Fan Zhang


Fan Zhang is a Postgraduate research student within Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I graduated with a BEng in Material Processing and Control Engineering from Taiyuan University of Technology, China in 2020, and subsequently completed a MSc from Cranfield University in the field of Aerospace Materials in 2021. After these I started the PhD entitled ‘Carbon-based smart composites for continuous structural and environmental monitoring’ in FEA and mechanical characterization.

During the time at the Taiyuan University of Technology, it established my interest in the field of strain and pressure, and then my master degree gave me the backgroud about composite materials as well, by exploring the possibility of graduate and postgraduate-level works, i found that these can be combined and matched with my PhD program perfectly. My dissertation research focuses on smart composites in the field of sensors, which needs to solve the mechanical problems, such as strain, structural strength and so on. This will be benefit for sensors application on composite materials in the future.

Research Interest

  1. Laser-induced Graphene

  2. Mechanical Sensor

  3. Composite Materials

  4. Print Materials



Mr Fan Zhang

University of Southampton Malaysia

C0301, C0302, C0401, Blok C Eko Galleria, 3, Jalan Eko Botani 3/2, Taman Eko Botani, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia


Current Research Project

Smart composites are composite structural materials with additional functionalities. In most cases, smart composites are made of a mix of structural material and functional materials. In most cases, the creation of smart composites requires sensors to be fabricated and embedded into the composite material. However, the embedded sensors may cause some problems such as decreased structural strength, stress concentration, and delamination. Carbon-based nanomaterials such as graphene, nano-graphite and carbon nanotubes exhibit electrical properties which could be modulated by environmental stimuli, such as temperature, humidity,  pressure, and strain. In this project, we propose to develop a smart composite with carbon-based nanomaterials to study the potential to detect various environmental stimuli.