Chamil Abeykoon

Dr

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

See the below section under opportunities for the available PhD/MPhil projects. Topics in other related areas should also be possible. If interested, please contact via: chamil.abeykoon@manchester.ac.uk.

Personal profile

Biography

Chamil received the B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2007, with the award of best performance in mechanical engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the Queens University Belfast, U.K., in 2011, with several publications, in which one of his publications received the Young Author Best Paper Award from the IEEE in 2011. After completing the Ph.D. degree, he briefly worked as a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering with the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, a Research Fellow with the University of Bradford, U.K., and a Lecturer of Engineering with the Glyndwr University, U.K., before joining the UoM. Currently, Chamil is a Senior Lecturer and working mainly with the Northwest Composts Centre and the Aerospace Research Institute, and supervising research students affiliated with the School of Materials, UoM, and the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UoM. So far, he has authored 100+ peer-reviewed journals/conference papers. Moreover, he has authored a monograph, “Polymer Extrusion: A Study on Thermal Monitoring Techniques and Melting Issues.” His current research interests include: process monitoring, modeling, and control; soft sensors and soft sensing; process instrumentation; renewable energy technologies; 3D printing, phase change materials; and heat transfer. Chamil’s current research activities are funded by several local and international companies and also by the professional funding bodies. He is a Charted Engineer and also an Associate Member of the professional bodies, including IESL, IMechE, IOM3 and ICPM; and also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, U.K. Moreover, he is currently serving as an Associate Editor of seven scientific journals including the Journal of Fluid Flow, Heat and Mass Transfer and Composites Communications. Furthermore, he has been served on scientific committees, and has also been invited for keynote speeches of several international conferences.

Research interests

- Manufacturing/Recycling of polymer matrix composites

- Additive manufacturing

- Heat transfer (Heat exchangers, Phase change materials, ..)

- Soft sensors and soft sensing
- Process monitoring, identification, modelling, optimization and control
- Process energy monitoring and optimization
- Soft sensors and soft sensing
- Renewable energy technologies (Hydro, Wind, Solar,...)

Google Scholar

https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=5MpNd5cAAAAJ&hl=en

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/@DrChamilAbeykoonOfficial/playlists

ResearchGate

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chamil_Abeykoon

My group

PhD Students (current)

1. Rajinth Shanthar

Title: Modelling of Polymer Rein Flow through Fibres in Composite Manufacturing

 This project is targeted at obtaining a better understanding of the manufacturing process of fibre reinforced composites. In particular, the flow of molten composite resin through layers of fibres during production poses a complex engineering problem requiring the knowledge of fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and thermodynamics for analysis. A better understanding of what happens within the mould would enable engineers to reduce defects, increase production and minimise energy wastage, allowing for a high quality, economical and sustainable supply of composite parts. Industries that are relying more and more on composites for optimised performance such as aerospace, automotive and renewable energy will directly benefit from results obtained through this research.

 

2. Yasith S. Perera

Title: Feedback control for polymer extrusion processes

 Melt thermal homogeneity, melt pressure, melt flow index and melt viscosity are key indicators of melt quality in polymer extrusion processes. However, the existing hardware sensors cannot measure some of these parameters at the extruder discharge in real-time, due to limitations such as lack of durability, disturbances to the melt flow, measurement delays, and so forth. Soft sensors or software-based sensors are a promising alternative that can be used to predict difficult-to-measure parameters, to enable real-time process monitoring. Hence, this research involves the development of artificial intelligence-driven soft sensors to predict key process parameters in polymer extrusion processes in real-time. Then, these soft sensors will be made adaptive to different polymeric materials and screw geometries; and then they could be incorporated with process control strategies as well.

 

3. Mzuath Alhazmi

4. Jaber Alsulami

5. Hatim Alotaibiz

6. Ekuadayo Gbenga

7. Charles Okon

Title: The Prediction of Two-Phase Flow in Pipe and Analysis Including Loss of coolant accident (LOCA)

In order for a saturated liquid to be changed to a saturated vapour, energy has to be added in the form of heat. The amount of energy depends on the saturation (or boiling) temperature of the fluid and this in turn depends on the pressure of the liquid. As the pressure increases so does the saturation temperature. When a sub-cooled liquid enters the bottom of a vertical channel heated by the uniform heat flux, however, once the amount of vapour starts to increase, the changes in flow patterns, combined with an increase in the velocities of both the liquid and vapour phases, lead to heat transfer mechanisms. So this research is aimed at developing models that would be used to study two-phase fluid flows in pipe and carry out validation studies vis-a-vis well planned/focussed publicly available experiments in the literature. Main objective will be focused on the study of different flow patterns and their characteristics and flow rate at which each flow regime transition will take place. 

