Engineering Experts

Alistair Mcilhagger

Ulster University


Alistair McIlhagger, Reader in School of Engineering at Ulster University,  Alistair is a co-founder of Axis Composites, a university spin out company established to commercialise advanced preforming and associated technologies.  His role has resulted in securing significant contracts across different sectors including aerospace, materials development and training (Horizon 2020, InnovateUK, NIAECC, private venture, etc.) Alistair graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biochemical Science and a PhD in polymer composite processing from Ulster University. He was appointed to a Lectureship at Ulster 2005 and promoted to his current position in 2013.

Research Interest

he has been working on the design, development and subsequent manufacturing of advanced textile reinforcements for composite structures through a variety of research programmes including those funded by TSB, EU and international industrial partners. Alistair is one of the founding academics in the Northern Ireland Advanced Engineering Centre (NIACE) and has been the university representative on various management and steering boards. He also sits on the technical committee of the associated composites competence centre (NIAECC). For 4 years he was the university representative on the Aerospace, Defence, Security (ADS) Northern Ireland Council. He has been a member of the EPSRC Peer review college, IOM3 Marketing and Meeting Committee (British Composites Society) and chaired the International Conference for Manufacturing Advanced Composites (ICMAC Belfast 2009, 2011). He has developed and implemented the Bombardier Transformation Programme which is now in its 7th year. He is a visiting Research Fellow at Glyndwr University and more recently Concordia University (Montreal).


  • Strength knock-down assessment of porosity in composites: modelling, characterising and specimen manufacture Journal of Physics: Conference Series Date: (2012)

  • Sacrificial component fabrication for optimised production of micro-vascular polymer composite IOP Conference Series Materials Science and Engineering Date: (2015)

  • High-temperature Polymer Yarns for Through Thickness Reinforcement of Carbon Fibre Laminates Date: (2016)

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