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Investigating of the processing boundaries of Micro Electrochemical Machining Process

The processing boundaries of the micro electrochemical process will be investigated. These include voltage gap, pulses duration and off-time duration, electrolyte flow (especially for micro features machining), electrolyte composition based on processing material. The idea is at the end to be created a benchmark research process that can be conducted for a specific application in order to determine the processing parameters. The project will create a methodology to be followed to determine for each specific case the gap needed, the voltage needed the electrolyte composition and concentration, pulse time ON and time OFF. A micro ECM machine is available for the project and 2 clean rooms and a potentiostat. The potential after the successful end of the project is huge as all previous PhD students have secured employment immediately after their graduation.


  • Mortazavi, M., & Ivanov, A. (2019). Sustainable μECM machining process: indicators and assessment. Journal of Cleaner Production, 235(20 October 2019), 1580-1590. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.06.313
  • Mortazavi, M., & Ivanov, A. (2019). μECM process investigation considering pulse signal features and EDL capacitance. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 105(11), 4621-4632. doi:10.1007/s00170-019-03864-2
  • Ivanov, A., & Rebecca Leese. (2016). Effect of degassing electrolyte on polarisation curve shape with the aim to apply knowledge to electrochemical machining. The Journal of Innovation Impact, 7 number 2, 566-573.
  • Leese, R., & Ivanov, A. (2017). Electrochemical Micro-machining: Review of Factors Affecting the Process Applicability in Micro-Manufacturing. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 232(2), 195-207. doi:10.1177/0954405416640172


How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Atanas Ivanov - Dr Ivanov world-leading expertise in non-traditional manufacturing spans over a decade of innovating and developing new technologies. In 2007 he was registered by GUINNESS BOOK RECORD for drilling the smallest hole in the world ø22µm 10 aspect ratio. From 2008 Dr Ivanov was the only producer of samples for cryogenic sensors from InSb for the European space programme and NASA. In 2009 he designed of the control of the mirrors for HERCHEL and PLANCK satellites and the sampler (ISOSAMPLER) for NASA for their ‘Medusa’ project for Mars and Jupiter missions. Dr Ivanov registered a world patent for using cutting tools as measuring probes as part of his work fr the Basque government in 2010. After joining Brunel he developed the first in the world micro electrochemical drilling machine for the fuel injection systems for BMW (SONPLAS). In 2013 Dr Ivanov built the first µECM milling machine. In the last 10 years Dr Ivanov acquired 15 grants and an income of over £1m as PI only, and an additional income as a collaborator. In 2018 he received an Innovate UK grant for developing a technology for the identification of airplane fasteners. Dr Ivanov is a world-leading specialist in µECM machining technology. In 2019/20 he developed world-leading µECM technology for sharpening glaucoma needles.

Abhishek Lahiri - Dr. Lahiri joined Brunel University as lecturer in March 2020. He got his PhD from University of Leeds in 2008 after which he went on to do his Postdoc in USA and Japan. From 2011 he joined Clausthal University of Technology in Prof Frank Endres group and worked extensively on electrodeposition in ionic liquids and understanding the battery electrode/electrolyte interface. His work primarily focusses on electrochemical synthesis of functional materials using ionic liquids for energy storage and electrocatalysis. In ionic liquids, the electrode/electrolyte interface is considerably different from aqueous electrolytes and therefore controlling and modifying the interface leads to change in functional properties of the materials. His research focusses and utilises the property of interfacial modulation to develop new functional materials and tries to bridge the gap between fundamental aspects of electrochemistry and applied electrochemistry. Questions such as can we design a suitable interface to develop dendrite-free deposits which are essential for developing high energy density Li/Na metal batteries are targeted. Besides, developing batteries for grid energy storage with sustainable materials are being researched.