Study level

Vacation research experience scheme


Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Tatheer Zahra
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Auxetic materials are unconventional materials that show counteractive behaviour through negative Poisson’s ratio. This means they compress laterally under direct compression load and expand/swell laterally under direct tension owing to their special micro-structure.

This property enables them to bond with the structural elements and absorb energy released in extreme events such as blast, collisions and impacts. Our 3D printing facility will print these materials and laboratory tests will be conducted to measure their strength, stiffness and other properties for engineering applications.

Research activities

You will work with the supervisor to design and print the auxetic geometry in 3D CAD software. Testing will then be conducted to characterise the materials under compression and tension. These geometries will be embedded in mortar to make a composite which will be tested under static and dynamic loads. The mechanical properties, such as strength, stress-strain curves, energy absorption and Poisson's ratio, will be measured to study its effectiveness against extreme loads.


The aim of this project is to:

  • develop a novel auxetic composite
  • characterise its behaviour under static and dynamic loads.

The knowledge emerging from this research is expected to contribute to infrastructure safety using innovative 3D-printed composites.

3D printing auxetics can facilitate the development of auxetic materials of varying sizes and shapes. These materials can effectively absorb energy against human-induced hazards, including blasts and collisions.

Skills and experience

You're eligible to join in this research if you're motivated and would like to work in a laboratory. AutoCAD experience is desirable but not required.



Contact the supervisor for more information.