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Materials Engineering Group

Materials Engineering

Departmental Staff - Dr Colin Gagg


Colin Gagg
Project Officer

OU Location:
Venables Building , Room S2044.

UK Telephone No.:
+44 (0) 1908 - 652869

E-Mail address :

Colin Gagg
Dr Colin Gagg


Academic interests:

T839 Forensic Engineering: course team member and tutor (Associate Lecturer). Examination board member. Link to courses page - T839

Production of a textbook with the working title ‘Forensic Engineering: Case studies of non-metal product failures'. Co-author Dr Peter Lewis. Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Cambridge

Editorial advisory board member for the journal ‘Engineering Failure Analysis'. (Link to EFA Journal:

Forensic Polymer Engineering: Why Polymer Products Fail in Service

Given the infinite number of applications of polymeric materials in everyday life - particularly those applications where a failure in service may lead to economic loss, injury or death - the ability to determine the cause of failure using forensic engineering techniques is essential. ‘Forensic polymer engineering: Why polymer products fail in service’ reviews the latest forensic engineering techniques used in the investigation of failed polymer materials. It presents a series of case studies which illustrate a range of different types of failure in polymer components, fittings and medical devices – along with appropriate forensic engineering techniques used in their investigation. The book also examines the role of manufacturing in product failure with an overview of faults established in methods, design and material selection. Legal ramifications of premature product failure in service are also considered in many of the case studies.

Why Polymer Products Fail in Service
Forensic Polymer Engineering,
Why Polymer Products Fail in Service

Peter Lewis & Colin Gagg
ISBN-10: 1845691857
ISBN-13: 978-1845691851

Research interests lie in two distinct areas: Creep studies and forensic engineering.

Current interest is focused on creep, creep rupture and monotonic characteristics of materials. To date focus has centred on the assessment of solder alloys of both lead containing and lead-free solder systems. A principal aim of this interest is to ensure stress analysis and modelling for life prediction employ appropriate and reliable data. In addition to research publications, results generated have been fed directly into mainstream course production and into a specifically tailored course for the Taiwanese market. A parallel stream of interest has developed regarding allotropic changes in lead free systems – aptly termed ‘tin-pest'. Structural changes of this nature can compromise integrity and lead to catastrophic failure. (Link to Solder Research pages )

The second avenue of research pursuit is that of forensic engineering. Engineering problems encountered in industry are frequently referred for investigation. They primarily concern materials failure or inadequacy of product design and/or manufacture. The spectrum of investigation undertaken incorporates medical and industrial accidents, manufacturing, processing or product failure. The outcome of an investigation often requires ‘expert witness' testimony, this being of particular relevance where failure results in personal injury, death, or subsequent litigation action. This is an area of research that feeds directly into the teaching stream as case study input. (Link to research page - FORENSIC ENGINEERING )

Recent Publications

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