Stefan Dimov

Stefan Dimov

Colleges, School and Institutes

External positions

Professor, Technical University of Sofia

1 Apr 2015 → …

Research interests

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

His current research interests encompass the following themes:

  • Micro and Nano Manufacturing (MNM). The focus of my research is on micro tool-making and replication as key enabling technologies for scale up MNM. Particularly, the research is focused on investigating and optimising complementary 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/platforms that integrate component technologies to address specific application requirements.
  • Layer Based Manufacturing (LBM). My interests are 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 include 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 and Texturing. 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, i.e. 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 for producing miniaturised parts. 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 constituent 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.

His academic output includes more than 250 technical papers and 13 books. He has supervised over 20 PhD theses to completion. He has won in excess of £30M 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 awarded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2000 and 2003.

Qualifications

  • 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

Biography

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 an 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 (www.4m-association.org) 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 and then he led it until the end of 2015. The AMTC Micro Manufacturing and Hybrid Manufacturing labs were established by him in 2012 and 2013. 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 £3M 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 Micro and Nano Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing and Hybrid Manufacturing technologies. In his academic career Stefan has so far published over 250 technical papers and co-authored 13 books. He has supervised 24 PhD candidates to successful completion and has been Principal and Co-investigator of more than 70 projects with a total value in excess of £30M 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 150 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.

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Stefan Dimov has carried out research on feature-based design support systems, rapid manufacturing, laser ablation and hybrid tooling methods. His recent research encompasses the wider areas of micro and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Professor Dimov has expertise in characterisation, modelling and development of 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 150 such organisations to date).

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