Our people

Find out about the academic staff who are members of the Solid Mechanics Research Group.

Mahmoud Mostafavi‌Professor Mahmoud Mostafavi - Head of Group

Mahmoud Mostafavi is a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Structural Integrity at University of Bristol and Co-Director (Engineering) of Southwest Nuclear Hub. He has Previously worked at University of Manchester, University of Oxford (James Martin Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College) and University of Sheffield.  His industrially inspired research includes studying fatigue, fracture, and creep across the length scales from micro to macro experimentally and computationally. He has >100 peer reviewed publication and serves as Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping.

Janice BartonProfessor Janice M. Barton‌

Janice Barton was appointed in May 2019 as a full Professor of Experimental Mechanics at the University of Bristol in the UK. Prior to this she worked at the University of Southampton for 20 years in the School of Engineering. She received her PhD from the University of Manchester in 1993 where she started her research on the topic now known as ‘Thermoelastic stress analysis’.

She has published around 320 papers with 120 in archival journals, edited 11 conference proceedings and produced 8 book chapters. Janice’s expertise is in imaging for data rich materials characterisations and assessments of structural performance, with a focus on lightweight structural design particularly composite structures. She has won numerous grants that have allowed her to develop novel approaches in experimental mechanics, with as special focus on the development of infra-red imaging. Janice has been a member of SEM since 1994, she was awarded a fellowship of SEM in 2016 and received her silver certificate for 25 years of membership in 2019. She was chairman of the fellows committee and the Thermomechanics and Infra-red Imaging TD, as well as an Associate Editor of Experimental Mechanics. Janice has been very active in the European Experimental Mechanics community, notably chairing the British Society for Strain Measurement and serving on their National Council for 14 years, chairing and organising many conferences and technical seminars, including the 16th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics in Cambridge, attended by over 500 delegates. Janice is also active in training and mentoring early career researchers; she has supervised over 30 successful PhDs and her 5-day annual workshop on Experimental Mechanics for postgraduate students has run annually for the past 10 years and attracts around 25-30 delegates internationally.

Julian BookerProfessor Julian Booker

Julian Booker is a Professor of Mechanical Design Engineering. His research is associated with the development and application of design methods across a broad spectrum of disciplines including concept design, Design for X (manufacture, assembly, quality and reliability) and optimisation.

Working within the Solid Mechanics Group (SMRG), his research into statistical and probabilistic design methods has application to material failure assessment and the performance of machine components. A topical research theme is the application of design methods to create novel electromechanical machines for renewable energy generation, industrial actuation and more-electric aircraft systems working within the Electrical Energy Management Group (EEMG).

Harry CoulesDr Harry Coules

Harry Coules is a Senior Lecturer in Strcutural Integrity. His research focusses on the integrity of engineering structures and materials, often dealing with high-dependability metallic components in the energy sector. It includes the mechanics of failure processes (eg. fracture and high-temperature creep), analysis of factors which affect structural integrity (eg. residual stresses) and the development of approximate methods for practical integrity analysis. He is also interested in the manufacture of components for high-dependability applications and often work on welding processes and on the mechanics of additive-manufactured materials. His research typically uses a mix of experimental and modelling/analytical approaches. On the experimental side he has particular interests in residual stress measurement, engineering applications of neutron diffraction and fracture mechanics testing. On the modelling side he is interested in analysis of defects in structures, constitutive models of materials for failure prediction and stress field reconstruction. Companies I currently work with include EDF Energy, Frazer-Nash Consultancy and TWI.

He frequently has funded opportunities for PhD study available and I welcome enquiries from prospective students. Examples of PhD projects he has supervised are: properties of additive-manufactured nickel superalloys, effects of residual stress on non-brittle fracture and probabilistic failure assessment.

Suchandrima DasDr Suchandrima Das

Suchandrima Das is a Lecturer in Micromechanics of Metallic Materials. She has a bachelor’s degree from National University of Singapore, focusing on electrical engineering and specifically on optoelectronic materials.

