Ben B. Xu


Research interests

Dr Xu is currently leading the research group of Smart Materials and Surfaces Lab (SMSL) in Northumbria to develop multidisciplinary research programmes, from fundamental understanding on engineering science to innovating the enabling technologies. His researches in extreme mechanics and functional materials includes the design and understanding of morphing structures, the development of novel flexible/wearable sensing/actuating structure/devices, the realization of functional surface/interface with unique chemical-physical features, the innovation of new circular economy technology using recycled plastic wastes and the exploration of future renewable energy solutions.

He has developed a novel approach to realise the sensing/actuation function by introducing elastic instabilities into the micro-engineered structure in a controllable manner, which shed extra lights in developing future micro-devices, especially in the sectors of flexible/wearable electronics, soft robots, etc. His work on soft active matter and developing novel micro-device is supported by the Royal Society, EPSRC and industries.

Progresses from Ben’s research have been featured by media presses in EPSRC,Materials World, UK Fluids Network, 2020NECONNECTED 2020, 2019, GuardianTelegraphNECONNECTED 2019,, Materials views china 2019Materials views china 2016.



Organisational affiliations

Education/Academic qualification

  • PGCert, Education, Northumbria University

    15 Nov 2013 - 31 Aug 2015
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University


    1 Apr 2008 - 31 May 2011
  • MSc, Materials Science, Zhejiang University of Technology

    1 Sep 2003 - 30 Jun 2006
  • BSc (Hons), Polymers and Textiles, Zhejiang University of Technology

    1 Sep 1999 - 30 Jun 2003

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow of The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, FRSA

    Feb 2020 -
  • Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, FRSC

    7 Mar 2019 -
  • Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, FIMMM

    1 Jul 2016 -
  • Other (please specify), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

    1 Sep 2015 -
  • Fellow (FHEA), Higher Education Academy (HEA)

    6 Jul 2015 -
  • Member, American Chemical Society

    1 Jan 2011 -
  • Member, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

    1 Oct 2010 -