Xiao Tao is currently a Technical Research Officer in Surface Engineering in the AMTECAA business support programme to support regional manufacturing SMEs. Before joining Birmingham University in 2019, Xiao Tao finished a MEng degree in Materials Science and Engineering and then a PhD degree in Engineering Materials from the University of Sheffield. He specialises in physical metallurgy, plasma surface modification (e.g. using direct current plasma, triode-plasma, active screen plasma, etc.) and material characterisation. His research interests focus on plasma-based surface activation of hydrophobic surfaces for good wettability and surface modification treatments of metallic components (such as Zr/Ti/Co/Ni-alloys and stainless steels) for improved wear performance.