-SCI Annual Conference 2021
  • Editorial work: Guest Editor for Special Issue of ‘Beyond Lithium: A New Era of Sustainable Energy Engineering’ for Small (Event) 2021
  • Examination: PhD examination in Northumbria University 2021

  • Ansu Sun 3D Printing Assisted Development of Bio-inspired Structure and Device for Advanced Engineering Start Date: 01/03/2017 End Date: 10/09/2022
  • Honghao Zhou Advanced Materials and Mechanics enabled Robotic Device Technology Start Date: 01/11/2019
  • Panagiotis Galatis Start Date: 16/05/2017
  • Panagiotis Galatis Start Date: 16/05/2017
  • Qiumei Jing Market analysis of novel sustainable energy system for Net Zero in England and China Start Date: 01/03/2022
  • Zhuofan Qin Paper based hybrid micro-electronics Start Date: 18/01/2021
  • Sreepathy Sridhar Nature Inspired Surface/Interface Engineering Towards Advanced Device Applications Start Date: 01/10/2017 End Date: 20/05/2021
  • Yuan Wang Design and development of reliable electrode for high-performance hydrogen production under fluctuating power supply Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Ding Wang Mechanics Study and Application of Micro-Engineered Smart Surface Start Date: 01/02/2015 End Date: 06/11/2019

  • Education PGCert October 01 2015
  • Mechanical Engineering PhD November 01 2011
  • Materials Science MSc July 01 2006
  • Polymers and Textiles BSc (Hons) June 30 2003
  • Fellow of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce FRSA 2020
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry FRSC 2019
  • Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining FIMMM 2016
  • Other (please specify) Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2015
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015
  • Member American Chemical Society 2011
  • Member Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2010

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