Dr Stephen Kukureka SFHEA

Dr Stephen Kukureka

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Honorary Associate Professor

Contact details

School of Metallurgy and Materials
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Stephen Kukureka retired in March 2023.


  • 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) 
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE)


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, was Deputy Head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials from 2012-2018 and Senior Tutor from 2011 to 2021. He retired in March 2023 and is now an Honorary Associate Professor.


Previous teaching covered a wide range of Materials Science and Engineering; Polymer Engineering; Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering; Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Materials Science; Sports and Materials Science.


Former research themes

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

  • Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3): Awards Committee; Professional Standards and Development Board; Approved Accreditation Assessor. (Formerly member of both Accreditation and Membership Committees and Professional Review Assessor).
  • Engineering Council: Registration and Standards Committee (representing IoM3).
  • Institute of Physics (IOP): History of Physics Group; Tribology Group: Member, Secretary, Chair (2003-11).
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE): Worcester Area Secretary.
  • Cambridge Tribology Course: Tutor (2006-2019).
  • Visiting Professor, Polymer Science & Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA  (2000-05).
  • Adjunct Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, USA (2012-23).



Nigel Mills, Mike Jenkins, Stephen Kukureka, Plastics: Microstructure and Engineering Applications (Butterworth-Heinemann, 4th edition, pp336, 2020).

Book chapters

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).

Research publications

Approximately 100 journal and published conference papers from 1981-2021.

View all publications in research portal