Dr Xianghong Ma

Xianghong Ma

Senior Lecturer

Mechanical Engineering & Design

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering & Design at Aston University.

I am actively involved with ARCHA (Aston Research Centre in Health Ageing). I am a member of the research strand: 'Technologies supporting healthy ageing'.

Qualifications & Education

  • BE in Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing
  • ME in Mechatronics, University of Science and Technology Beijing
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • 2007 – date: Senior Lecturer, Aston University
  • 2002 – 2007: Lecturer, Aston University
  • 2000 – 2002: Senior Mechanical Engineer at the Global Research Center of General Electric in New York

Teaching activity

I teach dynamics and vibrations for 2nd and 3rd year students, and advanced nonlinear dynamics for MSc students.  

Research interests

Micro/Nano technologies, biomedical engineering, nonlinear dynamics and control, vibrations, numerical analysis and optimization methods, time series analysis and system identification of complex dynamical systems, signal processing and information technology.

Recent research funding

Major grants:
  • Novel Methodology for the Detection and Evaluation of Changing State In Body Functions,  EPSRC, sole investigator, 2003-2006. 
  • Network: Advanced microtechnologies for microsurgery, EPSRC, co-investigator and main coordinator, 2005-2008.
  • Submerged Micro Plate dynamics characterisation and its application for Dynamic Cell Measurement, EPSRC, PI, 2006-2010
  • Development of a Smart Catheter for Endovascular Intervention, British Heart Foundation, co-investigator, 2010-2014

PhD Supervision

I have successfully supervised 5 PhD students in the area of Biomedical Engineering. If you are interested in studying for a PhD in the above areas of my research interests, Please send your CV to my email address.

Membership of Professional Bodies

Fellow of IMechE, Charted Engineer

Selected publications

  • [1] Karhunen-Loeve Decomposition of the Transient Dynamics of a Multibay Truss, X. Ma and A.F. Vakakis. AIAA Journal, vol 37(8), pp. 939-946,  August 1999.

  • [2] Nonlinear Normal Modes and Nonparametric System Identification of Nonlinear Oscillators, X. Ma, M. F. A. Azeez and A.F. Vakakis, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, vol 14(1), pp. 37-48, 2000.

  • [3] Experimental Verification of Shock Reduction Achieved Through nonlinear Localization, X. Ma, T. A. Nayfeh, A.F. Vakakis and L.A. Bergman, J of Sound and Vibration, 230(5), pp. 1177-1184, March 2000. 

  • [4] Nonlinear Transient Localization and Beat Phenomena In a Flexible System with a Clearance, X. Ma and A.F. Vakakis,  ASME Transactions, Journal of  Vibration and Acoustic, 123(1), pp36-44. 2001. 

  • [5] Identification of Bolted Joints Through Laser Vibrometry, X. Ma, L.A. Bergman and A.F. Vakakis,  Journal of Sound and Vibration vol. 246(3), 441-460, sept.  2001

  • [6] Proper Orthogonal (Karhunen-Loeve) Modes of a Flexible Truss: Transient Response Reconstruction and  Experimental Verification, X. Ma, A.F. Vakakis and L.A. Bergman, AIAA Journal, vol 39(4), 2001.

  • [7] The performance of a 1-D Distributive Tactile Sensing System for Detecting the Position, Intensity and Width of a Contacting Load,  X. Ma, P Brett, IEEE Trans. Instrumentation & Measurement, 51, 331-6, 2002.

  • [8] A Flexible digit with tactile feedback for invasive clinical applications, X Ma, P Brett, M Wright, M Griffiths, Proc of the Inst of Mechanical Engineers, H: J of Engineering in Medicine, 151-157, 218(9), 2004.

  • [9] The potential of robotic technology applied to meet requirements for tools to support microsurgery and cellular surgery, P N Brett., X Ma, G Tritto, Journal of cellular and molecular biology, 50(3), 275-80, 2004.