(Supervision team: Prof. A. Turan, Dr C. Abeykoon)

8. Sikander Yasin

Title: Validated Computational investigation of radial rotating heat pipes

(Supervision team: Prof. A. Turan, Dr C. Abeykoon)

9. Keren Li

Title: Implementation of efficient big data analysis techniques to develop intelligent energy networks

 

Data mining is one of the applications of big data analysis. It can play an important role in the development of intelligent energy networks. The data mining will be realised via the use of modern order reduction techniques. The main algorithm will Yesbe based in the TT-decomposition first suggested in 2009. The application of the technique will provide an opportunity for a real-time analysis. This will be achieved via identification of key modes and efficient multiplicative data representation. The key date will be extracted from all data available from measurements. These data will be used in real-time regimes to control smart energy systems.

 (Supervision team: Prof. S. Utyuzhnikov, Dr C. Abeykoon)

10. Boxi You

Title: Automated design of gas turbines for the chemical industry

The electricity and heat are the major drives in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and currently gas turbines are widely used throughout these industries as they allow for high power output with a satisfactory overall efficiency at relatively reasonable costs. Mutiobjective optimization should be carried out to consider trader-off between different cost functions such as cost, energy efficiency, flame pulsations and emission. A robust design should be identified via sensitivity analysis. Multiobjective optimization will be realised with the use of the Directed Search Domain algorithm. Also, a set of Pareto optimal solutions will be identified. Then, a decision-making algorithm will be implemented for their ranking. The results of the project can be used in the systems of optimal design.

 (Supervision team: Prof. S. Utyuzhnikov, Dr C. Abeykoon)

11. Ruihan Wang

Title: Optimization Strategies for Textile Reinforced Concrete Structure (TRC)

 

PhD Students (Completed)

1. Chukwuma Ogbonnaya (2022): Title: Integrated PV - Fuel Cell Generation Methodologies - Design, Development and Optimization for Distributed Power Applications.

2. Huixuan Li (2021): Title: Construction of laminated composites having sensor networks made from graphene loaded filaments

 

MPhil Students (current)

 

MPhil Students (Completed)

1. Tan Lo Wong (2023): Title: Composite Phase Change Materials for Building Applications

2. Duriyang Thongsoon (2021): Title: Manufacturing of Hybrid Composites from Recycled Polypropylene

3. Yunong Yuan (2019): Title: Modelling of the structure formation of 3D printed crystalline polymers

3. Yu-Che Kao (2018): Title: Modelling of polymer crystallinity during 3D printing

 

MSc Students

2023: Zaki Echcherki, Yongqi Wang, Qining Wen, Xu Bao

2022: Ke Ma, Bilal Gayretli, Tinake Tuo

2021: Yongcai Huang, Kun Chen

2020: Shishi Peng, Alex Stonehouse 

2019: Youyun Gong, Yue Ding, Weiguang Yang

2018: Ping Xu, Ruimin Xiao, Jiayi Zhu, Pimpisut Sri-Amphorn

2017: Hongjun Yu, Boyuan Hao, Kanokporn Tangthana-Umrung, Shengyuan Wang

2016: Paula Perez Leon, Haowen Hu, Yunzhang Pu

 

MEng Project Students

2022: Claudio Fortichiari

2020: Jonathan Moreno Gonzalez

2018: Oliver Exley

2017: Mariam Bashat

 

UG Individual Projet Students

2017: Chao Zhu, Xiaoru Li

 

UG Group Project Students

2018: Lucy Donora, Jiangyu He, Samuel Foster, Richard Wheatley, India Morris, Lucas Martin-Yates

 

Opportunities

Possible Postgraduate Research Areas

- Renewable energy recovery via Phase Change Materials

- Novel 3D printing materials

- Computational modelling and simulation of polymer melt flow in extrusion

- A soft sensor for die melt temperature profile prediction of polymer extrusion

- Polymer extrusion control with artificial intelligence techniques

- Modelling and optimization of polymer extrusion

Possible Topics for Postgraduate Research (if you are interested, please feel free to contact)

