Title: Professor
First Name: James
Surname: Njuguna
Position: Professor & Academic Strategic Lead (Research)
Telephone: +44 (0) 122 426 2304
Linkedin: LinkedIn Icon

James is in charge of steering the development and implementation of the Engineering research strategy.  His research and teaching work focus on polymer composite materials (interface, reinforcement and toughness). The research has a singular goal to develop multifunctional and lightweight composites (and nanocomposites) with potentially superior properties such as mechanical, thermal, self-healing, impact, energy absorption and durability that can be translated to better dynamic performance of components.

James’ expertise is on two fronts:

  • Quantifying dynamic loading behaviour of structures such as failure and damage analysis, impact resilience and crash behaviour and
  • Composite materials interface, toughness and reinforcement to improve dynamic performance of composite structures and products.

Google Scholar:

Research Gate:


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Academic Strategic Lead (Research) and line management duties
  • Teaching research methods in Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods Modules
  • Teaching Materials, Manufacturing, and Lightweight Design, Finite Element Analysis
  • Delivering materials expertise through the Materials Testing Services at RGU
  • Chair , Engineering Research Committee
  • Member, University Research Committee

Academic Background

Professor James Njuguna is the Academic Strategic Lead (Research) & Professor of Composite Materials at Robert Gordon University.  He holds both PhD and MSc in Aeronautical Engineering from City University of London.   James is a Fellow of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. He is a former Marie Curie Fellow and Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK) Fellow.

James have held various academic positions at Cracow University of Technology (Poland) and Cranfield University (UK).  At Cranfield University, he rose through ranks to Programme Director of Motorsport Engineering and was Head of Composite Structures Research Group. James started his career in aerospace industry where he worked for a number of years before embarking on an academic career.

Research Interests

  • Automotive Materials
  • Thermoplastic composites reinforcement and nanomaterials
  • Materials testing and analysis (numerical, FEA, analytical) including failure analysis and mitigation
  • Impact resistance and energy absorption
  • Lightweight  materials and design
  • Safety of nanomaterials
  • Circular economy and recovery of raw materials

Current Research

Selection of currently funded projects

  • EB-Auto Evaluating basalt fibre for high volume automotive composites manufacturing, Innovate UK, , 2018- 2019
  • Design and development of new non-threaded drill pipe connector, Funded by Oil & Gas Innovation Centre/Sab-in-Pipe Ltd, 2016-2019 (Co-I)
  • Honeycomb composite structures for ballistic protection, Shapoorji Pallonji Group (Tata Group)
  • Smart mobile device remanufacturing, SIR Scottish Institute for Remanufacture/SIMS Inc, 2017- 2019. (PI)
  • Design and manufacture of a solar powered pump - a feasibility study, Funded by The Scottish Institute for Remanufacture (SIR)/ Kingdom Innovative Technologies Ltd, 2017-2020 (PI)


PhD Researchers

  • Polyamide 6 nanocomposites using compounds recovered from recycled base oil based drilling fluid  (PhD Researcher – Mr Shohel Siddique)
  • Nanoparticle Emissions due to Automated Drilling on Polypropylene, Polyester and Epoxy Nanocomposites (PhD Researcher – Mr Kristof Starost)
  • Structural Reinforcement and Improvement of Compressive Strength after Impact (CIA) in Hybrid Graphene Nanocomposites  (PhD Researcher – Mr John Kyete)
  • Design and manufacture of a solar powered pump (PhD Researcher – Mr Azeem Uddin)
  • Investigation of Casing Lateral Buckling in Horizontal Wells (PhD Researcher – Mr Auwalu Mohammed Use of Renewable Energy to Improve Energy Security in Togo and its Impact on Sustainable Development (PhD Researcher – Mrs Leo Kansongue)
  • Engineering a holistic asset integrity management governance framework for electrical power systems assets and companies (PhD Researcher – Mr James Bruiners)


  • Innovate UK
  • UK Industry
  • European Commission,
  • British High Commission- India (UKEIRI)
  • Oil & Gas Innovation Centre
  • SIR Scottish Institute for Remanufacture
  • PTDF

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy.
    • Professional Member of the Institute of Nanotechnology, Royal Aeronautical Society, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), Society of Plastic Engineers
    • Technical Committee member on Composites Materials for The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS)
    • Branch Board member of British Science Association (Aberdeen Branch), UK.
    • Member of  Manufacturing Thematic Leaders in the  Scottish Research Engineering Partnership (SRPe)
    • National member of ISO Working Group 3 in developing ISO standards on safe use and handling of nanomaterials and products.

