Staff Directory

Contact Details


B.Sc. (1st Class Hons)
Chartered Engineer, C..Eng., M.I.C.E.


Brian Hobbs is Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Glamorgan.

He was previously Dean of the School of Science and Technology at the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, which delivers a broad portfolio of HND/C, B.Sc. B.Eng. MSc. and PhD programmes, research and knowledge transfer projects, covering a wide range of applied science, forensic and crime scene science, engineering and technology areas and has over 2200 students. He also held the Cecil M Yuill Chair of Construction at the University and was active in teaching, research and consultancy in the civil engineering, forensic & disaster management and building field. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He graduated from the University of Manchester with a First Class Honours degree in Civil Engineering. After graduation he worked for Freeman Fox and Partners, Consulting Engineers, initially on structural design of bridges and buildings in the London office and then on site supervision of the M5 Motorway construction in Somerset. He gained his MICE and C.Eng. in 1972 and then moved to the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at Sheffield University, becoming a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Structures, leader of the Structures Group of Staff and a member of the Departmental Executive.

He moved to Teesside in 1994 to take up the post of Professor of Construction and was promoted to Director of Research and Development in 1998. In this role he led the development of the Research and Development Office, with University wide responsibility for supporting research, development work with industry, consultancy and business support activities across all academic disciplines. He was made Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers in 1996 in recognition of his contributions to research, teaching and course development in the field of structural engineering. He was promoted to his current post in September 2001 and has led the successful development and growth of the School, which now has an annual budget of over £10 million, of which over £3 million is generated from external, non-hefce sources, including research, consultancy and business support projects.

He has remained active in research and consultancy throughout his university career and his current research interests are in accidental impact loadings on buildings and bridges, structural dynamics and the associated assessment of risk and safety levels; disaster risk reduction; the forensic engineering investigation of building failures and the application of Virtual Reality to the design and planning processes in construction.


PREVIOUS DUTIES at The University of Teesside

Dean, School of Science & Technology

Responsible for the leadership and management of an academic School, covering a wide range of courses in Applied Sciences, Forensic Science & Crime Scene Science, Engineering and Technology. The School has around 1200 full time students and 1000 part time students and delivers courses leading to awards at HND/C, Fd, BSc/BEng and MSc levels. The courses operate within a flexible modular structure and part-time routes are available at all levels. At HND/C and Foundation Degree levels there is extensive collaboration with FE Colleges. Research is undertaken leading to MPhil and PhD awards. There is a strong focus on applied research and collaboration with industry and the professions. The School’s total staff complement is around 190, including academic, academic related, research, technician and administrative staff groups. The School has an annual budget of over £10 million, of which over £3 million is generated from external, non-hefce sources, including research, consultancy and business support projects.

Membership of Senior University Groups and Committees

  • Extended Vice Chancellor’s Executive (chaired by the VC and comprising the VCE and the six Deans)
  • Chair of University Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation Cluster Group
  • Chair of University Applied Sciences, Engineering, Technology and the Environment Cluster Group
  • Academic Board (chaired by the VC)
  • Corporate Management Committee (Chaired by the VC)
  • Academic Policy Committee – Vice Chair (chaired by DVC–Academic)
  • University Research Policy Committee ( chaired by DVC Research )
  • Risk Management Committee (chaired by the VC)
  • Executive Health and Safety Committee (chaired by University Secretary)
  • International Coordinating Committee – Vice Chair (chaired by DVC–Research and Enterprise)

External Roles

  • Member of Research Assessment Exercise 2008 sub-panel 27 for Civil Engineering
  • Chair UK Forensic Science Education Group
  • External Examiner for MSc programme in Technology at University of Glamorgan
  • Member of EPSRC Engineering College
  • Member of Board of Governors for Redcar and Cleveland College of Further Education and Chair of its Employment Sub-Committee
  • Member of Board of Directors of Business Link Tees Valley Ltd.
  • Member of Steering Group for the Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network
  • Vice President of Cleveland Scientific Institution
Director, Research and Development

