Professor Iakovos Tzanakis

Professor in Engineering Materials

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Iakovos Tzanakis is a Professor in Engineering Materials in the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (ECM) at Oxford Brookes University. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (Department of Materials) and Bournemouth University (Department of Design and Engineering).

Iakovos studied Mechanical Engineering in Greece (2005) followed with a Master of Science (MSc) in Energy Systems and the Environment from the University of Strathclyde (2007) and a PhD in Tribology and Design received from Bournemouth University in 2010.

He then worked as a Research Fellow in Bournemouth University (2010-2012) where he conducted research related to tribology and cavitation erosion of scroll expander systems in collaboration with Energetix Group (UK).

Iakovos then joined BCAST at Brunel University London as a Research Fellow for the UltraMelt project (2013-2016) funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). During this time he pioneered advanced characterisation of ultrasonic cavitation processing in liquid aluminium alloys. 

Subsequently, Iakovos was appointed as a Lecturer (2016) at Oxford Brookes University, gaining promotions to Senior Lecturer (2017), Reader (2018) and Professor in 2019.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

Iakovos is a module leader for the Engineering Materials module for Year 1 Engineering students (a cohort of more than 150 students).  His teaching focuses on applying ‘real-world’ engineering design and operations and includes the latest information relating to his research.


Iakovos is currently supervising 2 Research Fellows, 3 PhD students and a number of MSc students.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Justin Morton On the fundamental mechanisms of ultrasonic assisted liquid phase exfoliation of two-dimensional nanomaterials 2022
Abhinav Priyardashi Influence of ultrasonic melt treatment on the fragmentation of primary intermetallics in Al based alloys 2022


Iakovos main field of research is the fundamentals and applications of ultrasonic processing and cavitation bubble dynamics with major contributions to modern views on the mechanisms of ultrasonic cavitation melt processing.

He has established a multi-disciplinary ultrasonic processing research facility within ECM. Its core activities range from structural materials (aluminum), functional 2D nanomaterials (graphene) and composites (thermoplastic, metal-matrix) to engineering emulsions (oil/water systems, self-lubricating monotectic alloys) and cavitation resistance (steels, thermal coatings).

The focus of his work is primarily experimental, using in-situ imaging:

  • a Photron SAZ-2100K high-speed camera capable of 2.1 million frames per seconds,
  • Particle Image Velocimetry (TSI), 
  • and synchrotron X-ray radiography

His work also uses acoustic measurements employing a series of NPL-calibrated (in the range of 8 kHz ̶ 30 MHz) hydrophones and high temperature (up to 800 °C) cavitometer with sensors probe size ranging from 10 μm to 4 mm.

This advanced experimental configuration is used to monitor bubble activity and acoustic flows and resolve the acoustic spectrum of cavitation and shock wave emissions in various low and high temperature liquids. The configuration is also used to link cavitation behaviour to applications related to materials processing. 

Parallel activities include wind energy, tribological studies of biomimetic surfaces, ultrasonic atomization of metals and additive manufacturing. 

Iakovos is currently a Principal Investigator in one H2020-funded project and two EPSRC-funded projects. He has 60 papers (Scopus) published (H-index 21) with more than 1000 citations.

Recent projects include:

  • Upscaling environment-friendly cavitation melt treatment (UltraMelt2, EPSRC)
  • Sustainable and industrially scalable ultrasonic liquid phase exfoliation technologies for manufacturing 2D advanced functional materials (EcoUltra2D, EPSRC)
  • Biomimetic laser surface patterning for friction and wear reduction of automotive components (NFFA ̶ EUROPE)


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Large Scale Exfoliation of 2D nanomaterials using an Environmentaly Friendly Hybrid Cavitation Reactor (01/03/2023 - 28/02/2026), funded by: Royal Society, funding amount received by Brookes: £133,121
  • Seatwirl Co-Funded Studentship (01/01/2023 - 30/06/2026), funded by: SeaTwirl AB, funding amount received by Brookes: £46,294
  • Performance-driven design of Aluminium alloys for Additive Manufacturing (PAAM) (01/08/2022 - 31/07/2025), funded by: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), funding amount received by Brookes: £358,184


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Further details

  • Guest Editor of the special issue “Ultrasonic Cavitation Treatment of Metallic Alloys”, Materials, MDPI (2020)
  • Co-organiser of the “Ultrasonic Processing of Liquid and Solidifying Alloys” symposium at the TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition (2019)
  • Book chapter contributions: Solidification Processing of Metallic Alloys Under External Fields (Springer, 2018) and Power Ultrasonics: A Handbook of Applications of High Power (Woodhead, 2021)
  • Reviewer for a number of funding bodies and journals
  • PhD thesis external examiner


Iakovos research outputs have far reaching potential while enjoys high media visibility with most recent example being a wind energy research story on the vertical axis wind turbines that received a coverage from over 200 media outlets (top media source locations were the USA, UK, China, Australia and Germany) including major magazines (FORBES, Focus, E&T, IMechE, cnBeta, Recharge etc.) and newspapers (The Independent, The NewYorker, Oxford Mail, La Repubblica, VDI Nachichten etc.) reaching a potential audience of over 2.5 billion people (Oxford Brookes media office).  Podcasts and radio interviews followed in major stations around the world such as BR24 (Germany), MarketScale (USA), ProtoThema (Greece) etc.

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