External / Professional Roles

  • External Examiner for BEng/Meng Mechanical Engineering and MSc Engineering Management courses at Northumbria University
  • Grant Reviewer for the EPSRC (UK), European Commission’s Horizon (Erasmus Mundus Programme) and previously in FP7’s NMP programmes, Rustaveli Foundation (Georgia), University of Athens, Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland), Singapore Economic Development Board (Singapore) and the South African Research Cooperation Programme.
  • Editorial Board Member of Polymer and Composite Materials (Springer Book Series,); Open Engineering; Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer and run several Special Issues as Editor/Co-Editorship including Frontiers of Materials (Frontiers,); Journal of Materials special issue on Futuristic Materials Journal (JOM -The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS);
  • PhD External Examiner for several universities including Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); Leeds University, Lancaster University, Bristol University, Northumbria University, University of Johannesburg (S. Africa), Leeds Uni., Cranfield Uni., and Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (India).


Selected Examples – full list available at or


  1. J. Njuguna (Ed.) Lightweight Composite Structures in Transport Design, Manufacturing, Analysis and Performance. Elsevier. ISBN: 978-1-78242-325-6
  2. A. Dasari, J Njuguna (Eds) Functional and Physical Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites. John Wiley & Sons; 2016 Jun 13.
  3. J. Njuguna, K. Pielichowski and H. Zhu (Eds.), Health and environmental safety of nanomaterials: Polymer nancomposites and other materials containing nanoparticles, Woodhead Publishing, 2014, ISBN 0 85709 655 9.

Journal/Conference Papers

  1. Marco Messina, James Njuguna, Chrysovalantis Palas: Mechanical Structural Design of a MEMS-Based Piezoresistive Accelerometer for Head Injuries Monitoring: A Computational Analysis by Increments of the Sensor Mass Moment of Inertia. Sensors 01/2018; 18(1)., doi:10.3390/s18010289
  2. Kristof Starost, Evelien Frijns, Jo Van Laer, Nadimul Faisal, Ainhoa Egizabal, Cristina Elizextea, Maria Blazquez, Inge Nelissen, James Njuguna: Assessment of Nanoparticles Release into the Environment during Drilling of Carbon Nanotubes/Epoxy and Carbon Nanofibres/Epoxy Nanocomposites. Journal of hazardous materials 06/2017; 340., doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.06.057
  3. Kristof Starost, Evelien Frijns, Jo Van Laer, Nadimul Faisal, Ainhoa Egizabal, Cristina Elizextea, Inge Nelissen, Maria Blazquez, James Njuguna: The Effect of Nanosilica (SiO 2 ) and Nanoalumina (Al 2 O 3 ) Reinforced Polyester Nanocomposites on Aerosol Nanoparticle Emissions into the Environment during Automated Drilling. Aerosol Science and Technology 05/2017; 51(2):00-00., doi:10.1080/02786826.2017.1330535
  4. Pravin Bari, Samrin Khan, James Njuguna, Satyendra Mishra: Elaboration of properties of graphene oxide reinforced epoxy nanocomposites. 05/2017; 21(3):1-15., doi:10.1007/s12588-017-9180-9
  5. K Starost, E Frijns, J V Laer, N Faisal, A Egizabal, C Elizextea, I Nelissen, M Blazquez, J Njuguna: Environmental Particle Emissions due to Automated Drilling of Polypropylene Composites and Nanocomposites Reinforced with Talc, Montmorillonite and Wollastonite. 05/2017; 195(1):012011., doi:10.1088/1757-899X/195/1/012011
  6. Shohel Siddique, Lorraine Kwoffie, Kofi Addae-Afoakwa, Kyari Yates, James Njuguna: Oil Based Drilling Fluid Waste: An Overview on Environmentally Persistent Pollutants. 05/2017; 195(1):012008., doi:10.1088/1757-899X/195/1/012008
  7. Elias Nassiopoulos, James Njuguna: Thermo-mechanical performance of poly(lactic acid)/flax fibre-reinforced biocomposites. Materials and
    Design 02/2015; 66., doi:10.1016/j.matdes.2014.07.051


High-performance tri-axial piezoresistive accelerometer  - EP2741088A9 (with Dr Marco Messina)