Past Members

Past Members

Francesco Della Porta

DPhil Student, Department of Mathematics

Francesco is a member of the Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations (OxPDE) group in the Department of Mathematics. He is currently a student of Prof. Sir John Ball and is working on reversible martensitic transformations, with particular interest on materials with a ultra-low hysteresis cycle. He is currently the junior representative of the Mathematics Department for the Oxford Solid Mechanics group.

  • Rob Style

    Departmental Lecturer, Department of Mathematics

    Rob studies a range of problems across fluid and solid mechanics. He is currently interested in very soft solids like biological tissues and gels which display a range of unusual mechanical behaviours - in particular in how they wet, stick together, and form composites. He also works on problems involving freezing, melting and drying of porous solids. He does both theoretical and experimental work and is currently helping develop the Mathematical Observatory - a new experimental facility in the Maths Institute. Rob Style's homepage.

  • Kuangdai Leng

    DPhil Student, Department of Earth Sciences

    Kuangdai Leng was a member of the seismology group in Department of Earth Sciences, working with Dr Tarje Nissen-Meyer and Dr Karin Sigloch. His research interests include the computational theory of wave scattering and attenuation in the Earth.

  • Matt Suggit

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Physics

    Matt Suggit was a member of Justin Wark's group in the Department of Physics. He is working on ultrafast x-ray diffraction experiments looking at shock compressed materials.

  • Elise Pegg

    Postdoctoral Researcher, NDORMS

    Elise Pegg took up a post-doctoral position in 2010 at the Oxford Orthopaedic Engineering Centre (OOEC) based on the site of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital. Her current research interests include: investigating material failure of orthopaedic devices by examination of retrieved components, the use of finite element analysis (FEA) to analyse the effect of mechanical factors on surgical outcome after arthroplasty, novel imaging algorithms to improve the accuracy and speed of clinical measurements, and examining the applicability of new materials and structures for clinical applications.


  • Christian van Engers

    DPhil Student, Department of Chemistry

    Christian works in the Surface Forces Research Laboratory (with Prof. Susan Perkin). His research mainly focuses on probing friction, adhesion and electrochemistry at graphitic surfaces (using the Graphene Surface Force Balance), but he also has an interest in studying the effect of the mechanical properties of polymer supports in the transfer efficiency of CVD-grown graphene. He currently represents Chemistry on the junior steering committee.

  • Steve Fitzgerald

    Departmental Lecturer in Materials Modelling, Materials Department

    Steve Fitzgerald's research is concerned with understanding the dynamics of defects in crystals, particularly those in structural materials for extreme environments such as next-generation fission and fusion reactors. We develop mathematical and computational models for materials at the mesoscale, i.e. lengthscales of the order of 100s of nanometres to 100s of microns. These models aim to bridge the gap between the smaller realms of atomistic and electronic calculations with the larger scales of engineering interest. Steve Fitzgerald's homepage.

  • Alexander Lunt

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Alexander Lunt was a member of the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering group in the Engineering Science Department. His principal research interest is the analysis of residual stress at the micro/nano length scale with particular focus on the interaction between yttria partially stabilised zirconia and porcelain veneers in dental prostheses. Alexander employs a wide range of X-ray and neutron diffraction based techniques along with a range of semi-destructive focused ion beam methods to improve current understanding of the influence of processing route on the distribution of residual stress. 

  • Andreas Schiffer

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Andreas Schiffer was a DPhil student in the Solid Mechanics group in the Engineering Department. His principal research interests included theoretical and numerical modelling of problems in fluid and solid mechanics. His research focused on the dynamic response of structures to underwater blast with a strong emphasis on fluid structure interaction. His experimental work included observation of fluid-structure interaction phenomena (cavitation) by using high-speed photography. He was based at the Impact Engineering Laboratory (Begbroke Science Park) where most of his experiments were carried out. He is now an Assistant Professor at the Khalifa University.

  • Andy Higginbotham

    Departmental Lecturer, Department of Physics

    Andy Higginbotham worked with Justin Wark in the Department of Physics. His interests lie in the response of metals to rapid compression. In particular he uses picosecond, in-situ x-ray diffraction techniques to study the evolving phase and microstructure of samples undergoing shock and ramp compression up to pressures in excess of a megabar. Andy Higginbotham's homepage.

  • Angela Mihai

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Mathematics

    Angela Mihai was a postdoctoral researcher on the OxMOS programme at the Mathematical Institute, working on mathematical models for the coupled mechanical and chemical processes arising in stress corrosion cracking. She is now a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Cardiff University. Angela Mihai's homepage.

  • Angelos Mintzas

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Angelos Mintzas was a DPhil student in Solid Mechanics group within Engineering Science Department working on the characterization of the singular stress fields that develop around multimaterial junctions and are commonly found within structural joints. 

  • Anton Muehlemann

    DPhil Student, Department of Mathematics

    Anton Muehlemann is a member of John Ball's group in the Mathematics Department (OxPDE). His research interests include mathematical models for martensitic phase transformations and estimates on the macroscopic energy density for multiwell potentials. He is currently the webmaster of the osm website. Anton Muehlemann's homepage.


  • Ben Britton

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Materials

    Ben Britton worked in the Fission and Fusion Materials group (with Professor Steve Roberts and Dr Angus Wilkinson). His research interests include understanding deformation on a small scale both with characterisation techniques and small scale mechanical testing. This work includes: using novel micro-cantilever testing geometries, machined using a focussed ion beam system, to test individual micromechanical components of real engineering materials; and continued development of a high resolution strain measurement technique based upon electron backscatter diffraction in the scanning electron microscope. He is now a lecturer at Imperial College, London.

  • Benjamin Cousins

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Benjamin Cousins was a DPhil student in the Impact Engineering Team within the Engineering Science Department. His research interests included numerical modelling of dynamic events and rate dependent material characterisation. His research focus was the development of non-linear thermo-mechanical constitutive models and novel finite element based failure simulation for titanium alloys at high strain-rates for aerospace applications. He was based at the Institute of Advanced Technology, Begbroke Science Park. He is now working for Transport Systems Catapult.

  • Cameron Hall

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Mathematics

    Cameron Hall is a member of the Oxford Centre for Industrial Applied Mathematics, working on coupling mechanics with electrochemistry in models of lithium ion battery electrodes. He has also worked on models of systems of dislocations, and he maintains an interest in the mechanics of growing and deforming biological tissues and in general plasticity models. Cameron Hall's homepage.

  • Christoph Ortner

    Research Fellow,Department of Mathematics

    Christoph Ortner held an RCUK Academic Fellowship at the Mathematical Institute. He works on the mathematical and numerical analysis of models in solid mechanics and materials science. His main interests are the design and analysis of atomistic/continuum hybrid schemes and the mathematical foundations and numerical approximation of models for fracture mechanics. He is now a Professor at the University of Warwick.  Christoph Ortner’s homepage.


  • Claire Dancer

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Materials

    Claire Dancer was previously a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Materials, working on ceramic armour materials, functionally-graded structures, and manufacturing methods for functional ceramic and polymer-based nanocomposites. She served as a representative on the Junior Steering Committee. She is now an Assistant Professor in Nanocomposites at the University of Warwick. Claire Dancer's homepage.

  • Daniel Mulvihill

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Daniel Mulvihill was a DPhil student in the Department of Engineering. He completed his doctoral degree in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. David Nowell at the Solid Mechanics Group within Oxford University's Department of Engineering Science. His work involved a combination of experimental and modelling work aimed at improving understanding of various aspects of frictional behaviour. Also in 2012, he was awarded an Irish Government Postdoctoral Fellowship to carry out research at the University of Limerick in collaboration with EPFL Switzerland.

  • Daniel Thompson

    DPhil Student, Department of Materials

    Daniel Thompson is a student in Steve Fitzgerald's group, and his research interests include theory and modelling of dislocation dynamics, dislocation-inclusion interactions, dislocation climb, 3D discrete dislocation dynamics, phase field methods and ODS steels for nuclear fusion applications.

  • Ding Shin Huang

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Ding Shin Huang was a member of the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering group in the Engineering Department. His principal research interests include theoretical and computational modelling of hot cracking in welding as part of the EU MINTWELD project. He is also interested in additive manufacturing for high-strength metallic applications.

  • Ettore Barbieri

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Engineering

    Ettore Barbieri was a post-doc in the Impact Engineering Team in the Department of Engineering Science and a member of the Junior Steering Committee. His research interests are in computational solid mechanics, particularly in multiscale modelling applied to impact mechanics and novel approximation techniques such as meshfree particle methods and extended finite elements. He is now Lecturer in Simulation and Modelling of Engineering Systems at Queen Mary, University of London.

  • Florian Hausen

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry

    Florian Hausen was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow holding a "Forschungsstipendium" of the German Research foundation (DFG). In Oxford he was working together with Susan Perkin. His research interest lies in the experimental analysis of friction forces at solid|liquid interfaces and their manipulation by electrochemical methods. He uses electrochemical atomic force microscopy (EC-AFM) and surface force balance (SFB) in order to achieve this goal. He served served as a representative on the Chemistry junior steering committee. Florian Hausen's Linkedin profile.

  • Francesco Ferroni

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Francesco Ferroni was DPhil student in the Materials for Fusion and Fission Power Group (Prof. Steve Roberts) and Defects Group (Dr. S. Fitzgerald). His work revolved around experimental (TEM) and computational mesoscale modelling (DD/FEM) of radiation damage in tungsten for tokamak plasma facing components. He is now working as a material scientist for Siemens.

  • Gabriele Mogni

    DPhil Student, Department of Physics

    Gabriele Mogni was a member of Justin Wark's group in the Department of Atomic and Laser Physics. His main research interests lie in the isentropic ramp compression of metallic crystalline materials by irradiation with high power laser pulses, together with the study of their X-ray diffraction properties and their modelling with ab-initio computational techniques such as MD and DFT simulations. Gabriele Mogni's homepage.

  • Jennifer Boyd

    Postdoctoral Researcher, NDORMS

    Jennifer Boyd completed her doctoral degree in 2013 under the supervision of Prof Richie Gill and Dr Amy Zavatsky (University of Oxford's Department of Engineering Science). In this work, she investigated potential mechanical causes of knee osteoarthritis using finite element analysis (FEA). Later, she was a postdoctoral researcher within NDORMS (Prof Andrew Price's group), where she used FEA to develop patient-specific methods of treating early-stage osteoarthritis and to investigate structure-function relationships within human tissues.

  • Mithila Achintha

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Engineering

    Mithila Achintha was a post-doc in the Department of Engineering, working on the EPSRC funded project 'Laser Shock Peening' with Prof. David Nowell, and collaborators from Universities of Manchester and Swansea. He is now Lecturer in Structural Engineering at the University of Southampton.

  • Nicola Marzari

    Chair of Materials Modelling and Director of the Materials Modelling Laboratory, Department of Materials

    Nicola Marzari's research is dedicated to the development and application of computational modeling to outstanding problems in materials science, using accurate quantum-mechanical descriptions of interacting electrons and nuclei. His group co-develops and maintains an open-source computational laboratory at  Nicola Marzari's homepage.

  • Peter Dobson

    Director, Begbroke Science Park

    After a career as a lecturer in Physics at Imperial College and Senior Principal Scientist at Philips Research laboratories Peter Dobson was appointed to a University Lectureship and College Fellowship at the Queen's College Oxford in 1988 and a Professorship in 1996. Between 1999 and 2000 he spun-off two companies, Oxonica and Oxford Biosensors and he advises several others. He was appointed to his present position in August 2002 and has created a new Science Park and developed a range of Knowledge Transfer activities. He is also currently (2009-2012) the Strategic Advisor on Nanotechnology to the Research Councils in the UK. He has a long-standing interest in solid mechanics under high strain rates. Peter Dobson's homepage.

  • Petros Siegkas

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Petros Siegkas worked in the Solid Mechanics group in the Engineering Department. His research interests include experimental and computational characterisation of foam structures under static and dynamic loading. High speed photography and SEM imaging are included in testing materials for a range of loading regimes and from quasi static to ballistic strain rates. X-ray micro-tomography and stochastic geometry methods are employed to either replicate or virtually generate foam prototypes. The structures are characterised using finite elements methods and compared with experimental data. His work is related to bone implant manufacturing (NRC industrial materials institute of Canada) and aviation safety, sponsored by EPSRC and Rolls Royce. He is based at the Impact Engineering Laboratory (Begbroke Science Park).

  • Pierluigi Cesana

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Mathematics

    Pierluigi Cesana was a postdoctoral research associate at the Mathematical Institute in the group of Prof Sir John Ball. His research interest at the intersection of materials science and mathematics were the modelling and analysis of formation and evolution of microstructure and defects in elastic crystals and shape-memory alloys, both with analytical and computational methods. He also served as a consultant at Los Alamos National Lab. He is currently at the IMI (Institute of Mathematics for Industry) in Australia. Pierluigi's homepage.

  • Robert Gerlach

    DPhil Student, Department of Engineering

    Robert Gerlach was a member of the Impact Engineering Team led by Dr Nik Petrinic. His research activities concentrated on the experimental and numerical characterisation of polymers and advanced 3D reinforced composite materials. He now works as a senior consultant for a company called mm2 in Germany.

  • Thomas Hudson

    DPhil Student, Department of Mathematics

    Thomas Hudson was a DPhil student at OxPDE in the Maths Institute. His doctoral research concerned the relationship between atomistic and continuum models of crystalline solids, and studying equilibria containing screw dislocations. He was webmaster and a member of the Junior Steering Committee. He is now a postdoctoral researcher based at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

  • Virginia Agostiniani

    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Mathematics

    Virginia Agostiniani was a postdoctoral researcher at OxPDE (Mathematical Institute), where she joined the ERC project "Mathematics of Solid and Liquid Crystals" directed by John Ball. She was mainly involved in the study of variational problems arising in the modelling of nematic elastomers, which are polymeric materials that undergo an isotropic-to-nematic phase transformation. Her main research interests were in the field of partial differential equations and calculus of variations focussing in particular on their applications to materials science. She is now based at the SISSA, Italy. Virginia's homepage.