The manufacturing industry faces constant pressure to enhance competitiveness by consistently striving for elevated quality, reduced costs, and accelerated delivery. In the contemporary manufacturing landscape, sustainability is a crucial focus, and manufacturers are increasingly intertwined with both suppliers and customers. Moreover, products are becoming more intricate, incorporating intelligent functionalities and boasting extended service life. Manufacturers now bear the responsibility for the overall performance throughout a product's life cycle.

The centre's mission is to develop state-of-the-art technologies to address the manufacturing challenges in this evolving landscape, facilitating the industry's digital and green transition.

The centre's research themes include:

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing research is dedicated to developing and implementing digital technologies and tools across the entire manufacturing process to enhance efficiency, productivity, and overall operations. The research encompasses areas such as simulation and optimization, digital twins, big data analytics for factories and manufacturing processes, and additive manufacturing.

Robotics and Automation

This research theme encompasses the study and development of collaborative human-robot interactions, robotics for manufacturing, remanufacturing, and maintenance operations, as well as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), among other topics.

Circular Manufacturing

This research theme centres on life cycle engineering with the ultimate goal of achieving 'circular manufacturing.' It involves research on various aspects, including remanufacturing/repair, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, life cycle cost modelling and optimization, and decision support systems.

Smart Sensors and Systems

This research theme explores advanced research on sensors and transducers, instrumentation, micro/nano-systems, embedded systems, smart materials and products, as well as autonomous systems.

Our people 

Academics

Prof Yuchun Xu, Director of the Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing Research Centre 
Chair in Manufacturing
Digital Manufacturing, Remanufacturing, Life Cycle Engineering 
Email: y.xu16@aston.ac.uk

Dr Chao Liu, Lecturer in Digital Manufacturing
Digital twin, smart factory, CPPS, IIoT, AI, AR/VR/MR
Email: c.liu16@aston.ac.uk 

Dr Muftooh Siddiqi, Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing
Advanced Manufacturing Processes, Remanufacturing Automation, Manufacturing support systems, Industry 4.0 
Email: m.siddiqi5@aston.ac.uk

Dr Gareth Thomson, Reader in Mechanical Engineering
Material processing, systems design, automation, engineering education

Dr Yu Jia, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
Smart sensors, MEMS
Email:y.jia1@aston.ac.uk 

Dr Ahmad Baroutaji, Senior Lecturer in Engineering and Technology
Additive manufacturing, Engineering design, Mechanics of Materials.
Email: a.baroutaji@aston.ac.uk 

Dr James Pickering, Lecturer in Robotics
Control Engineering, Robotics, Autonomous Systems, Mechatronics
Email: j.pickering1@aston.ac.uk

Dr Abdullah Alhusin Alkhdur, Lecturer in Industrial Robotics and Manufacturing Automation
Industial Robotics, Human-Robot Collaboration, Robot energy
Email:k a.alhusinalkhdur@aston.ac.uk

Dr Jian Wan, Lecturer in Mechatronics and Robotics
Control Engineering, Machine Learning, Robotics and Autonomous Systems
Email: wanj3@aston.ac.uk 

Dr Xianghong Ma, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering 
Mirco/Nano technologies, nonlinear system identification, biomedical engineering 
Email: x.ma@aston.ac.uk 

Prof Peihua Gu, Sustainable Design and Intelligent Manufacturing
Email: p.gu@aston.ac.uk

Dr Martin Rudorfer Lecturer in Applied AI & Robotics
Robotic Grasping and Manipulation
Email: m.rudorfer@aston.ac.uk
 

Dr Zhuangzhuang Dai, Lecturer in Computer Science
Navigation Systems, Human-Robot Interaction
Email: .dai1@aston.ac.uk
 

Dr Mari Chli, Reader in Computer Science
Artificial intelligence, Multi-agent systems
Email: m.chli@aston.ac.uk
 

Dr Kurt Y. Liu, Reader in Supply Chain Analytics
Big data analytics, machine learning, sustainable supply chain and logistics
Email: y.liu56@aston.ac.uk

Dr Maxwell Antwi-Afari, Lecturer in Construction & QS
Smart Construction Informatics, Construction Ergonomics
Email: m.antwiafari@aston.ac.uk

Researchers 

Dr Nasser Amaitik
PDRA 
Reliability, Life Cycle Optimisation, Decision Support Systems
Email: n.amaitik@aston.ac.uk

Dr Ming Zhang
PDRA
Condition Monitoring, Prognostics, Machine Learning
Email: m.zhang21@aston.ac.uk

Mr Youxi Hu
PhD student
Remanufacturing
Email: 180213753@aston.ac.uk