Professor and Director of Civil Engineering Programmes
Structural and fire engineering research theme
When students graduate, I think a measure of success is their ability and confidence to adapt their knowledge to different situations, as well as being independent learners and thinkers.
I have worked for The University of Manchester for 15 years. We have an excellent research infrastructure and a determination to maintain civil engineering as one of the best in the country. For me, our School is made distinctive by the diversity of specialist expertise available to students and the opportunity to be engaged in multi-disciplinary research.
I developed a method for the design of fire resistant concrete-filled tubular columns that has been used in the practical construction of structures.
I also initiated groundbreaking research on catenary action in steel beams in fire that is now being developed as a method to control the progressive collapse of structures in fire.
A further highlight is developing an original method to characterise the performance of intumescent coatings that has the potential to change a European standard and help manufacturers develop better products.
One of the aspects of teaching I enjoy the most is the opportunity to spread knowledge to students and develop enquiring minds. When students graduate, I think a measure of success is their ability and confidence to adapt their knowledge to different situations, as well as being independent learners and thinkers.
My research is about understanding how structures behave in fire so that we can develop more rational design methods to make structures safer and more cost-effective.
I teach a course called Fire Engineering which is my research topic. Because this is a developing field, a lot of the teaching material is based on latest research and development. Guest lectures are delivered by practitioners to illustrate the real-life impact of the specialist knowledge we cover and the latest practice in industry.
It is exciting when my research helps to shape the development of an academic field, and highly satisfying when it makes a positive impact in industry; either enabling design or helping to develop better products.