Philip Withers

Philip Withers

Prof, Regius Professor of Materials

Personal profile

Research interests

  • Nanotomography
  • Metal matrix composites (Ti-SiC fibre and Al particulate)
  • Laser peening and other life extending surface treatment technologies
  • Linear, rotational and stir friction welding of Al, Ni and Ti materials and components
  • Crack tip field displacement mapping and crack tip residual stress interactions
  • Weld residual stresses, their modelling and mitigation
  • Structural integrity of aerospace and nuclear plant
  • New residual stress measurement technologies
  • Stress related transformations including ferro electric and shape memory transitions
  • Powder processing


Professor Philip Withers obtained his PhD in Metallurgy at Cambridge University and took up a lectureship there, before taking up a Chair in Manchester in 1998. His interests lie in applying advanced techniques to follow the behaviour of engineering and natural materials in real time and in 3D, often as they operate under demanding conditions.  In 2005 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering and in 2008 set up the Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility, which is now one of the most extensive suites of 3D X-ray Imaging facilities in the world.

Awarded the Royal Society Armourers & Brasiers’ Company Prize for pioneering use of neutron and X-ray beams to map stresses and image components in 2010, his work underpins the scientific basis by which we can predict component failure.  In 2012, Philip became the inaugural Director of the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials aimed understanding and developing materials across the energy sector. In 2014, the University of Manchester was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, recognising the Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility’s work. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. In 2017 he became the inaugural Regius Professor of Materials and Chief Scientist of the newly founded Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials.

In establishing correlative tomography, he is currently linking together X-ray and electron imaging to locate and track a 3D region of interest from metre to the nanometres length-scale. In 2017 he Chaired the UK Neutron Strategic Review for the Research Councils.

My group


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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Aerospace Research Institute
  • Advanced materials
  • Manchester Energy
  • Energy
  • Advanced Materials in Medicine
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Photon Science Institute
  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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