Dr Edward McCarthy

Senior Lecturer in Composite Design & Testing



1.077 Sanderson Building

Engineering Discipline: 

  • Mechanical Engineering

Research Institute: 

  • Materials and Processes

Research Theme: 

  • Materials Design, Processing and Characterisation
Edward D. McCarthy
Eddie McCarthy


Dr. Edward McCarthy FHEA is Senior Lecturer in Composites Design and Testing at the University of Edinburgh and Lead of the FASTBLADE Fatigue Test Facility, Port of Rosyth, UK. He is University of Edinburgh Principal Investigator of Horizon 2020 project MAXBLADE, featuring a consortium of ten partners across the EU and UK led by tidal energy company, Orbital Marine Power. This project aims to consolidate the next generation of floating tidal stream energy generators, increasing power yield and reducing levelised cost of energy to levels more competitive with conventional energy sources. He is also Co-investigator in projects COTIDE and Morphing Blade, both of which are also focused on engineering research underpinning tidal energy development.

Previously he has led CAMREG Flexifund project Tideflex, studying the implementation of passively adaptive or morphing trailing edge sections on tidal blades for improved energy harvesting performance, and has also led the Oil, Gas and Innovation Centre (OGIC) project CompClamp looking at the use of composite material in novel deep sea clamping applications.

He was lead of EU project Powderblade focused on development of epoxy resin technology for deployment in offshore wind blades in partnership with Suzlon Energy and Eirecomposites Teo, Ireland. He was also Co-Investigator of Wave Energy Scotland project Rotohybrid in 2017-18 examining the deployment of rotomoulded thermoplastic structures in wave energy devices, and characterised novel elastomer-fabric materials for Elasto, a project examining the use of elastomeric diaphragm technologies for wave energy generation.

His research includes investigating strategies for impact-damage reduction in laminated composites (PhD graduate, Dr. Evanthia Pappa), development of submarine composite joint designs (PhD graduate, Dr. James Davidson), and properties of thick section composites (PhD candidate, Mr. James Quinn). He is also supervising a PhD project (PhD student, Mr. Michael O'Sullivan) in the use of fluid-structure interaction modeling to improve the design of marine structures subject to complex sea loading.

He is interested in all aspects of composite testing, with specific personal expertise in fibre fragmentation problems under uniaxial loading. Having a chemical engineering background, he is also involved in polymerisation and polymer characterisation: the synthesis of ionomer scaffolds by ring opening polymerisation for ultimate deployment in grafting of biological tissue, and reactive injection moulding of thermoplastics as a cost-effective alternative to resin transfer moulding CIMComp Synergy Project with University of Nottingham, 2022-23).

Prior to his present post, he was Project Leader of the Innovate UK-funded Concept Integration Project (‘Wings of the Future’) at the National Composite Certification and Evaluation Facility (NCCEF) at the University of Manchester. This project was focused on detection and benchmarking of barely visible impact damage in aerospace preimpregnated carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composites.

Between 2010 and 2013, he was Guest Researcher at the Polymer Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States, researching novel polymer nanocomposites and the micromechanics of continuous-fibre polymer composites at the fibre-matrix interface level.

In 2009, he worked on a polymer composite fire modelling project at University of Bolton, and developed extensive industrial experience in elastomer formulation and characterisation at Perlast Ltd, Blackburn, UK, (2007-2009) and in gas plant process design at Costain Ltd., Manchester, UK (1998-1999).


  • McCarthy ED, Zammarano M, Fox DM, Nieuwendaal RC, Kim YS, Polymer 54: 90-101 (2013).
  • McCarthy ED, Kim, JH, Heckert NA, Leigh SD, Gilman JW, Holmes GA, Composites Sci. Tech. 121: 73-81 (2015).
  • McCarthy ED, Soutis C, Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 118: 281-292 (2019).
  • McCarthy ED, Kandola BK, Edwards G, Myler P, Yuan J, Wang YC, 47: 2371-2384 (2013).
  • McCarthy ED, Sealing Technology, 12: 7-10 (2008).

Academic Qualifications: 

PhD Chemical Engineering, Newcastle University, 2007

M.Res Process Intensification, Newcastle University, 2002

B.Eng (Hons) Chemical and Process Engineering, Newcastle University, 2000

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

Fellow, The Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Member, Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE UK).


Currently, Dr. McCarthy teaches Computational Methods and Modelling 3 in Semester 1, 2017-present, in addition to Advanced Composites Material 5 in Semester 2, 2017-present.

Research Interests: 


1. EPSRC Structural Composites Research Facility: (with Conchur O Bradaigh, (PI), Tim Stratford, Luke Bisby, and Spyros Karamanos: UoE). Construction of a large scale fatigue test facility for non-resonant fatigue testing of stiff structures. These will include marine tidal turbine blades of ca. 11 m in length. The project makes use of the unique enabling Artemis Digital Displacement pumping technology. Future applications to include civil structures and oil and gas pipe sections etc.

2. Wave Energy Scotland Project (Rotohybrid): (with Conchur O Bradaigh (PI)): Substitution of cost saving materials for steel in existing Wave Energy Devices. This project involves University of Edinburgh; Carnegie UK; Pelagic Innovation, UK; Queens University, Belfast; Kingspan, Portadown; Northern Ireland, and EireComposites Teo, Galway, Ireland. It is targetted at reducing the levelised cost of energy of an existing commercial design by substitution of polyethylene rotationally moulded components. Issues include reinforcement strategies for the polymer components, integration and connection with steel components, optimal design for transport and assembly on site, and long term durability of the materials in a new engineered design.