In 2016, she joined the department of Engineering Science at University of Oxford, as a DPhil student of Solid Mechanics, associated with Mansfield College. In her PhD she used new synchrotron X-Ray diffraction techniques along with numerical modelling to study the changes in material properties due to irradiation damage, with the aim of developing armour components for future fusion reactors. Subsequently she pursued a Career Development Fellowship at Jesus College, at Oxford before moving to Bristol in 2022.

Her current research combines the fields of electrical engineering, biomedical engineering and solid mechanics under the realm of material engineering. It primarily focusses on development of physically-based multi-scale computational material models, which are targeted to be developed for design and characterisation of novel materials for high-performance applications such as medical implants, nuclear reactor components and high-frequency transistors.

 Nicolo Grilli‌Dr Nicolò Grilli

Nicolò Grilli is a Lecturer in Materials Modelling. He obtained a MSc in Condensed Matter Physics from Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy) in 2012 and completed his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Helena Van Swygenhoven and Dr. Koenraad Janssens. He has 5 years postdoctoral experience at Purdue University (Indiana, USA, 2016-2018, supervisors: Prof. Marisol Koslowski and Prof. Alejandro Strachan), at the University of Oxford (UK, 2018-2020, supervisors: Prof. Alan Cocks and Prof. Edmund Tarleton) and at the National University of Singapore (2020-2021, supervisor: Prof. Wentao Yan. He Joined the University of Bristol in 2021.

Nicolò’s main research interest is the computational modelling of the mechanical behaviour of metals and alloys at different length scales. He uses computational techniques based on the finite element method. Specifically, He has expertise in the crystal plasticity finite element method, continuum dislocation dynamics, twinning, fracture mechanics, grain growth models, thermo-mechanical and mechano-chemistry models. He has applied these methods to different metals, such as copper, aluminium, stainless steel, uranium, titanium alloys and energetic materials (HMX and RDX), under different loading conditions: tension-compression, cyclic fatigue, creep and shock load.

These computational methods are used to understand the relationship between manufacturing process parameters, microstructure and mechanical properties. For instance, simulations can be used to optimise the parameters of additive manufacturing techniques, such as selective laser melting, and to predict the lifetime of mechanical components as a function of the process parameters. Microstructure design can be used to improve the structural integrity of existing alloys. It can also be used to develop new materials and new processes that increase the safety of vehicles, improve energy production and the reliability of devices used in today's life. Meanwhile, enhancing the sustainability of the manufacturing processes and developing mechanical components that are replaced less frequently is also important to reduce the environmental impact of modern technology. Simulations are also useful to link experimental observables to microscopic mechanisms. This helps understand which physical mechanisms are more likely to explain specific experimental observables.

David KnowlesProfessor David Knowles

David Knowles is a Professor in Materials Engineering (part time – he is also CEO of Royce). He is a specialist in material structural integrity of materials from extended roles in industry and academia covering sectors including nuclear, renewables, oil and gas, aerospace and transport.  He has held academic roles at University of Cambridge and worked across Asia, Europe and the UK, with both SMEs and large companies including Shell and Atkins. 


Nicolas LarrosaDr Nicolas O Larrosa

Nicolas Larrosa is a Senior Lecturer in Structural Integrity. He completed a Mechanical Engineering degree (Argentina, 2005) and a MSc and PhD in microstructural fracture mechanics (Seville, 2012) under the supervision of Prof Alfredo Navarro, a leading academic in the field. His PhD work focused on modelling the effect of the material microstructure and the size and shape of the component on small fatigue crack propagation. After completing his PhD, he was appointed as a Senior Research Associate (RA) in Structural Integrity at The University of Manchester (UoM), where he was supervised by one of the UK’s foremost experts in Structural Integrity, Prof Bob Ainsworth. In this period (June 2013- Sep 2016), he worked and contributed to a number academic projects, funded by the BP (Oil and Gas) and EDF energy (Nuclear), in characterising fracture, fatigue, plastic collapse and corrosion-fatigue (CF) behaviour of high integrity components.