  • [10] Quantifying information content in data compression using the Autocorrelation function, S. Sanborn and X. Ma, Journal of IEEE signal processing letters. 12(3),230-234, 2005

  • [11] Fast and accurate tactile sense feedback estimation for an innovative flexible digit for clinical applications, I Petra, D Holding, X Ma, P Brett , K Blow, IEE Electronics Letters, 42(14), 790-92, 2006.

  • [12] The development of a Novel Bio-MEMS Filtration Chip for the Separation of Specific Cells in Fluid Suspension, M. Prince, X. Ma, P. Docker, M Ward. P. Prewett, Proc of IMechE, Part H: J of Engineering in Medicine, v221, 113-127, 2007.

  • [13] Special issue on microtechnology and nanotechnology in medicine, X Ma, Proc of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, v 221, n 2, January 2007, p i-ii

  • [14] Tracking the position of an Unknown load Moving along a Plate Using the Distributive Sensing Method, M Elliott, X Ma, P N Brett, Sensors and Actuators, part A. Physics. 138(1), , 28-36, 2007.

  • [15] Tremor amplitude determination for use in clinical applications, P Slack, X. Ma, IOP Journal, Measurement Science and Technology, v18, pp3471-3478, 2007.

  • [16] Karhunen-Loeve Analysis and Order Reduction of Nonlinear Energy Pumping Phenomena in Coupled Oscillators, X Ma, A F Vakakis and L Bergman, J. of Sound and Vibration, Vol(309), 2008, p569-587.

  • [17] The effect of operating time on surgeon's muscular fatigue, P Slack, C Coulson, X. Ma,  D Proops, the Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England. 90(8):651-7, 2008 Nov

  •  [18] Determination of Muscle Fatigue Using Dynamically Embedded Signals, P S Slack, X. Ma, Proc. of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: J of Engineering in Medicine, v222, 2008. pp 41-50

  • [19] The effect of operating time on surgeon's hand tremor, P Slack, C Coulson, X. Ma, P Pracy, S Parmar, K Webster, European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 266(1), 137-41, 2009.

  • [20] A smart sensing platform for the classification of ambulatory patterns, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, M Elliott, X Ma, P Brett, Proc. IMechE, Part H: J. Engineering in Medicine, 2009, 223(H5), 567-575. DOI: 10.1243/09544119JEIM523

  • [21] Quantifying sway through surface deflection patterns: A novel approach using distributive tactile sensing, M T Elliott, I Petra, X Ma, P N Brett and D J Holding,  Proc IMechE, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 2009, 223(H7), 903-912.

  • [22] Vibration analysis of submerged rectangular microplates with distributed mass loading, Z Wu, X Ma, P N Brett and J Xu, Proc. Royal Society, A,  April 2009 vol. 465 no. 2104, 1323-1336.

  • [23] Discriminating Contact In Lumen With a Moving Flexible Digit Using Fibre Bragg Grating Sensing Elements, B Tam, Xianghong  Ma, D J Webb, D J Holding, P N Brett, Proc. IMechE, Part H: J. Engineering in Medicine, 2010, 224 (H6), 765-774. DOI 10.1243/09544119JEIM676

  • [24] Large extraordinary Hall effect in [Pt/Co]5/Ru/[Co/Pt]5 multilayer, J. Zhao1, Y. J. Wang, X. F. Han, S. Zhang, and X. H. Ma, Phys. Rev. B 81, 172404, 2010.

  • [25]The experimental evaluation of the dynamics of fluid-loaded microplates, Zhangming Wu, M. T. Wright, X Ma, J. Micromech. Microeng, 20 (2010) 075034.

  • [26] The effect of supporting a surgeon's wrist on their hand tremor,  Chris J Coulson, Paul S Slack, Xianghong Ma , Microsurgery (2010), V 30 (7), Pages: 565-568

  • [27] A novel silicon membrane-based biosensing platform using distributive sensing strategy and artificial neural networks for feature analysis,  Z Wu, K Choudhury, H Griffiths, J Wu, X Ma, Biomedical Microdevices, (accepted)

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research