Profile image of Professor Alistair McIlhagger

Professor Alistair McIlhagger

Professor of Advanced Materials

Profile image of Professor Alistair McIlhagger


School of Engineering


Engineering Research


Room 05B08B Shore Road Newtownabbey Co. Antrim BT37 0QB



Dr Alistair McIlhagger is a Reader in the School of Engineering and a member of the Engineering Research Institute (ERI). He is Director of the Engineering Composites Research Centre (ECRE) at Ulster University. Alistair’s research interests are focussed on the development of smart/functional nano-composites and novel composite textiles for aerospace, renewable and transport applications.  Most recently, 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).

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.