Manasa Hegde

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0379-215X

Research Project Title: Evaluation of multifunctional sol-gel coatings for Marine Renewable Energy Industries (MREIs) applications

Supervisors/s: Edmond Tobin, Prof. Brendan Duffy (CREST, TU Dublin), Dr. Yvonne Kavanagh

Project Funding: IRC Government of Ireland PhD Scholarship (2020)



  • Biography
  • Research Project Description
  • Publications and Outputs


I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication with Honor’s and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology at VTU, India. During my Master’s, I was recognized for my academic excellence and awarded a gold medal by the Governor of India.

After completing my studies, I worked as a research assistant at PMNC research group, AMBER, Trinity College Dublin, where my work focused on Bioplastics. I later moved on to become a research assistant at NCSR, DCU, where I worked on developing an assay using platinum nanoparticles labeled with probe strands and electro-catalytic detection.

Currently, I am a Ph.D. researcher at the EngCore Lab at SETU, Carlow. I am working on developing novel sol-gel coatings for marine renewable energy applications. These coatings aim to protect marine renewable energy structures from corrosion, cavitation erosion, and biofouling. I am also an active committee member for the Faculty of Engineering Athena Swan committee at the SETU Carlow.


Research Project Description

My research project aims to develop multifunctional hybrid sol-gel coatings that enhance the cavitation erosion resistance and antifouling properties of materials used in marine applications. The objective involves synthesizing sol-gel coatings using organic and inorganic precursors and applying them on metal substrates commonly used in marine environments. The coatings’ performance will be evaluated using ultrasonic vibratory rig to assess their cavitation erosion resistance. Additionally, the antifouling properties of the coatings will be evaluated by measuring the attachment and growth of marine organisms such as diatoms, algae, and bacteria. Advanced characterization techniques such as SEM, ATR-FTIR, Nanoindentation, EIS, UV weathering chamber and contact angle measurements are used to analyse the coating’s composition and properties. The research project’s outcome will be a new generation of multifunctional hybrid sol-gel coatings that can protect materials from cavitation erosion and fouling in marine environments, reducing maintenance costs and increasing equipment lifespan.

Publications and Outputs

Peer reviewed journal articles

  1. Guntur, S.R., Kumar, N.S., Hegde, M.M. and Dirisala, V.R. (2018). In Vitro Studies of the Antimicrobial and Free-Radical Scavenging Potentials of Silver Nanoparticles Biosynthesized from the Extract of Desmostachya bipinnata. Analytical Chemistry Insights, 13, p.117739011878287. doi:

Summary: The study highlights the green synthesis of silver nanoparticles from the leaf extract of Desmostachya bipinnata, which is widely used in Indian traditional medicine. The extracted nanoparticles were used as alternative medicine to treat various microbial diseases.  These AgNPs showed efficient antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-proliferative activity which had demonstrated great potential and definitely will act a significant role in medical device fabrication in the future.

  1. Hegde, M., Kavanagh, Y., Duffy, B. and Tobin, E.F. (2020). Multifunctional hybrid sol-gel coatings for Marine Renewable Energy Applications: Synthesis, Characterization and Comparative Analysis with Organically Modified Silicon Precursor Coatings. MRS Advances, 5(33-34), pp.1757–1764. doi:

Summary:  The article describes the development of hybrid coatings using a sol-gel process to protect aluminium alloys from cavitation erosion. The study focuses on investigating the effects of adding different concentrations of cross-linkable material to established hybrid sol-gel coatings. The coatings were tested for their hydrophobic nature, thermal and electrochemical properties, abrasion, corrosion, and cavitation erosion protection. Rankings were produced based on the performance of the coatings in cavitation erosion and abrasion tests.

  1. Hegde, M., Kavanagh, Y., Duffy, B. and Tobin, E.F.(2022). Abrasion and Cavitation Erosion Resistance of Multi-Layer Dip Coated Sol-Gel Coatings on AA2024-T3. Corrosion and Materials Degradation, 3(4), pp.661-671.

Summary: The article describes a study on the effectiveness of sol-gel coatings in preventing corrosion and cavitation erosion of AA2024-T3 aluminium alloys, which are prone to damage in harsh environments due to their high copper concentration. The coatings were synthesized from MAPTMS and a zirconium complex, and applied using single-, double-, and triple-dip techniques. Abrasion and cavitation erosion tests were performed, and structural damage was analyzed using microscopy. The results showed that multilayer coatings improved resistance to corrosion, cavitation erosion, and abrasion, making them a promising option for marine renewable energy applications.

  1. Hegde, M., Mohan, J., Warraich, M.Q.M., Kavanagh, Y., Duffy, B. and Tobin, E.F. (2023). Cavitation erosion and corrosion resistance of superhydrophobic sol-gel coatings on aluminium alloy. Wear, p.204766.

Summary:  This article discusses the challenges faced by hydronautics components, such as propellers and turbines, due to cavitation erosion and erosion-corrosion. Aluminium alloys are widely used in marine renewable industries but are susceptible to these failure modes. The aim of the study was to develop a coating system to replace chromate-conversion coatings on aluminium alloys, combining an anodised layer with superhydrophobic sol-gel coatings. The adhesion and thickness of the coatings, as well as their hardness and elastic modulus, were evaluated. Electrochemical behaviour and prolonged performance were also assessed, along with cavitation erosion resistance and surface damage analysis using SEM/EDX.

  1. Kinsella, R., Finegan, T., Ranta, M., O’Sullivan, B., Hedge, M., Kalyani, U.H. and Ryan, S., 2022. GTA teaching practice development in the time of Covid-19: A collective reflective on how” having the chats” led to much more. Postgraduate Pedagogies2(1), pp.47-71.

Summary: Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) play an essential role in higher education. However, their personal and professional development is usually limited to their teaching hours, which are often conducted in isolation. This isolation can make it challenging for GTAs to develop their teaching identity with other GTAs. In this co-authored paper, a group of GTAs describes how they reflected on their role and shaped their identity as teachers through involvement in a peer support initiative. The paper emphasizes the importance of building supportive communities for GTAs to reflect on their professional development and feel a sense of belonging.

Books and book chapters

  1. Saranya, R., Murugan, R., Hegde, M., Doyle, J. and Babu, R., (2018). Affinity membranes for capture of cells and biological substances. Filtering media by electrospinning: next generation membranes for separation applications, pp.175-195.

Summary: The paragraph discusses the development of electrospun affinity membranes and their application in capturing and separating biologically active substances such as biomolecules and cells. The basic principles of affinity membrane-based separation processes and different surface modifications are described. The advancements in electrospinning for surface modifications are also discussed with a focus on coupled ligands and molecular imprinted polymers. The paragraph also reviews the applications of electrospun affinity nanofiber membranes for antibody and protein purification, highlighting recent reports.

Conference proceedings and papers

  1. Hegde M., Kavanagh Y., Duffy B., Tobin E.F. (2020) Preliminary Evaluation of Functional Coatings for Marine Based Renewable Energy Applications. In: Wahab M. (eds) Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Damage Assessment of Structures. Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering. Springer, Singapore.

Summary: The longevity of tidal turbines is impacted by cavitation erosion, microbially induced corrosion (MIC), and biofouling. These factors can cause significant losses in the marine renewable industry, which is expected to reach €9 billion by 2030. To mitigate these issues, eco-friendly multi-functional sol-gel coatings were developed and tested. Two coatings were synthesized and evaluated for their structure, properties, thermal and chemical stability. One coating was modified with hexamethyl di-isocyanate (HMDI) while the other was left unmodified. The coatings were deposited on an aluminium panel using dip coater and their properties were evaluated using various tests.