3. Wave Energy Scotland ELASTO Project: (With Vasileios Koutsos (PI)). This project is a partnership of University of Edinburgh with Griffon Hoverworks and University of Plymouth, and is focused on the benchmarking and development of elastomeric diaphragms for energy generation at sea. Issues include fatigue resilience and durability of elastomer materials, and accurate predictive modelling of material response within a structure to variable hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads induced by changing sea states over prolonged service life.


Dr. McCarthy's current research includes investigation of damage spread in composite laminates using dynamic models and experimensts. He is also researching strategies for impact-damage reduction in laminated composites, and in the development of integrated, non-disruptive sensing technologies for locating impacts in real-time. He is also interested in all aspects of composite testing, particularly in the areas of micromechanics and fatigue, with a special focus on fibre fragmentation problems under uniaxial loading. He is also interested in polymer characterisation and polymerisation, especially ring-opening polymerisation and its products.

Further Information: 


Revealing the interface in polymer nanocomposites
M Zammarano, PH Maupin, LP Sung, JW Gilman, ED McCarthy, YS Kim, ...
ACS Nano 5 (4), 3391-3399, 2011

Flame retarded poly (lactic acid) using POSS-modified cellulose. 2. Effects of intumescing flame retardant formulations on polymer degradation and composite physical properties
DM Fox, M Novy, K Brown, M Zammarano, RH Harris, M Murariu, ...
Polymer Degradation and Stability 106, 54-62, 2014

Application of an intensified narrow channel reactor to the aqueous phase precipitation of barium sulphate
ED McCarthy, WAE Dunk, KVK Boodhoo
Journal of Colloid and Interface science 305 (1), 72-87, 2007

Fiber-reinforced epoxy composites exposed to high temperature environments. Part II: modeling mechanical property degradation
E Kandare, BK Kandola, ED McCarthy, P Myler, G Edwards, Y Jifeng, ...
Journal of Composite Materials 45 (14), 1511-1521, 2011

Modelling flaming combustion in glass fibre-reinforced composite laminates
ED McCarthy, BK Kandola, G Edwards, P Myler, J Yuan, YC Wang, ...
Journal of Composite Materials 47 (19), 2371-2384, 2013

The fiber break evolution process in a 2-D epoxy/glass multi-fiber array
ED McCarthy, JH Kim, NA Heckert, SD Leigh, JW Gilman, GA Holmes
Composites Science and Technology 121, 73-81, 2015

Formation of extended ionomeric network by bulk polymerization of l, d-lactide with layered-double-hydroxide
ED McCarthy, M Zammarano, DM Fox, RC Nieuwendaal, YS Kim, ...
Polymer 54 (1), 90-101, 2013

Investigation of factors affecting the thermal expansion of perfluoroelastomer seal materials
E McCarthy
Sealing Technology 2008 (12), 7-10, 2008

Characterization of green poly (lactic acid)-layered double hydroxide system having both linear and crosslinked polymer structure
ED McCarthy, JW Gilman, M Zammarano, YS Kim, PH Maupin
Polym Prepr 52, 42, 2011

Detection of impact damage in carbon fibre composites using an electromagnetic sensor
Z Li, AD Haigh, MN Saleh, ED McCarthy, C Soutis, AAP Gibson, R Sloan
Research in Nondestructive Evaluation, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09349847.2016., 2016

The Break Evolution Process in Composite Microcomposites
Gale A. Holmes, Edward D. McCarthy, N. Alan Heckert, Stefan D. Leigh, Jae H ...
Composites at Lake Louise-2015, 2015

Determination of Interfacial Shear Strength in Epoxy/Glass Composites by Multi-Fiber Fragmentation Test (MFFT)
ED McCarthy, JH Kim, NA Heckert, SD Leigh, GA Holmes, JW Gilman

M Zammarano, ED McCarthy, DM Fox, PH Maupin, LP Sung, YS Kim
44th International Symposium on Macromolecules (MACRO 2012), 2012

Use of Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) as a New Characterization Method for the Interface in Sustainable Nanocomposites
JW Gilman, M Zammarano, PH Maupin, LP Sung, E McCarthy, YS Kim, ...
Meeting Abstracts, 244-244, 2012

Rheology of novel poly (L, D-lactic acid (PLDLA) nanocomposite formed from in situ bulk polymerization of L, D-lactide by stearate layered double hydroxide
ED McCarthy, DM Fox, GA Holmes, M Zammarano, PH Maupin, ...

Studies of cellulose fibers in polymer nanocomposites: Probes of interface formation
PH Maupin, M Zammarano, LP Sung, ED McCarthy, YS Kim, DM Fox, ...

Chapter 14: Application of Modeling and Simulation in Predicting Fire Behavior in Fiber-Reinforced Composites
ED McCarthy, BK Kandola
Modeling and Simulation in Fibrous Materials: Techniques and Applications 1 ..., 2012

Extent and Quality of Interface in Cellulose-PE Nanocomposites
M Zammarano, PH Maupin, LP Sung, JW Gilman, ED McCarthy, YS Kim, ...

Extent and quality of interface in Cellulose-PE nanocomposites using FRET
JW Gilman, M Zammarano, PH Maupin, LP Sung, ED McCarthy, YS Kim, ...