Dr Stephen Kukureka

Dr Stephen Kukureka

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Senior Lecturer
Deputy Head of School

Contact details

(+44) (0) 121 414 5189
(+44) (0) 121 414 5232
School of Metallurgy and Materials
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Stephen Kukureka has interests in mechanical properties and the applied physics of polymers. This includes mechanical reliability of plastic electronics such as flexible displays and touch screens, thin-film transistors and flexible solar cells. Other interests are polymer tribology, especially for gears and machine elements. He has also worked in mechanical reliability of optical fibres and sensors; polymers for biomedical engineering; cyclic polymers and blends.

Stephen is Deputy Head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials as well as Senior Tutor and also coordinates international direct-entry undergraduate recruitment for the School.


PhD in Materials Science, University of Cambridge, 1982 

MPhil in Materials Technology, University of Cambridge, 1979 

BSc in Physics, University of Bristol, 1978 

Chartered Engineer (CEng) 

Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) 

Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM) 

Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE) 

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


Before joining the University of Birmingham, Stephen was a Technical Officer in the R&D department of IMI plc (1981-83); a Research Engineer at the University of Leeds (1983-87) and a Senior Lecturer at the Polytechnic of North London (1987-1989).

He joined the University in 1990 and has been Deputy Head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials and Senior Tutor since 2012.


LC Properties and Applications of Materials

LI Polymer Engineering and Composites

LI Materials Engineering Design (Polymer Case Study)

LH Materials Characterisation and Design for Manufacture (including Artefact Case Study)

LH Design for Manufacture for Biomedical Materials Science

LM Advanced Polymer Systems

LM Polymers and Soft Matter

LM Communications Skills (part)


Polymer Tribology

Friction and wear of engineering polymers, particularly under non-conformal, rolling-sliding contact as found in gears, cams and pulleys. Tribology, corrosion and degradation of plastic electronics.

Plastic Electronics

Properties and manufacture of thin films of transparent conducting oxides on polymer substrates for flexible display, touch-screen and related applications (plastic electronics).

Biomedical Engineering

Fracture and fatigue in medical grade elastomers for small joint arthoplasties; viscoelasticity in polymers for bioengineering.

Optical Fibre Sensors

Mechanical reliability of optical fibres and sensors for smart structures including fracture, fatigue, stress corrosion and statistics of failure.

Blends, Copolymers and Cyclic Polymers

Morphology and properties of cyclic polymers, blends and copolymers of engineering polymers.

Other activities

Adjunct Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University

Tutor on the annual Cambridge Tribology Course

Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Accreditation and Professional Development Committee

Institute of Physics Group Coordination Committee (2009-12)

Institute of Physics Tribology Group Chair (2008-11)

Invited Speaker, Swedish National Graduate School in Tribology, Lulea (2009)

Visiting Professor, Polymer Science & Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst  (2000-2005)

Engineering Foresight Award, Royal Academy of Engineering (2000)

Manufacturing Engineer Journal Premium, IEE (1992)


Selected Publications

K D Dearn, S N Kukureka and D Walton, ‘Engineering Polymers and Composites for Machine Elements’, Chapter 13 in S K Sinha (ed), Handbook of Polymer Tribology, 441-479 (World Scientific, 2018).

K A Sierros and S N Kukureka, ‘Tribological Aspects of Polymer-based Flexible Electronics Materials: From Manufacturing to End-Use Applications’, Chapter 22 in S K Sinha (ed), Handbook of Polymer Tribology, 675-689 (World Scientific, 2018).

T J Hoskins, K D Dearn, S N Kukureka, ‘Mechanical performance of PEEK produced by additive manufacturing’, Polymer Testing, 70, 511-519 (2018).

D W Mohammed, R B Ameen, K A Sierros, J Bowen, S N Kukureka, ‘Twisting fatigue in multilayer films of Ag-alloy with indium tin oxide on polyethylene terephthalate for flexible electronics devices’, Thin Solid Films645, 241-252 (2018).

S A Samsudin, S N Kukureka, M J Jenkins, ‘Crystallisation kinetics of cyclic and linear poly(butylene terephthalate), Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry128, 457-463 (2017).

D W Mohammed, R Waddingham, A J Flewitt, K A Sierros, J Bowen, S N Kukureka, ‘Mechanical properties of amorphous indium-gallium-zinc oxide thin films on compliant substrates for flexible optoelectronic devices’, Thin Solid Films594, 197-204 (2015).

A Mahomed, D W L Hukins, S N Kukureka, ‘Effect of accelerated aging on the viscoelastic properties of a medical grade silicone’, Bio-Medical Materials and Engineering25, 415-423 (2015).

T J Hoskins, K D Dearn, Y K Chen, S N Kukureka, ‘The wear of PEEK in rolling-sliding contact – simulation of polymer gear applications’, Wear, 309, 35-42 (2014).

S A Samsudin, S N Kukureka, M J Jenkins, ‘The equilibrium melting temperature and isothermal crystallisation kinetics of cyclic poly(butylene terephthalate) and styrene maleimide (c-PBT/SMI) blends, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry114, 1307-1315 (2013).

G A Potoczny, T S Bejitual, J S Abell, K A Sierros, D R Cairns, S N Kukureka, ‘Flexibility and electrical stability of polyester-based device electrodes under monotonic and cyclic buckling conditions’, Thin Solid Films528, 205-212 (2013).

T S Bejitual, D Compton, K A Sierros, D R Cairns, S N Kukureka, ‘Electromechanical reliability of flexible transparent electrodes during and after exposure to acrylic acid’, Thin Solid Films528, 229-236 (2013).