Project 1: Performance evaluation of biodegradable 3D printing materials (PhD/MPhil)

Project 2: Numerical Modelling of Melt Flows in Polymer Extrusion (PhD)

In polymer extrusion, the behaviour of the flow of materials along the screw shows highly variable nature as it is gradually changing from solid to molten state. There are a number of aspects that have not yet been well understood on processing of polymeric materials such as the contact between metal-polymer and polymer-polymer at the solid/molten state; the way of forming and progression of melt pools; conveying of solid materials in the equipment (friction, shear, formation and breakup of solid beds); clear correlation/s between materials properties or melt thermal quality and process energy consumption, etc. Hence, this project aims to understand the flow behaviour of an extruder via combining numerical/computational modelling techniques with conventional empirical modelling. A computational algorithm to simulate the flow driven temperature evolution during the extrusion is required to formulate. Navier–Stokes formulations will then be applied in a fixed grid to solve energy, momentum and continuity equations addressing the algorithm. The temperature/pressure dependent properties of the melt will be incorporated the computations as polynomials of respective parameters (under incompressible flow regime). Extruder screw rotation and barrel heater parameters will be taken as inputs to define boundary conditions to the model. Contact behaviours between metal-polymer (at the solid and molten states) and polymer-polymer (at the solid state) will be incorporated to through empirical approach, based on experimental observations. Software codes will be developed to simulate varying process and material conditions. Then, the experimentally measured parameters (melt pressure and melt temperature)  can be compared with the computational and empirical model predictions for verification and validation purposes.

Project 3: Modelling of polymer resin flow through fibres in composite manufacturing (PhD)

The fluid (resin) flow behaviour through and across the reinforcement is really important in polymeric materials based composites manufacturing to achieve the desired properties. In the processes such as resin transfer moulding (RTM), two flows occur simultaneously as resin is injected into a cavity: macro-flow, in which the resin flows through the gaps between the bundles of fibres which make up the preform, and micro-flow, in which the resin penetrates the pores within the fibre bundles to wet the individual fibres. Both of these flows must be completed before significant reaction occurs and the viscosity of the resin begins to rise rapidly. If macro-flow is incomplete, a "short shot" will result while an incomplete micro-flow is not visually obvious, but as the mechanical properties of a composite are highly dependent on the interfacial adhesion between the matrix and reinforcement, it is important to maximize the degree of fibre wetting.

The resin flow behavior though/across fibre matrix during composites manufacturing can be numerically modelled. Such a model will help to elucidate the fundamental understanding which could underpin advanced composite processing capabilities to achieve the desired properties. It is expected to employee the concept of the flow of a slurry (which represent the resin) through a porous medium (fiber matrix). As the initial step, numerical formulation can be verified against the generic porous medium models. If required, 4D imaging can be used as an advanced tool to validate such models.

Project 4: A soft sensor for die melt temperature profile prediction of polymer extrusion (PhD)

Polymeric materials play a major role in production industry and hence advanced process monitoring is invaluable for improving the product quality and process efficiency. Extrusion is a fundamental method of processing polymeric materials. An extruder is a machine which processes materials by conveying it along a screw and forcing it through a die at a certain pressure. The main function of an extruder is to deliver a homogeneous, well mixed polymer melt at a specified uniform temperature and pressure. Currently, there are no industrially well-established techniques for online measurement/prediction of the die melt temperature profile and viscosity of the melt output. Hence, this project aims to first explore the existing melt temperature and viscosity monitoring techniques used in polymer processing and then propose novel, industrially-compatible techniques for online monitoring of melt viscosity and melt temperature profile across the die. Initially, the efficacy of the novel techniques will be explored via simulation and then will be tested on a medium scale industrial extruder with commonly used polymeric materials. The aim is that the newly proposed techniques should facilitate advanced process monitoring and hence to the development of advanced control strategies to optimize the process energy efficiency and product quality.

Project 5: Investigation of the processing behaviour of recycled polymers in compression moulding (MPhil)

This project is a collaborative project with industry and aims to use a few recycled materials (mainly Axplas MEP plastic chips) to explore their processing behaviour in compression moulding. A set of sample mixtures of Axplas MEP plastics chips (ABS/PS/PPTF mixtures) in 5 - 8 mm size range will be used in experimental studies. It is expected to explore possible relationship(s) between key parameters such as thicknesses, compression ratio, heating time, temperature in terms of the type of the block/plank created in compression moulding. Then, it expected to investigate the desired target operating zone to make a viable product and to measure the strength of the different blocks made under some controlled conditions. Also, it is expected to come up with some recommendations on how the products could be scaled up/down to make desired commercial products (e.g., such as  planter boxes/cylinders  for horticultural  use) and also what factors would impact upon a production process as a using typical compression moulding techniques.

