The Team



Prof. Richard Chromik

Research Associate and Post-Docs


Sima was born and raised in Azerbaijan province, Iran. She completed her bachelor’s degree on Materials Science and Engineering with a focus on Extractive Metallurgy. She attended Tarbiat Modares University for a master program, where she worked on surface modification and tribology of cast Al alloys and hybrid Al-SiC-MoS2 composite coatings. In 2014, she started her PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Chromik. Her PhD research project involved understanding of cold spray deposition mechanism of Ni-WC composite coatings and their sliding and erosive wear behaviour. She defended her PhD dissertation in June 2018 and started her postdoctoral fellowship. Her primary work was on surface engineering of advanced self-lubricating composite coatings as well as lifecycle improvement of super-abrasive composite coatings. Sima is now working as Research Associate in Surface Engineering and Coating Tribology Laboratory. In her spare time, Sima enjoys reading, listening to music and swimming.  


Dr. Sima Alidokht



(2018 - present), Tribology of duplex coatings based on PVD and cold spray technologies.


Dr. Vamsi Munagala



(2020 - present), High temperature tribology and nanomechanical testing

Office: 2360, Wong Building

Vamsi was born and brought up in India. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Osmania University (India) and M.S. in Materials Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (India). During his master’s, he worked on the electrodeposition of Ni-W alloy coatings and evaluated their electrochemical and tribological properties. As a side project he was involved in the fabrication Ni-Mo and Ni-W-SiC nanocomposite coatings. The work done for his master’s thesis resulted in two first author publications. To peruse his Ph.D., Vamsi joined Prof. Chromik’s research group in September 2015, and started working on the tribology of metal matrix composites fabricated using cold spray additive manufacturing process. For his Ph.D. thesis, he is actively working to understand the influence of feedstock powder properties on the cold spray and tribology of Ti based metal matrix composites. In his free time, Vamsi likes, playing cricket, bowling and listing to music.

Graduate Students Currently Supervised

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Bruno Noronha Castilho



(2018 - present), Thermally sprayed coatings for high temperature seals in aeroengines.

Office: 2530, Wong Building

Bruno was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where he attained his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon his graduation (2015), he moved to São Carlos for his master’s studies at the University of São Paulo, also in Mechanical Engineering. During his Master’s, Bruno developed and characterized multilayered coatings produced by magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS and dcMS) by optimizing deposition parameters with the main objective of reducing wear of piston rings applied in heavy-duty diesel engines. In September 2018, Bruno joined Prof. Chromik’s group as a PhD student. His current interests include thermally sprayed coatings for wear-resistant applications and the investigation of the wear behaviour of coatings in high temperature environment. In his spare time, Bruno enjoys playing games, reading and watching Formula 1.


Alejandra was born in Mexico City, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering in the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), Mexico. In 2010, she joined a global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes based in Veracruz, Mexico as part of the Global trainee program and then as a researcher in the Metallurgy and Materials Department. After 4 years, she decided to continue her master’s program in Metallurgic Engineering. Her experience is related to chemical, microstructural and mechanical characterization of HSLA steels for extreme environments. In 2019 she joined Professor Chromik's research group as a PhD student, her research involves understanding the wear mechanisms of thermally sprayed coatings for high-temperature applications. She enjoys watching series, playing backgammon and minesweeper.


Alejandra Islas Encalada



(2019 - present), Tribology of MMC coatings made by thermal spray.


Srikar Billa



(2021 - present), Mechanical properties of cold sprayed powders and coatings

Srikar Billa is born and raised in the southern part India. He obtained his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 from GITAM University. He graduated with a Masters degree in Metallurgical Engineering in an year 2019 from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. For his Masters dissertation, he worked on Exploring unsupervised machine learning models for deconvoluting high-speed nanoindentaton property data. He worked in Indian Institute of Technology Madras as a Project Associate for an year and gained an expertise in multi-scale modeling of materials. His research interests are optimization of cold spray process, Data driven material development, Microstructure image analysis using deep learning approaches and multi-scale modeling of materials. He likes trekking, badminton and solo traveling. 


