Professor Sahar Al-Malaika

Sahar Al-Malaika

Head of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
Leader of the Polymer Processing & Performance (PPP) Research Unit



Sahar Al-Malaika is a Professor of Polymer Science at Aston University, specialising in modification, oxidation and stabilisation of polymers and antioxidant chemistry.  Most of her professional career has been spent at Aston University where she leads the Polymer Processing and Performance Research Unit.  

Qualifications & Education

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, C.Chem, FRSC, FIMMM

Research Interest

  • Chemistry of polymers:  oxidation, photo- and thermal oxidation, and ageing
  • Specialty Antioxidants:  Synthesis, mechanism and applications
  • Chemistry of vitamin E and its role in orthopaedic implants
  • Additives and antioxidants from renewable resources
  • Reactive processing, in-situ modification and functionalization of polymers
  • Novel and non-migratory antioxidants
  • Polymer recycling, degradation and compostability
  • Polymers, Blends and Nanocomposites: processing, performance and stability under aggressive environments

Research Funding

The funding of my research as principle investigator is obtained from broad sources including:

  • European Commission (currently, FP7-Marie Curie grant)
  • EPSRC - CASE, LINK (currently two EPSRC-CASE studentships) 
  • KTP - Technology Strategy Board (currently one KTP grant)
  • Industry -USA, UK and other parts of Europe, Japan (currently two multinational industry sponsored projects:  USA and Finland)
  • Governmental Bodies (DEFRA, MAAF, MOD, AWM)

PhD Supervision

A number of PhD students and research fellows, currently six, in addition to a number of early and mid-career visiting scientists.

Current External Responsibilities

  • President of the Lichfield Science and Engineering Society
  • Chairperson of the Polymer Degradation Discussion Conference held biannually in Europe
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the European ‘Modification degradation and stabilisation’ Society
  • Member of Editorial Board of the Elsevier Journal ‘Polymer Degradation and Stability’
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Wiley Journal ‘Vinyl and Additives Technology’
  • Member of International Advisory and Organising Committees for a number of International Conferences
  • Referee of research papers for several peer review journals

Recent other Responsibilities

  • EPSRC Peer Review College Member
  • International Evaluator of a major Swedish Polymer Research Centre
  • External Examiner for PhD candidates in a number of UK Universities
  • International Examiner for PhD candidates in Sweden, France, Australia, South Africa
  • Guest editor to special peer reviewed journal issues
  • Referee of grant applications to overseas research centres (USA, Australia, Russia)

Teaching Activity

My teaching reflects my research interest, delivering modules in  polymer Science and Organic Chemistry to all the chemistry, chemical Engineering and CEAC programmes.  This involves lectures, tutorials, supervision of experimental research projects and literature projects, and polymer laboratory classes.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Chartered Chemist
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellow of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining

Selected Publications and Patents

  • S. Al-Malaika and C. Lewucha, Patent PCT/GB2011/000114, WO-2011/092476 (2011);  ‘Stabilised crosslinked polymers’

  • S. Al-Malaika, US Patent 6,936,204 (2005); ‘Thermoplastic Moulding Composition and Polymer Additives’

  • K.Doudin, S. Al-Malaika, H.Dole, T. Stirling, M. Sharples, "Effect of Contact Surfaces on the Thermal and Photoxidation of Dehydrated Castor Oil", Polym Deg Stab, 96, 438-454 (2011)

  • S. Al-Malaika, C. Hewitt, H.H. Sheena,  “Biodegradable Polymers”, In: N.S. Allen (Ed.), ‘Photochemistry and Photophysics of Polymer Materials’, John Wiley and Sons, New Jersey, Chp.16, 603-626 (2010)

  • S. Al-Malaika, E. Eddiyanto, Reactive Processing of Polymers: Effects of Bifunctional and Trifunctional Comonomers on Melt Grafting of Glycidyl Methacrylate onto Polypropylene”, Polym. Deg. Stab.,  95, 353-362 (2010)

  • K. Moller, A. Backman, B. Carlsson, M. Palm, S. Al-Malaika, H, H. Sheena, E. Lakin, “Innovative Measurement Methodology in Quality Assessment of Coatings, In: ‘Service Life Prediction of Polymeric Materials: Global Perspectives’, Springer, New York, pp .229-240 (2009).

  • K. Doudin, A. Ahmad, S. Al-Malaika, “Reactive Processing of Polymers: Structural Characterisation of Products by 1H and 13C NMR Spectroscopy for Glycidyl Methacrylate Grafting onto EPR in the Absence and Presence of a Reactive Comonomer”, Polym. Deg. Stab., 94, 1599-1614 (2009).

  • N. Tz. Dintcheva,  S. Al-Malaika, F.P. La Mantia, “ Effect of Extrusion and Photoxidation on Polyethylene-clay Nanocomposites”, Polym. Deg. Stab., 94, 1571-1588 (2009).

  • S. Al-Malaika, X. Peng, “Stabilisation of Metallocene-1-Octene Copolymers during Multiple Extrusions”, Polym. Deg. Stab., 93, 1619-1631 (2008).

  • S.Al-Malaika, W. Kong,  “Reactive processing of polymers: Effect of in-situ compatibilisation on characteristics of blends of polyethylene terephthalate and ethylene-propylene rubber”,  Polymer, 46(1), 209-228 (2005).

  • S. Al-Malaika, A. Golovoy, C.A. Wilkie, (Eds), ‘Specialty Polymer Additives: Principles and Applications’,  Blackwell Science, London, ISBN 0-632-05897-8,  484 Pages  (2001).

  • S. Al-Malaika and F. Ciardelli,  (Eds), ‘Macomolecular Symposia’  Polymer Reactive Processing, Stabilisation and Functionalisation’,  Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, ISBN 3-527-30 338-3, 315 Pages (2001).

  • S. Al-Malaika, A. Golovoy, C.A. Wilkie, (Eds), ‘Chemistry and Technology of Polymer Additives’ Blackwell Science, Oxford, ISBN 0 632 05338 0, 294 pages, (1999).

  • S. Al-Malaika (Ed.), ‘Reactive Modifiers for Polymers’, Blackie, Academic and Professional, an imprint of Chapman and Hall, London, ISBN 0-7514 0265 6, 400 pages (1997).

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research