Dr Stephen Kukureka SFHEA

Dr Stephen Kukureka

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Associate Professor

Contact details

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.


  • 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 and was Deputy Head of the School of Metallurgy and Materials from 2012-2018.


  • LI Non-Crystalline Materials
  • LH Artefact Case Study (lab)
  • LH Design for Manufacture for Biomaterials and LH Advanced Materials both for BMedSc Biomedical Materials Science (part)
  • LM Advanced Polymer Systems
  • LM Polymers and Soft Matter
  • LM Communications Skills (part)
  • LM Introduction to Materials (part)


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

  • Adjunct Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University
  • Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Accreditation and Professional Formation Committee
  • Tutor on the Cambridge Tribology Course (2006-2019)
  • 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

D W Mohammed, R B Ameen, S R Street, K A Sierros, J Bowen and S N Kukureka, ‘The effects of corrosion, fatigue and corrosion-fatigue of multilayer coated polyesters for flexible electronics applications’ e-Journal of Surface Science and Nanotechnology, 19, 61-68 (2021).

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

L J Leslie, Y Sheena, D E T Shepherd, A Ismail, S N Kukureka, V Vijh, ‘In vitro investigation into the forces involved during lipofilling’ Proc IMechE Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 232, 1111-1116 (2018).

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’, Wear309, 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).

View all publications in research portal

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities