Research in the Solid Mechanics Group

Solid mechanics is a very broad field, and our research occupies several areas within it. In general terms, we are interested in applying advanced mathematical techniques to solve problems without needing to perform costly finite element simulations. Many of our problems arise from industry, and are motivated by emerging technologies.

Some of the current themes of our work are outlined below, although the list is far from exhaustive. More detail will be added in due course. In addition, we are always keen to hear of new problems that might benefit from a mathematical analysis!

Composite material

Wave propagation in composite materials

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Spinning

Fast models for flexible metal forming processes

Many metal forming processes are based on ancient techniques employed by skilled blacksmiths and other artisans, who excelled at producing small numbers of bespoke products. Modern industrial processes typically forego flexibility in favour of rapid, robust processes that are capable of producing vast numbers of identical products, usually at the expense of flexibility in changing the shape of the product. Recently, there have been many developments moving toward flexible processes that allow allowing the same machinery produce many different products, with computer control included to approximate the skill of the blacksmith. Because calculation speed is a key ingredient for a successfully controlled process, we are working closely with our collaborators to develop models of metal forming processes to which we can employ asymptotic and computational techiques to obtain predictions that are inexpensive and quick to compute.

This multidisciplinary project brings together mechanical engineers from the Low-Carbon Materials Processing group at the University of Cambridge, control engineers from the Control Group and metallurgists from the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering" group at the University of Oxford. It is supported by EPSRC and our industrial partners: Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens, and Firth Rixson.