In October 2016 he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the University of Malaga (Spain) to investigate the use of ultrasonic inspection data in structural integrity assessments, a research work performed in collaboration with University of Manchester. In March 2017 he was appointed Lecturer in Structural Integrity at the University of Bristol.

His background is in Structural Engineering, Computational Mechanics and Fracture Mechanics with rich experience in developing and integrating novel modelling capabilities with mechanistic-based damage models for structural integrity and life assessments.

Mehdi MokhtarishirazabadMehdi Mokhtarishirazabad

Mehdi Mokhtarishirazabad is a technical speciliast.  He holds a Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Malaga in Spain: DIC for evaluation of fracture parameters. Expert in Digital Image Correlation, Crack Tip Fields, Fatigue and Fracture, Selection and Characterisation of Metallic Materials. 

He oversees the experiments in Creep & Residual Stress where innovative and ambitious testing ideas put into practice technically. We enjoy having a wide range of Mechanical Testing machines for conducting room/high temperature tests at controlled environment which can be combined with Digital Image Correlation technique for displacement/strain measurements.

His research interests are

  • Digital Image Correlation
  • Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Thermo-mechanical Fatigue and Creep
  • Advance Methods for Residual Stress Measurement
  • Production and Characterisation of Advanced Materials

Matthew PeelDr Matthew Peel

Dr Matthew Peel is a Senior Lecturer in Materials. His focus is on the use of synchrotron and neutron diffraction to examine important materials and engineering questions.

"I previously worked at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and my research has continued to exploit the ability of this unique form of radiation to examine how materials behave when you heat and deform them. My work can be broadly separated into two areas: the determination of stresses in manufactured components and the examination of phase transformations in novel materials. The first category includes stresses in friction stir welds and large diameter pipe welds while the second includes stress induced transformations of zirconium hydrides and deformation structures in titanium aluminides."

Burcu TasdemirDr Burcu Tasdemir

Burcu Tasdemir is a Lecturer in Digital Engineering, holding a joint appointment with the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

She obtained her BSc (2015) and MSc (2018) in Aerospace Engineering at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Middle East Technical University, Turkey, discussing the thesis “Fatigue and Static Behavior of Curved Composite Laminates” rewarded as the best thesis of the year 2018.

In 2019, she joined as a DPhil researcher at the University of Oxford, Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Group, where she conducted research on machine learning-governed material modelling. She was awarded a DPhil in Engineering Science in 2023.

Her research interests focus on the application of machine learning techniques to model the effects of strain rate, strain history and environmental conditions on the mechanical behaviour of advanced engineering materials.

Chris TrumanProfessor Christopher E Truman

Christopher E Truman (Chris) is Professor of Solid Mechanics at the University of Bristol, where he has been based since May 2000. The common denominator in the wide-ranging research he has conducted is the excitement derived from applying, developing and extending physically inspired mathematical descriptions of material behaviour to further understand and predict the performance of industrially important components and structures. Coupled with this desire to make ever more accurate predictions he has also conducted extensive research to advance experimental measurement techniques to validate and guide the modelling.

He has worked with, and continues to work with, some forward-thinking companies and industries. He has a long-standing association with EDF Energy, and its precursors. As an example of the problems he has considered, welds have featured prominently over the years both in making predictions and measurements of residual stress, considering the influence of high temperatures and better understanding fracture behaviour of a wide range of metallic components. Over recent years the drive has been to promote smaller length-scale material models to better capture more localised failure modes and link these meso-models into larger macro-models more representative of real plant component behaviour. He was an early adopter of the use of international facilities such as neutron and synchrotron diffraction facilities to probe stress-based issues in his research and is currently part of a team developing a stress measuring instrument for deployment in radioactive environments, suitable for making measurements in AGR fuel cladding.

 He has served on several neutron beamtime awarding panels, has been on the editorial boards of several journals and has organised many conferences. He has been awarded many million pounds in grants and has published well in-excess of 150 journal papers. He was for many years the Head of the Solid Mechanics Research Group and is now the School Research and Impact Director. He is the lead academic and manager of the Nuclear Energy Futures CDT at Bristol. 

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