Prof D.C. Watts BSc,PhD,DSc,FInstP,FRSC, FRSB, FADM

Professor of Biomaterials Science

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Head of Research Theme: Adhesive Biomaterials & Biomechanics.


I graduated in Chemistry and Physics, at the University of Wales, and completed a PhD in Chemical Physics with Prof. Graham Williams. Following two years as a 6th Form Science Teacher in Cheshire, I returned to research in Chemistry and Materials Science at the University of Manchester with Sir Geoffrey Allen FRS.

Through research into dielectric spectroscopy of polymers, I became a co-discoverer of the Kohlrausch-Williams-Watts [KWW] stretched-exponential function for modeling molecular-relaxation processes in condensed media. These papers have attracted more than 5,000 citations.

I was appointed to a lectureship in Biomaterials Science within the School of Dentistry and subsequently promoted to S/L (1983), Reader (1992) and Professor (2000). During this period I also gained teaching experience with the Open University, Manchester Metropolitan University and NorthWestern University, Chicago. I was a co-founder of a new B.Sc. degree course inBiomedical Materials in the Manchester School of Materials.

I am concurrently Adjunct Research Professor in Biomaterials and Biomechanics, at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA, and an Honorary faculty Member of the Center for Mechanics of Biological Materials, University of Padova.

I have a major commitment to Postgraduate Education and Research, through leading a group of Biomaterials researchers including circa 10 PhD candidates. 70+ PhDs and 50+ Masters degrees have been successfully supervised personally, to date.

I sustain a wide-ranging basic research activity in biomaterials for dentistry and orthopaedics and am a member of the Photon Science Institute. In 2003 I received the IADR Distinguished Scientist [Wilmer Souder] Award for research in dental biomaterials. In 2010 I received the Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany - a lifetime research achievement award; in 2011 the President's Prize and in 2017 the Alan Wilson Memorial Lecture Award of the UK Society for Biomaterials. Also in 2017 the Founders's Award of the Academy of Dental Materials.

Since 1998 I have been Editor-in-Chief of Dental Materials [Elsevier], now one of the highest impact-factor research journals in dentistry and materials science. My other interests include:

  • Biblical languages & literature. Christian Theology
  • History, Philosophy & Theology of Science
  • Modern European literature. Adventure travel
  • Mountain photography and geology. Alpine mountaineering; rock & ice climbing; [Elected Member of the Alpine Club, London & the Swiss Alpine Club]



Alexander von Humboldt Laureate

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Fellow of the Academy of Dental Materials & Editor-in-Chief
  • EPSRC College member
  • IADR member
  • BSDR member
  • Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) member
  • Faraday Institute for Science and Religion: Associate

External positions

Visiting Professor, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena

1 Oct 2009 → …

Honorary Faculty Member, Universita Degli Studi di Padova

1 Jul 2005 → …

Adjunct Research Professor, Oregon Health and Science University

1 Jun 2000 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms


  • Biomaterials, Composites, Photopolymerization, Adhesives, Bone Regeneration, Dentistry

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