Project 6: Investigation of the structure formation of 3D printed crystalline polymers (MPhil)

Semi-crystalline polymers are important class of polymeric materials used in various industrial applications. The crystal structures can mostly dominate the mechanical and functional properties of such semi-crystalline polymers. Particularly, when combined with modern 3D printing processes, controlling of crystalline features can be controlled by varying process parameters to construct advanced materials with tailor made properties.

Transmission light microscopes with multi-imaging-mode approaches are very useful tools to study crystalline features in polymeric materials; however it requires a detailed image analysis. This project is aimed to develop an experimental capacity to establish a detailed process parameter – structure – property relationship for 3D printed crystalline polymers.  

Project 7: Numerical Modelling of Radial Die Melt Temperature Profile in Polymer Extrusion (MPhil)

Project 8: Enhancement of the properties of concrete with recycled polymers (MPhil)

Project 9: Use of phase change materials in heat transfer applications (PhD/MPhil)

Project 10: Novel 3D printing materials

(For self-funded MPhil/PhD candidates) Ask for more details

Some collaborative projects listed below (with the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering) are available in the areas relating to heat transfer/fluid flow and Renewable Energy Technologies, for self-funded students only. If interested, please contact me.

Teaching

Postgraduate

Unit coordinator: Polymer Processing (MATS65581)

Lecturer: Introduction to Materials Science (MATS64101)

Lecturer: Advanced Composites (MATS64602)

 

Undergraduate

Unit Coordinator: Advanced Processing (MATS30102, MATS40112)

Unit coordinator: Materials Processing (MATS23401)

 

Activities and esteem

Keynote Speeches (Invited)

1. Title: How to publish and present a research work? and why it is important to publish?

    IESL (Sri Lanka) Career Guidance Programme, May 2021

2. Title: Soft sensing and fuzzy logic-based control for industrial processes

    International conference of Fluid Flow and Thermal Sciences, September 2020.

3. Tittle: Investigation of the thermal stability of non-Newtonian melt flows

    The 4th World Congress on Mechanical, Chemical, and Material Engineering (MCM'18) August 16 - 18, 2018, Madrid, Spain.

 

Journal Editorial

1. Editorial Board Member: Composites Communications (Elsevier)

2. Associate Editor: Journal of Fluid Flow, Heat and Mass Transfer (JFFHMT)

3. Associate Editor: Academic Journal of Polymer Science

4. Editorial Board Member: Archives of Industrial Engineering

5. Editorial Board Member: Materials Science: Materials Review

 

Professional Affiliations/Memberships

- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK

- Professional member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining: IOM3

- Associate member of the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL)

- Associate member of the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, Sri Lanka (CPM)

 

Administrative Roles

- Deputy Head of Postgraduate Reserach for the Department of Materials – May 2023 to date

- Teaching and Learning Enhancement Lead (MSE) for the Department of Materials – August 2019 to May 2023

- eLearning Lead for the School of Materials - July 2017 to July 2019

- Chair of the ME-UG Staff-Student Liaison Committee for the School of Materials – From March 2017

- Representative for distance learning projects group for School of Materials - From March 2017

 

Funded Projects

- Manufacturing of Hybrid Composites from Recycled Polypropylene (Funded by Industry: On-going)

- Investigation of Processing Behaviour of Recycled Polymers in Compression Moulding (Funded by Industry: Ended)

 

Prizes and awards

  • The young author best paper award at the IEEE third international conference on modelling, identification and control, Shanghai, China, 26-29 June 2011.
  • A special research scholarship for the PhD study from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - (2008-2011).
  • C. L. Maddumage prize for the best performance in Mechanical Engineering in the year 2007, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

 

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast

Oct 2008Sept 2011

Award Date: 15 Dec 2011

Bachelor of Engineering, University of Peradeniya

Oct 2002Feb 2007

Award Date: 2 Feb 2007

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Aerospace Research Institute
  • Digital Futures

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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