Partha Mandal is currently Reader in Bioengineering and Structural Mechanics at the University of Manchester. He was the Director of Civil Engineering Undergraduate Programmes from 2012 to 2017. He also leads the Bio-engineering research theme in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. He is the Head of Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Access for the School of Engineering.
He has a long-standing strong expertise in analytical, computational and experimental aspects of structural mechanics. However, his current research topics go beyond the narrow confinement of conventional structural mechanics, and range from stability of large scale structures to micro-mechanics of human cells. The key elements in carrying out research over this broad spectrum had been synthesis of acquired knowledge, developing inter-disciplinary analytical techniques, and ability to provide a fresh, new perspective on challenging problems with far-reaching societal and economic impact.
His early research involved an attempt to resolve the long-standing paradox of buckling of thin cylindrical shells under axial compression, in which the theoretical predictions fail to match the experimental observations. This is supposedly the “Holy Grail” of Structural Mechanics. Based on empirical evidence he proposed a new 1.5-power law, for which he has been developing a theoretical framework.
He obtained his first degrees in Engineering from India (NIT Durgapur and IIT Kanpur), followed by a PhD from the University of Cambridge. After his PhD, he joined the University of Manchester (then UMIST), first as a research associate on an EPSRC sponsored project, and within eight months as a lecturer, and subsequently promoted to the current position of Reader.
Over the last few years, he has been involved in securing research grants to a total of ~£1.5M. He has successfully completed supervision of 24 PhD students, and authored/co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. Besides activities on research, he has made substantial contribution to teaching and learning within the School through his roles of undergraduate programme director and one of the four members of the strategic teaching working group which focused on the development of a long-term sustainable teaching strategy involving curriculum changes and implementing those in order to enhance students’ learning experience.
He is currently one of the co-directors of Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) and an academic advisor for Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. He is an Associate Editor of Research on Biomedical Engineering (a Springer Nature Journal).