Tongyue comes from Wuxi, a beautiful city in the south of China. She received her B.Sc. (2018) in Chemistry and a M.Sc. (2021) in Materials Engineering, During her Master's, she studied the mechanical properties of Ni-cBN superabrasive coatings. She is pursuing a PhD on duplex coatings and high entropy alloys to address the problem of regolith wear in lunar environments. . In her free time, she likes watching TV series and playing with her dog.


Tongyue Liang 梁同钥



(2021 - present), Duplex coatings and  high entropy alloys for regolith wear resistant applications


Aosong Li



(2021 - present), Solid lubricant composite coatings prepared by pulsed cold spray deposition.

Aosong Li comes from Xingtai, a city in north of China. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Logistics Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from South China University of Technology. During his Master’s, he focused on the research of surface texture, two-dimensional (2D) lubricating materials and biomimetic coatings for improving tribological properties of titanium alloys. In September 2021, Aosong joined Professor Chromik’s group as a Ph.D. student. His research is focusing on the Duplex Coatings Based on Cold Spray and PVD. In leisure time, he enjoys playing basketball, travelling, and reading. 


Lin Wu comes from Dalian, a coastal city in northeast of China. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering in the Xi’an Shiyou University in China. During her undergraduate, she majored in Size Effect of Cu/CuZr Nano-amorphous Composite Materials by molecular dynamics simulation as well as the optimization of microstructure of pipeline steel by heat treatment. She then working on the development and standard exploration on sacrificial high-performance separation membrane in Dalian Institute Of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy Of Sciences. In September 2019, she joined Professor Chromik’s group as a master student. Her research is focusing on the tribological and mechanical properties of electrodeposited Nickel composite coatings. She is a big fan of comics. In leisure time, she enjoys swimming, skiing and playing games.


Lin Wu



(2019 - present), Tribological and mechanical properties of electrodeposited nickel composite coatings


Payank Patel



(2020 - present), High entropy alloy coatings.

Mr. Payank Patel was born and raised in western India. He received his bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Indus University in India and his master's degree in Materials Engineering from Maharaj Sayajirao University of Baroda in India. Previously, he was awarded with the “Anupama Basa Memorial Gold Medal” for the best academic performance. During his master's degree, he conducted research at the Indian Institute of Plasma Research in Gandhinagar (part of HomiBhabha National Institute, India). During his thesis dissertation work, he meticulously generated new data on the oxidation resistance and tensile behaviour of plasma processed aluminized Ti6Al4V alloys which is an aerospace relevant alloy. As a side project, he was involved in the investigation of mechanical properties of plasma processed IN-RAFM steel (in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar). To pursue his doctoral studies, Payank joined Prof. Chromik’s research group in January 2020. His current research focuses on determining the wear mechanism of thermally sprayed coatings used in high-temperature aerospace applications. He enjoys sports (particularly badminton), watching movies, and learning about various cultures.


Amit Roy was born in Bangladesh and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET). Then he pursued Joint Masters in Tribology of Surfaces and Interfaces with the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship in collaboration with University of Leeds, UK; Ljubljana University, Slovenia and Lulea University of Technology, Sweden. For his master thesis, he spent his final year in Sweden and worked on understanding the tribological behavior of polymer based self-lubricating materials. In January 2020, he joined Professor Richard Chromik’s lab as a Ph.D. student and focussed on developing ternary oxide coatings by thermal spray process for high temperatures wear-resistant applications. He is also investigating the influence of spray parameters on the microstructures of coatings, and eventually on tribological performance. Mr. Roy enjoys indoor-outdoor games, meeting new people, traveling to new places, watching movies, and listening to music.


Amit Roy


(2020 - present), Ternary oxide coatings