Fracture by design of confined architected materials

This research project aims to address pressing fundamental challenges in structural bonding and thereby propose innovative solutions to foster sustainable practices in construction and infrastructure, renewable energy sector, and automotive industry, etc. By harnessing the concept of Mechanical Metamaterials within the adhesive bonding framework, the primary goal is to develop optimised confined architected materials that replace traditional bulk adhesive. The project will span multiple length scales, from the material level to the structural component level, and investigate the following key aspects:


1-Influence of Metamaterial Scaling on Bondline Fracture Toughness: This aspect seeks to determine the predictable effects of Metamaterial scaling properties on bondline fracture toughness. By analysing the relationship between material architecture and the ability to withstand damage, the project aims to enhance our understanding of the size effects on the structural performance.


2-Effect of Architected Bondlines on Failure Features and Load Transfer: Through comprehensive analysis, the project will investigate how the introduction of architected bondlines affects failure features, ranging from geometrical aspects to material failure modes. Additionally, the influence of architected bondlines on load transfer mechanisms will be explores, with the aim to optimise load distribution and enhance structural resilience.


3-Functionalization of Metamaterial for Failure Prevention and Material Repurposing: This aspect of the project will explore various methodologies and techniques to functionalise adhesives. The objective is to prevent failure incidents and enable the repurposing of materials, thereby improving sustainability within the structural bonding domain. By unlocking the potential of metamaterials in bondline design, we aim to extend their functionality for enhanced durability and reduced environmental impact.


Methods: To deliver the project, the research will involve both experimental investigations and computational modelling. Samples of different scales will be constructed with the aid of various rapid prototyping methods. These will be subjected to controlled tests to evaluate the fracture toughness of the architected bondlines. Additionally, failure analysis techniques will be employed to assess the effect of architected bondlines on failure modes and load transfer mechanisms. This analysis will involve developing understanding in the following areas:


•Micromechanics and homogenisation of architected materials

•Stability theory is employed to establish failure criterium

•Fracture mechanics and Phase-field theory are used to understand crack propagation phenomena

Further Information: 

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 



Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) iin Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or Applied Mathematics, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home students

Informal Enquiries: