Professor Stefan Dimov Professor Stefan Dimov Dipl Ing, PhD, DSc, CEng, FIMechE

Professor Stefan Dimov

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Micro Manufacturing
Head of Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre

Contact details

School of Mechanical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Stefan Dimov’s research interests encompass the broad area of advanced manufacturing with a special focus on Laser Micro Processing, Micro and Nano Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing and Hybrid Manufacturing technologies. He established the Laser Micro Processing and Hybrid Manufacturing labs which are now widely recognised for their internationally leading research.

His academic output includes more than 300 technical papers and 13 books. He has supervised over 20 PhD theses to completion. He has won in excess of £35M in external research grants and contracts.

In addition to pursuing and leading research, he has also been very active with knowledge transfer to industry, applying the results of his work to help multinational companies and SMEs to generate wealth and create and safeguard jobs.

He is the recipient of Thomas Stephens Group Prize in 2000 and 2003 and Joseph Whitworth Award in 2017 awarded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.  


  • DSc in Advanced Manufacturing Technology
  • 2011 Fellow of IMechE, 2010
  • Chartered Engineer, IMechE, 2010
  • PhD in Manufacturing Engineering 1989
  • Dipl. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering - 1984


Stefan Dimov obtained his Diploma Engineer and Doctoral degrees in 1984 and 1989 respectively from Moscow State University of Technology and the Doctor of Science degree in 2011 from Cardiff University.

In 1994, Stefan started his professional career at Cardiff University (CU) as a Research Associate working on an EC funded research project. Following this he was promoted first to a Senior Research Associate post and then to the General Manager, Distinguished Senior Research Fellow and Operations Director of the Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) with responsibilities for a portfolio of R&D projects and for supervising post docs and PhD students under three themes, engineering applications of AI techniques, concurrent engineering and advanced manufacturing technology.

In 2001, a Micro and Nano Manufacturing R&D programme in Cardiff was initiated by him with a focus on advanced manufacturing research for miniaturised products and systems. In 2004, Stefan became a Co-Director of the CU Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (CUIMRC) that was created with an award of a £3.25M grant from EPSRC’s Innovative Manufacturing Programme. Also, in 2004 a 7.5 M€ grant was secured from the EC to form a European Network of Excellence (NoE) in Multi-Material Micro Manufacture (4M) and Stefan was appointed as the Network Coordinator/Director. In 2005, in recognition of the MEC research achievements and state-of-the-art facilities in Micro and Nano Technology (MNT) the Centre became one of the main nodes within the UK MNT Network with the award of a £3.5M capital grant from the DTI and Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). To build upon and develop further the strong research links in the 4M NoE a self-sustained 4M Association was created in 2009 and he is currently its Executive Officer.

After moving to Birmingham in September 2011 he was appointed the Head of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre (AMTC) at the School of Mechanical Engineering in 2012. The AMTC Laser Micro Processing and Hybrid Manufacturing labs were established by him in 2012 and 2015. For the relatively short period of time the two labs have gained an international and national recognition for their research and have attracted in access £15M through a portfolio of national and international grants. In 2015 he was appointed Head of the Manufacturing Research Group (MRG) of the newly formed School of Engineering.

Since his promotion to Personal Chair in Cardiff in 2006 and currently as Chair in Micro Manufacturing in Birmingham he has carried out research in Advanced Manufacturing, with a special focus on advances in Laser Micro Processing, Micro and Nano Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing and Hybrid Manufacturing technologies. In his academic career Stefan has so far published over 300 technical papers and co-authored 13 books. He has supervised 32 PhD candidates to successful completion and has been Principal and Co-investigator of more than 70 projects with a total value in excess of £42M funded by EPSRC, ESRC, Royal Academy of Engineering, DTI, TSB, WAG, EU, Innovate UK and KTP.

Stefan is an active researcher with core expertise in characterisation, modelling and development of advanced manufacturing technologies, maintaining a significant output of papers in journals of international standing while also having a proven track record for initiating and managing research projects involving strong end user participation (more than 180 such organisations to-date). He is an enthusiastic team player and, as such, he welcomes opportunities to employ his skills through acting as a project co-investigator and regularly co-author with colleagues and research students. Also, Stefan is proactive in encouraging a supportive culture for personal development among those he leads.


Teaching Programmes

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Laser-Based manufacturing
  • Synoptic Mechanical Engineering


Research interests

Research in Advanced Manufacturing Technology for more than 30 years, with a special focus on advances in Micro and Nano Manufacturing (MNM), Additive Manufacturing and Hybrid Manufacturing in the last 15 years. Core expertise in characterisation, modelling and development of manufacturing technologies and current research interests in:

  • Micro and Nano Manufacturing. The focus is on batch manufacture of miniaturised parts, micro tool-making and replication as key enabling technologies for scale up MNM. Particularly, the research is focused on investigating and optimising complementary machining, tool-making and replication technologies, such as laser machining, focus ion beam (FIB) milling, micro electro discharge machining (EDM), micro milling, micro injection moulding and embossing. Another aspect of my research in this field is the design and validation of tool making and manufacturing process chains that integrate component technologies to address specific application requirements.
  • Layer Based Manufacturing (LBM). Interests in applying the LBM principals to a range of material removal processes, e.g. milling, laser ablation, laser direct manufacturing, EDM and FIB milling, and by combining their technological capabilities in hybrid manufacturing platforms to address requirements for function and length scale integrations in existing and new emerging products. This includes the development and validation of CAD/CAM solutions for “adaptive” LBM of large 3D surfaces and automating the datum set-up operations, and thus to facilitate the seamless integration of beam-based modules for functional surface texturing with other machining processes.
  • Laser Structuring/Texturing/Annealing. The research is focused on the process design in implementing laser-based modules for functional surface structuring, texturing and polishing that can be integrated with other component technologies, e.g. milling, into machining platforms for achieving function and length scale integration in existing and new emerging products targeting various eco/bio application areas. The capabilities and process design issues in employing the latest generation of industrial ultra-short pulsed lasers, especially femto- and pico- second laser sources, and MOPA-based Yb fibre lasers for scanning micro-processing and surface structuring are of a particular interest in this research.
  • Synergistic Process-Material Design. The research is focused on the development of a systematic approach for synergistic deployment of advanced material processing technologies, especially those for grain refinement and deposition of amorphous and nanostructured materials with their superior mechanical and physical properties in combination with their respective machining, structuring and forming technologies. The motivation is to create hybrid manufacturing platforms for incorporating nano, micro and meso scale functional layers/structures/features in devices/components.
  • Technology Maturity Assessment. The research aims to develop and implement a methodology for systematic analysis of technological interfaces between material processing, machining, structuring, forming and replication processes in hybrid manufacturing platforms that takes into account the processing capabilities of both the individual processes involved and their interdependencies, and also the overall capabilities of given two processing technologies (process pairs) in achieving the functional requirements of a product.

Current and recent projects

  • Laser-Based Modules for Functional Surface Texturing: Integration and Process Design Issues (2011-2016), Sponsor: KIMM, Value: £190K;
  • Integrating European research infrastructures for micro-nano fabrication of functional structures and devices out of a knowledge-based multimaterials’ repertoire (EUMINAfab) (2012-2013), Sponsor: EC FP7, Value: 80K€;
  • ECO-efficient LASER technology for FACTories of the future (ECO-LASERFACTS) (2012-2015), Sponsor: EC INTERREG IVB NEW, Value: €145K;
  • High performance Production line for Small Series Metal Parts (Hyproline) (2012-2015), Sponsor: EC FP7, Value: €375K;
  • Laser machining of passive micro wave components and bulk metallic glasses (2013), Sponsor: EPSRC, Value: £5K
  • High throughput integrated technologies for multimaterial functional Micro Components (HINMICO) (2013-2016), Sponsor: EC FP7, Value: €316K;
  • Advanced Manufacturing of Multi-Material Multi-Functional Products towards 2020 and Beyond (4M2020) (2013-2016), Sponsor: EC FP7; Value: €141K;
  • Laser Enabled Advanced Printing” (LEAP) (2014), Sponsor: TSB, Value: £20K;
  • Adaptive Post-Processors for High Dynamics Beam Deflectors (2014), Sponsor: Irepa-Laser, Value: €5.5K;
  • Laser Based Hybrid Remanufacture of Complex High Performance Parts (Laser-Reman) (2015), Sponsor: CAT, Value: £70K;
  • Micromachined Circuits For Terahertz Communications (2015-2018), Sponsor: EPSRC, Value: £1,037K
  • European ESRs Network on Short Pulsed Laser Micro/Nanostructuring of Surfaces (LASER4FUN) (2015-2019), Sponsor: EC H2020 ITN, Value: €525K;
  • Laser Machining of Ceramic Interface Cards for 3D wafer bumps (2015-2018), Sponsor: KIAT, Value: £168K;
  • Modular laser based additive manufacturing platform for large scale industrial applications (MAESTRO) (2016-2019), Sponsor: EC H2020 FoF, Value: €690K;
  • High-Impact Injection Moulding Platform for mass-production of 3D and/or large micro-structured surfaces with Antimicrobial, Self-cleaning, Anti-scratch, Anti-squeak and Aesthetic functionalities (HIMALAIA) (2017-2021, Sponsor:EC H2020 FoF, Value: €705K;
  • Laser Texturing/Patterning of 3D Surfaces (2017-2020), Sponsor: MTC Scholarship, Value: £50.5K;
  • Surface functionalisation for food, packaging, and healthcare applications (2018-2021), Sponsor: UKIERI DST, Value: £20K;
  • Hybrid Manufacturing  (2018-2021), Sponsor: MTC Scholarship, Value: £51K;
  • Smart Factory Hub (SmartFub) (2018-2021),  Sponsor: ESIF/ERDF, Value: £6,724K;
  • Factory In A Box (FIAB) (2019-2021), Sponsor: MTC, Value: £125K;
  • Hybrid Manufacturing (2019-2021), Sponsor: YAMAZAKI MAZAK, Value: £539K;
  • Laser Micro Processing (2019-2021), Sponsor: LASEA, Value: £475K
  • Advanced 3D laser processing for surface structuring, texturing and polishing (2019-2022), Sponsor: MTC Scholarship, Value: £53K;
  • Smart Factory Hub extension & expansion (SmartFub) (2020-2023), Sponsor: ESIF/ERDF, Value: £4,383K;

Other activities

  • Member of the Peer Review Colleges of UK, Enterprise Ireland, Denmark, Italian and Flanders Research Councils, QNRF and an expert reviewer for the European Commission in the area of advanced manufacturing.
  • Member of the Editorial Boards of the IMechE Journal Part B “Engineering Manufacture”, Micromachines Journal and Bentham Science Journal “Micro and Nanosystems”.
  • Leading role in major international initiatives, European Micro and Nano Manufacturing (MINAM) platform and European Initiative for Sustainable Development by Nanotechnologies (NANOfutures);
  • Executive Officer of the 4M International Association (;
  • Chair or Co-Chair of 4M2005 in Karlsruhe (Germany); 4M2006 in Grenoble (France); 4M2007 in Borovets (Bulgaria); 4M2008 in Cardiff (UK); 4M/ICOMM 2009 in Karlsruhe (Germany); 4M2010 in Oyonnax (France) 4M2011 in Stuttgart (Germany); 4M2012 in Vienna (Austria); 4M2013 in San Sebastian (Spain) 4M/ICOMM 2015 in Milano (Italy); 4M/IWMF 2016 in Copenhagen (Denmark); WCMNM 2018 in Slovenia; WCMNM 2019 in NC, USA.
  • Visiting Professor at Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria


Recent publications


Freer, S, Qing, J, Penchev, P, Dimov, S, Hanham, SM & Navarro-Cía, M 2024, 'Loss Characteristics of TeraHertz Surface Waves on Laser Micromachined Textured Metals', IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology , vol. 14, no. 2, 10414155, pp. 283-292.

Jitniyom, T, Gaddam, A, Williams, G, Churm, J, Dearn, K, Banzhaf, M, De cogan, F, Dimov, S & Gao, N 2023, 'Biofouling resistant materials based on micro‐structured surfaces with liquid‐repellent properties', Nano Select, pp. 1-10.

Michalek, A, Jwad, T, Penchev, P, See, T & Dimov, S 2023, 'Inline LIPSS monitoring method employing light diffraction', Journal of Micro and Nano-Manufacturing, vol. 8, no. 1, 011002.

Le, H, Nasrollahi, V, Karkantonis, T, Penchev, P, Marimuthu, S, Crozier, M & Dimov, S 2023, 'Investigation of precession laser machining of micro-holes in aerospace material', Journal of Laser Applications, vol. 35, no. 1, 012028.

Villapún, VM, Man, K, Carter, L, Penchev, P, Dimov, S & Cox, S 2023, 'Laser texturing of additively manufactured implants: A tool to programme biological response', Biomaterials advances, vol. 153, 213574.

González-Fernández, L, Anagnostopoulos, A, Karkantonis, T, Dimov, S, Chorążewski, M, Ding, Y & Grosu, Y 2023, 'Laser-texturing of stainless steel as a corrosion mitigation strategy for high-temperature molten salts applications under dynamic conditions', Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 257, 112380.

Sun, F, Penchev, P, Pruncu, CI, Wang, J, Pargeter, C, Wang, Y, Li, C, Dimov, S, Jiang, J & Blackman, BRK 2023, 'On enhancement of fracture resistance of adhesive joints by surface micropatterning using a femtosecond laser', Journal of Materials Processing Technology, vol. 315, 117904.

Philpott, J, Churm, J, Nasrollahi, V, Dimov, S, Anthony, C & Cummins, G 2023, 'Wireless measurement of the degradation rates of thin film bioresorbable metals using reflected impedance', IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing , vol. 36, no. 1, 9944891.

Baronti, L, Michalek, A, Castellani, M, Penchev, P, See, TL & Dimov, S 2022, 'Artificial neural network tools for predicting the functional response of ultrafast laser textured/structured surfaces', The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 119, no. 5-6, pp. 3501-3516.

Bidare, P, Mehmeti, A, Jiménez, A, Li, S, Garman, C, Dimov, S & Essa, K 2022, 'High-density direct laser deposition (DLD) of CM247LC alloy: microstructure, porosity and cracks', The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 120, no. 11-12, pp. 8063–8074.

Karkantonis, T, Penchev, P, Nasrollahi, V, Le, H, See, T, Bruneel, D, Ramos-de-Campos, J & Dimov, S 2022, 'Laser micro-machining of freeform surfaces: accuracy, repeatability and reproducibility achievable with multi-axis processing strategies', Precision Engineering, vol. 78, pp. 233-247.

Le, H, Pradhani, C, Penchev, P, Nasrollahi, V, Karkantonis, T, Wang, Y, Dimov, S & Ramos-de-Campos, J 2022, 'Laser precession machining of cross-shaped terahertz bandpass filters', Optics and Lasers in Engineering, vol. 149, 106790.

Karkantonis, T, Gaddam, A, Sharma, H, Cummins, G, See, TL & Dimov, S 2022, 'Laser-enabled surface treatment of disposable endoscope lens with superior antifouling and optical properties', Langmuir, vol. 38, no. 37, pp. 11392–11405.

González-Fernández, L, Anagnostopoulos, A, Karkantonis, T, Bondarchuk, O, Dimov, S, Chorążewski, M, Ding, Y & Grosu, Y 2022, 'Laser-induced carbonization of stainless steel as a corrosion mitigation strategy for high-temperature molten salts applications', Journal of Energy Storage, vol. 56, 105972.

Le, H, Karkantonis, T, Nasrollahi, V, Penchev, P & Dimov, S 2022, 'MHz burst mode processing as a tool for achieving removal rates scalability in ultrashort laser micro-machining', Applied Physics A, vol. 128, no. 8, 711.

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