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Emilio Martínez-Pañeda FIMMM MEng MSc PhD

Associate Professor of Engineering Science

Fellow of Harris Manchester College

COLLEGE: Harris Manchester College


Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda joined the University of Oxford in September 2023 as Associate Professor in Engineering Science. Prior to this, he was a Reader (Associate Professor) at Imperial College London, where he led an interdisciplinary research group from 2019 to 2023 (2019: Lecturer, 2021: Senior Lecturer, 2023: Reader). Before joining Imperial, he was an 1851 Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and a Junior Research Fellow at Cambridge’s Wolfson College. Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda’s research spans a wide range of challenges lying at the interface between mechanics and other disciplines, such as materials science, geology, chemistry, biology, and structural engineering. He combines experiments, theory and computer simulations to develop mechanistic models that can reliably capture material deformation and fracture.

His recent focus has been on addressing fundamental scientific challenges that can accelerate our transition to a net-zero carbon society and assist in tackling our energy and climate crises. Examples include (i) understanding metal-hydrogen interactions to safely deploy hydrogen energy infrastructure, (ii) developing mechanistic corrosion-fatigue models to extend the service life of offshore wind turbines, (iii) designing new microstructures to enhance Li-Ion battery durability and performance, and (iv) developing physically-based models for predicting iceberg calving and improve sea-level rise projections. These efforts have been supported by various funding schemes such as such as the ERC Starting Grant programme, the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship programme, the EPSRC New Investigator Award, and Innovate UK; Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda has been the PI on over £5M of funding in the past five years (+£22M as co-I).

Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda’s research has been recognised with several awards including the 2021 UK Young Engineer of the Year (Royal Academy of Engineering), the 2022 Imperial College President’s Medal for Excellence in Research (Early Career), the 2021 Gustavo Colonnetti Medal (RILEM), the 2020 IMechE Prestige Award, the 2020 Simo Prize (SEMNI), and the 2023 Young Investigator Medal by Spain’s Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2021, he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM).

Personal website
Group website

Awards & Prizes

  • 2023 – ERC Starting Grant 
  • 2023 - Young Investigator Medal. Spain’s Royal Academy of Engineering 
  • 2022 - President’s Medal for Excellence in Research (Early Career). Imperial College
  • 2021 - Young Engineer of the Year. Royal Academy of Engineering 
  • 2021 - UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship 
  • 2021 - EPSRC New Investigator Award 
  • 2021 - Gustavo Colonnetti Medal. RILEM 
  • 2020 - IMechE Prestige Award for Risk Reduction in Mechanical Engineering. Institution of Mechanical Engineers 
  • 2020 - Simo Prize. Spanish Society for Numerical Methods in Engineering (SEMNI) 
  • 2019 - Keith Miller Prize. UK Forum for Engineering Structural Integrity (FESI) 
  • 2018 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (Standard EF), EU H2020 [Declined] 
  • 2018 - 1851 Research Fellowship (Brunel Award), Royal Commission for the 1851 Exhibition 
  • 2018 - Junior Research Fellowship, