I joined the University of Manchester in 2000 from the National Physical Laboratory. There I had proposed and managed projects in residual stress measurement, nanostructured materials, and inorganic foams. Before my position at the National Physical Laboratory, I was a lecturer at the University of Leeds, UK. I obtained a first class degree from the University of Bristol, UK in Chemical Physics before gaining a DPhil in Materials Science from the University of Oxford, UK.
My research is to elucidate the fundamental relationships between the microstructure of materials (at many length scales) and mechanical behaviour, primarily fracture. I am particularly interested in inhomogeneous, anisotropic materials, so have needed to work in 3-dimensions as only then can their behaviour be completely understood. To that end, I have developed structure characterisation and strain measurement techniques and modelling methodologies. Much of my characterization work is currently within the internationally-leading Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility (http://x-ray-imaging.org.uk), where I am a Facility Academic. Here I have developed and applied tomographic imaging to address a wide range of scientific and industrial problems. This places me at the heart of Manchester Imaging, which is a strategy to position Manchester as the world-leading centre for X-ray imaging using both synchrotron and laboratory sources in engineering/physical sciences and biological/life sciences. To utilise the unique data available through such imaging more fully, I am at the forefront of developing microstructurally-faithful, image-based modelling using parallel finite element code for solving large (>1 billion element) problems and the subsequent visualisation of the data sets. This has been used for solid mechanics, fluid flow, electrical conductivity, and heat transfer problems, and is being developed for crack growth (through XFEM) and damage mechanics. This methodology is transferable to other 3D modelling problems on all length scales. I have applied this research strategy to wide-ranging problems in nuclear, aerospace and life sciences.