Responsible for setting up and leading a team of staff providing :-

  • support for research grant applications
  • quality assurance of research student work
  • promotion and management of consultancy work by university staff through operation of the university’s consultancy company, UTEL
  • development and operation of business support projects
  • development and operation of a Graduate Business Incubator Scheme
Professor of Construction
  • Divisional Leader – Civil Engineering and Building
  • Leader – Construction Research Unit
  • Development Co-ordinator – New Modular Engineering Programme
  • Member – Advisory Panel on Quality Assessment – University Teaching Learning and Assessment Policy Group
  • Visiting Professor – The University of Technology, Malaysia

PREVIOUS DUTIES at The University of Sheffield


  • Director of Postgraduate Studies – responsible for overall management of all aspects of postgraduate teaching, including CPD. (from 1993).
  • Member, Executive Committee (from 1993).
  • Careers Liaison Officer (from 1988) – responsible for liaison with Careers Advisory Service and employers recruiting graduates
  • UCCA Tours and Interviews – Introductory talks to UCCA candidates, departmental tours and interviews on a rota basis
  • AUT Representative (from 1979)
  • Year Abroad Tutor (from 1988)
  • Enterprise Programme Representative (from 1989)
  • Learning Support Tutor – responsible for introduction and management of a system linking students in one year with selected students from the year above.
  • Liaison with Faculty of Architectural Studies (from 1991)
  • Admissions Tutor (1983-1988)
  • M.Eng. Course Director (1987-1993)
  • Member, Resources Management Committee (1991-1993)
  • Member, Undergraduate Management Committee (1991-1993)
  • Member, Technical staff grading panel (1992-93)
  • Chairman, Structures and Materials Group of 7 staff (1991-1993)
  • ERASMUS Tutor – responsible for development and management of a student exchange programme with Ingeniorhojskolen Horsens, Denmark (1989-1993)
  • Member of Undergraduate Staff-Student Committee (1987-93) – Chairman from October 1992.


  • Member of Staff/Student Committee (from 1985)
  • Chairman, WISE Year Working Party (1983-84) – responsible for organising special events and production of a special booklet aimed at recruiting women students
  • Member of Executive and Planning Committee (1988-93)


  • Member, Appointing Committee for Chair in Structural Engineering and HoD, 1992.
  • Member, Teaching Aids Committee (1984-86)
  • University Representative at British Education Week Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, 1986 and British Education Exhibition, Bangkok, 1987. Also visited numerous universities and colleges in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand on behalf of the University and presented public lecture at British Council, Singapore
  • Member, Northern Consortium Civil Engineering Subject Panel, preparing and monitoring 1st year syllabus to be taught in Malaysia.
  • Member, University/Polytechnic Working Group on the Built Environment (1991-92)
  • Internal examiner for 4 PhDs
  • University Representative at numerous Higher Education and Careers Fairs on behalf of Schools and Colleges Liaison Service


  • Member, Institution of Structural Engineers Special Study Groups on Qualitative Analysis of Structural Behaviour and Use of Models in Design of Structures.
  • Chairman, Board of Governors, King Ecgbert Comprehensive School.


Pro Vice Chancellor Research

  • Member of the Directorate team with overall responsibility for policy development and implementation of the research, enterprise and external funding agendas
  • Line management for three central support offices – Research Office, Commercial Services Office and European & External Funding Office
  • Chair of a number of university committees, including Research and Scholarship, Health and Safety, Artworks and Museum Board
  • Chair of a number of working groups, including Employer Engagement, Crisis Management and Contingency Planning, Wellbeing


1. (P) ‘Analysis of RC buildings subjected to localised damage’, Hobbs, B and Cubison, R S J, Proc. of. American Concrete Institute World Conference on Rehabilitation of Buildings and Bridges, Bombay, India, December 1981, Vol. II, pp 131-136.

2. (S) ‘Allowing for strain-rate sensitivity in impulsively loaded structures’, Hobbs, B, Design for Dynamic Loads, Eds. G S T Armer and F K Garas. Construction Press, London, 1982, pp 234-240.

3. (S) ‘Concrete bridges subjected to impulsive loading from fuel-air explosives’, Hobbs, B, Proc. of Symposium on the Interaction of Non-Nuclear Munitions with Structures, Colorado, May 1983, Vol. 2, pp 139-144.

4. (J) ‘The behaviour of tensar reinforced cement composites under dynamic loads’, Watson, A J, Hobbs, B and Oldroyd, P N, Proc. of Symposium on Polymer Grid Reinforcement in Civil Engineering, Institution of Civil Engineers, London, March 1984.

5. (J) ‘Behaviour of reinforced concrete frames with lightweight concrete blockwork infill panels’, Hobbs, B and Samai, M L, Proc. 3rd International Symposium on Wall Structures, CIB COBPBO, Warsaw, June 1984, Vol. 2, pp 153-160.

6. (P) ‘A comparison of analytical methods for infilled frames’, Hobbs, B and Samai, M L, International Symposium on Earthquakes and Design of Structures, Constantine, Algeria, April 1985, pp 8.

7. (J) ‘Behaviour under explosive loading of concrete reinforced with polymer grids’, Hobbs, B, Watson, A J and Oldroyd, P N, Materials Research Society, Symposium on Cement Based Composites : Strain rate effects on fracture, Boston, Dec. 1985.

8. (P) ‘An assessment of ultrasonic testing for structural masonry’, Hobbs, B and Wright, S J, Proc. British Masonry Society, Vol. 2, April 1988, pp 42-45. (Also presented at 1st International Conference of British Masonry Society, London, December 1986)

9. (P) ‘Ultrasonic testing for fault detection in brickwork and blockwork’, Hobbs, B and Wright, S J, Proc. 3rd Int. Conference on Structural Faults and Repair, London, July 1987, pp 6.

10. (P) ‘Post-tensioned T-section brickwork retaining walls’, Hobbs, B, and Daou, Y, Proc. 8th International Brick/Block Masonry Conference, Dublin, Sept. 1988, paper No. 62, pp 11.

11. (P) ‘Shear behaviour of mortar joints in brickwork subjected to non-uniform compressive stress’, Hobbs, B and Roman, H, ibid, paper No. 63, pp 10.

12. (J) ‘Use of Computer Aided Learning in the teaching of masonry design – A case study’, Hobbs, B, Plank, R J and Westaway, R, ibid, paper No. 155, pp 9.

13. (J) ‘Explosive tests on model concrete bridge elements’, Hobbs, B, Watson, A J, Wright, S J, Proceedings of 4th International Symposium on Interaction of Non-Nuclear Munitions with Structures, Florida, April, 1989, pp 7.

14. (J) ‘Scaling explosive damage to reinforced concrete beams and slabs’, Watson, A J, Hobbs, B, Wright, S J, Proceedings 1st International Conference on Structures Under Shock and Impact, Cambridge, Massachusetts, July, 1989, pp 13.

15. (P) ‘Durability of reinforced concrete beams strengthened by epoxy bonded steel plates’, Hobbs, B, Roberts, M, Jones, R, Swamy, R N, Proceedings of SERC/RMO Research Conference, London, June 1989, pp 95-99.

16. (P) ‘Reinforced concrete beams strengthened by epoxy bonded steel plates’, Hobbs, B, Roberts, M, Jones, R, Swamy, R N, Proceedings of International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering Conference on Durability of Structures, Lisbon, Sept. 1989, pp 6.

17. (J) ‘Bridge strengthening using epoxy bonded steel plates’, Jones, R, Swamy, R N and Hobbs, B, Highways, July 1990, pp 23-25.

18. (J) ‘A PC based program for blast load analysis and damage estimation’, Westaway, R, Watson, A J and Hobbs, B – Proceedings 5th International Symposium on Interaction of Conventional Munitions with Protective Structures, Mannheim, April 1991, pp 197-204.

19. (J) ‘Methods and instrumentation of scale model explosive tests’. Wright, S J, Watson A J, Hobbs, B, Proc I.Struct.E./B.R.E. Conference on Structural Design for Hazardous Loads, Brighton, April 1991, pp 8.

20. (S) ‘Development of a construction quality control procedure using ultrasonic testing’, Hobbs, B – Proc 9th International Brick/Block Masonry Conference, Berlin, Oct. 1991, pp 636-644.

21. (J) ‘Strength and deformation behaviour of brickwork loaded in different orientations’, Daou, Y and Hobbs, B, ibid, pp 157-163.

22. (J) ‘Theoretical analysis of out-of-plane shear stresses in brickwork’, Roman, H R and Hobbs, B, ibid, pp 808-816.

23. (J) ‘Scaled Testing and Analysis of Buildings and Components’. Wright, S.J., Watson, A.J and Hobbs, B. NWC Technical Manual 7126, Naval Weapons Centre, China Lake, California. Dec. 1991, pp. 96. (Material previously presented in reports to the University of Denver and published by the sponsors after refereeing)

24 (J) ‘Analysis of Bridge Testing Results’, Wright, S.J., Hobbs, B and Watson, A.J. NAWC Technical Manual 7245, Naval Air Warfare Centre, China Lake, California. Jan. 1992. pp. 216.*

25 (J) ‘Experimental modelling of explosive blast effects on structural steel cladding’, Watson, A.J., Hobbs, B. and Wright, S.J., Proc. 2nd Intl.Conference on Structures under Shock and Impact, Portsmouth, June, 1992. pp. 571-586.

26. (P) ‘Application of Post-tensioning to Brickwork Retaining Walls’, Hobbs, B and Shafii, F, Proceedings of Asia Pacific Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction, Malaysia, Sept. 1992,
pp. 5.1-5.14.

27 (P) ‘An experimental investigation of post-tensioned brickwork fin walls’, Daou, Y. and Hobbs, B. Proc.Instn. of Civil Engineers, Structures and Buildings, V94, Nov. 1992, pp.429-438.

28 (P) ‘Path length effects in ultrasonic testing of masonry’, Hobbs, B, Vardy, A.E. and Zubair, A.K.M., Proceedings of British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, Special Issue on NDT in Civil Engineering, April 1993.

29 (J) ‘Corrosion performance of steel plated RC beams after long term natural exposure’, Swamy, R.N. and Hobbs, B, American Concrete Institute Special Publication on Structural Strengthening by the Plate Bonding Technique, 1994

30. (J) ‘An analytical approach for walls subjected to static and dynamic out-of-plane point loads’, Hobbs, B, Ting, M, and Gilbert, M. Proc. 10th Int. Brick/Block Masonry Conference, Calgary, July 1994, pp. 329 – 338

31. (J) ‘A proposed basis for assessing the resistance of masonry parapet walls to static and dynamic concentrated lateral loadings’, Gilbert, M, and Hobbs, B. Bridge Assessment Management and Design, ed. Barr, B.I.G. Elsevier, Sept. 1994,
pp. 223- 228

32. (J) ‘Inelastic Design of Infilled Frames’ Saneinejad A, and Hobbs B. Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, Vol.121 No. 4, April 1995, pp. 634 – 650

33. (J) ‘Modelling the response of unreinforced masonry walls to impacts’, Molyneaux, T.C.K. Gilbert, M. and Hobbs, B. Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. on Computer Methods in Structural Masonry, Lisbon, April 1995.

34. (S) ‘Ultrasonic NDE for Assessing the Quality of Structural Brickwork’ Hobbs B. Journal of Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 12, 1995, pp. 75 – 85

35. [P] “Laboratory Impact Testing of Free Standing Masonry Walls”, Gilbert, M. Hobbs B. and Molyneaux T. Masonry International – Journal of the British Masonry Society, Vol. 11 No. 3, Winter 1997/8.pp 71-79.

36. [J] “Load Bearing Brickwork – a cost and time effective solution for the housing problem in Malaysia”, Abu Bakar Z. Othman M. A. and Hobbs B. Proceedings of Institution of Engineers Malaysia Conference – Low and Low-Medium cost housing development, Kuching, Malaysia, July 1998.

37. [P] “Effects of Vehicle Impact Loading on Masonry Arch Parapets”, Hobbs B. Gilbert M. and Molyneaux T. in Arch Bridges, ed. A. Sinopoli, Balkeema ISBN 9058090124, 1998, pp. 281-288.

38. [J] “A dynamic Finite Element modelling approach for masonry structures”, Gilbert M. Molyneaux T. and Hobbs B. Proceedings 5th Intl. Masonry Conference, London, October 1998.pp182-187

39. [P] “Tests on panels of full size bricks at different loading angles”, Pollard S. and Hobbs B. ibid. pp. 69-72

40. [J] “Standardisation of brickwork construction”, Dawood, N. Fanning, A, Hobbs, B., BIBM’99 congress, Ref. 103, Venezia, May, 1999.

41. [P] “An experimental investigation of the strength of brickwork loaded in different directions” Hobbs B. and Pollard S. Jurnal Teknologi Malaysia, Vol 30(B) June 1999, pp. 23 – 36.

42. [J] “Standardisation of brickwork construction: Process Identification”, Dawood, N. N., Hobbs, B. and Fanning, A., ARCOM 99, Liverpool, Sept, 1999, pp 395-404.

43. [J] “Development of an integrated ground modelling system”, McMahon, P., Dawood, N. N. and Hobbs, ARCOM 99, Liverpool, Sept 1999.

44. [J] “Development of IT based ground modelling system for optimising earth works activities”, McMahon, P., Dawood, N. N. and Hobbs, CIVIL-COMP 99,
Sept, Oxford, 1999.

45. [J] “Is VR an effective communication medium for building design?” Calderon, C P, van Schaik, P and Hobbs, B. Proceedings of the Virtual Reality International Conference 2000, Laval, France. May 2000 pp. 46 – 55.

46. [P] “Standardisation of Brickwork Construction : Business Process Re-Engineering for Conventional Brickwork” Fanning, A, Hobbs, B and Dawood, N N. Proceedings of the 12th International Brick Masonry Conference, Madrid, Spain. June 2000 pp. 567 – 576.

47. [J] “VIRCON, the virtual construction site: a decision support system”, Dawood, N. Hobbs, B. Winch, G. and Mahdjoubi: Proceedings CONVR 2000 conference, Middlesbrough, Sept, 2000 pp 17-29

48. [P] “The Potential of VR in Construction: An Overview” B. Hobbs, N. Dawood: CONVR 2000 conference, Middlesbrough, Sept, 2000, pp 11-16

49. [J] “A Critical Review of Decision Support Systems for Construction Project Planning,” L Mahdioubi, G. Winch, A Penn, N Dawood, B Hobbs, CONVR 2000 Conference, Middlesbrough, Sept, 2000, pp 30-36

50. [J] “Stockyard layout planning in the precast products industry: A case study and
proposed framework”, Marasini, R, and Dawood N.N. and B. Hobbs, Construction Management and Economics, v19, 2001, pp 365-377

51. [J] “Transfer of impulsive loading on cladding panels to the fixing assemblies.” Pan YG, Watson AJ, Hobbs B International Journal of Impact Engineering 25, 2001, 949-964.

52. [J] “The performance of unreinforced masonry walls subjected to low-velocity impacts: experiments.” Gilbert M, Hobbs B, Molyneaux TCK. International Journal of Impact Engineering 27, 2002, 231-251.

53. [J] “The performance of unreinforced walls subjected to low-velocity impacts: mechanism analysis” Gilbert M, Hobbs B, Molyneaux TCK. International Journal of Impact Engineering 27, 2002, 253-275.

54. [J] “Developing a Virtual Reality-Based Methodology for People with Dementia: A Feasibility Study.” Flynn D, Van Schaik P, Blackman T, Fencott C, Hobbs B, Calderon C. Cyber Psychology & Behaviour. Volume 6, Number 6, 2003.

55. (S) “Concrete Evidence – forensic engineering investigation of concrete building failures” International Association of Forencsic Sciences Conference, July 2005, Hong Kong


1. [S] “Dynamic Testing” Chapter 5 in “Testing of Ceramics in Construction”, Ed. G Edgell, Whittles Publishing, Scotland, ISBN 1-870325-43-5, 2005


1. (S) ‘Development of a strength-scaled modelling system for reinforced concrete’, Hobbs, B, Institution of Structural Engineers Study Group on Model Analysis as a Design Tool, Newsletter No. 18, 1982, pp 6-7.

2. (P) ‘A feasibility study of the use of non-destructive testing methods for structural masonry’, Hobbs, B and Wright, S J, Proc. of International Workshop on Assessment and Retrofitting of Masonry Structures, Milan, June 1986.

3. (J) ‘Bridge that gap – An introduction to the basic principles of bridge design’, Hobbs, B and Johnson, F A, Designing – Design Council Newspaper for Schools, No. 15, Summer 1987, pp 2-3.

4. (J) ‘Investigation of damage caused to GEC property by the explosion at Perkins Factory, Fletton, Peterborough on 23rd March 1987’. Report PE/2A, Watson, A J, Hobbs, B, Chan A, March 1988, pp 22.

5. (P) ‘Accelerated tests to assess the durability of bonded plate systems’, Hobbs, B, Jones, R, Swamy, R N, Roberts, M. Proceedings of International Seminar on Structural Repairs and Strengthening by the Plate Bonding Technique, University of Sheffield, Sept. 1990.

6. (J) ‘Field exposure tests for durability of plate bonded beams’, Swamy, R N, Hobbs, B, Roberts, M, ibid.

7. (S) ‘Ultrasonic testing of masonry’, Hobbs, B. Invited Lecture to British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, 29th Annual Conference, UMIST, Sept. 1990.

8. (S) ‘Integrated CAL Project Work in Teaching Structural Design’ Hobbs, B. Proceedings Conference on Innovative Teaching in Engineering, Sheffield, Sept. 1991, pp5.

9. (S) ‘Vulnerability analysis of a rail trestle bridge’, Hobbs, B, Report to Denver Research Institute, July 1992, pp.30.

10. (S) ‘Vulnerability analysis of a combined road/rail bridge’, Hobbs, B. Report to Denver Research Institute, July 1993, pp 46.

11. (S) ‘Vulnerability analysis of a continuous steel girder highway bridge’, Report to Denver Research Institute, July 1993, pp36.


1. (J) ‘Use of polymer grids in cement based composites’, Hobbs, B, Jones, R, Oldroyd, P N, Swamy, R N and Watson, A J. Progress Reports 01-09 and Final Report

2. (P) ‘A feasibility study of the use of non-destructive testing methods for structural masonry’, Hobbs, B and Wright, S J, March 1986

3. (P) ‘The durability of reinforced concrete beams strengthened by epoxy bonded steel plates’, Hobbs, B, Swamy, R N, Jones, R, Roberts, M R. Progress Reports, July 1988 & July 1989, and Final Report, Dec. 1989, pp 20.

4. (P) ‘Behaviour of deteriorated plated reinforced concrete beams’, Hobbs, B, Swamy, R N, Roberts, M, Progress Report, July 1990 and Final Report Feb. 1991, pp 19

5. (P) ‘Ultrasonic testing of structural masonry’, Hobbs, B and Vardy, A E, Progress Reports July 1990 and July 1991, and Final Report July 1992, pp.13.

6. (J) ‘Cladding Fixing Assemblies under Blast Loading’, Watson, A J, Hobbs B, and Pan Y. Final Report, Dec 1996

7. (P) ‘Impact Resistance of Masonry Walls’, Hobbs B, Molyneaux T C K, Watson A J, Melbourne C, and Gilbert M. Final Report Jan. 1997

8. [P] ‘Standardisation in Brickwork Construction’, Hobbs B and Dawood N, Final Report June 2001


1. (S) ‘Some effects of structural damage on simply supported reinforced concrete bridges’, Research Report SUS4 Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, January 1973,
pp 44.

2. (S) ‘Some effects of structural damage on continuous reinforced concrete bridges’, Research Report SUS6, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, November 1973, pp 62.

3. (S) ‘Some effects of structural damage on prestressed concrete bridges’, Research Report SUS9, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, June, 1974 pp 40.

4. (S) ‘A supplementary report on concrete bridges’, Research Report SUS12, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, August 1974, pp 46.

5. (J) ‘Behaviour of bridges under dynamic overload’, Research Report No. SUS14, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, August 1974, pp 57 (in conjunction with Professor B Rawlings and J H Joiner)

6. (S) ‘A survey of bridge piers and abutments’, Research Report No. SUS15, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, December 1974, pp 43.

7. (S) ‘An investigation of the effects of explosives on reinforced concrete beams’, Research Report No. SUS16, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, July 1975, pp 63.

8. (S) ‘A preliminary investigation of the response of bridge decks to impulsive loading’, Research Report No. SUS17, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, August 1975, pp 29.

9. (P) ‘Effects of damage on the strength and stability of structures’, Research Report EDS3, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield, May 1979, pp 73 (in conjunction with R S J Cubison)


1. (J) ‘Design of masonry diaphragm walls’. Development of a CAL package funded by The Design Council, Hobbs, B, Plank, R J and Westaway, R, May 1987.


  • Member of HEFCW Research, Innovation and Engagement Committee
  • Member, HEW PVC Research Advisory Board (Chair from June 2009)
  • Academic Chair, Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance Project
  • Co – Chair, Dealing with Disasters International Conference Series
  • Member of Training and Exercise Group, Wales Resilience Forum


Research Areas

Behaviour of structures subjected to dynamic loading and prediction of the resulting structural damage.

This work attracted a considerable amount of external funding (£41,000 from MoD and $600,000 from Denver Research Institute, USA) for work on vulnerability of bridges and building structure to damage and was generally carried out in conjunction with Dr A J Watson of The University of Sheffield. Subsequent work in this area is concerned with the development of analytical procedures to predict the vulnerability of building structures and cladding systems to blast loading. Two EPSRC grants have been completed.

Recent work has focussed on the resistance of masonry bridge parapets to accidental car impact loading. A grant of £180k was received from an investigation of the response of masonry walls to impact loading. The project was completed in November 1996. The work involved involve extensive collaboration with the Universities of Liverpool, Salford and Sheffield. A further EPSRC grant of £140k was awarded in 1999 to Teesside University for work on improving the impact resistance of masonry walls. This work has been completed successfully and has attracted national press attention and is featured in the UUK “EUREKA” report on the 100 most significant research projects in the last 50 years.

ii. Development of high strength brickwork, its application in prestressed structures and suitable quality control procedures.

This work has developed from links with the Marshalls Group, manufacturers of building components specialising in the production of high strength engineering bricks. They have supported the work by supplying large quantities of materials free of charge and the quality control testing aspect of the work has attracted two SERC grants. Work on ultrasonic testing was in collaboration with Dundee University. Work concerned with shear strength of prestressed brickwork has resulted in a link being established with The University of Technology in Malaysia.

iii. Durability, assessment, repair and strengthening of structures.

Co-ordination and joint supervision, with Dr R N Swamy of The University of Sheffield, of two SERC research grants awarded for work on strengthening using epoxy bonded plates. A long term durability study is currently in progress. A PhD student completed a project on the repair of damaged reinforced concrete beams. Current work is concerned with assessment methods in the context of the Forensic Investigation of Building Failures.

iv. Visualisation and 3-D modelling as an aid to design and planning of construction projects

This work has been developed since moving to Teesside and is being conducted in collaboration with Professor N. Dawood and Dr. D. Simpson in Computing and Mathematics, working in association with the Virtual Reality Centre. Initial funding included £15,000 from Taylor Woodrow, £10,000 from ERDF and £360,000 from the HEFCE equipment initiative. An EPSRC grant of £90k was awarded in 2000 for a collaborative project with University College London and Wolverhampton University. A further EPSRC grant of £55k to establish a research network on VR Applications to Construction was awarded in 2001.

v. Brickwork building construction processes.

An EPSRC/DETR grant of £90k was awarded in 1998 to investigate the potential for standardisation in conventional and pre-assembled brickwork. A complementary project concerned with appropriate and cost-effective construction processes for low cost housing in S.E. Asia is being carried out by a Professional Doctorate student based in Kuala Lumpur and funded by a Malaysian construction company. Further associated work with the University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, has just been initiated through a £10k grant from the Brazil Government.

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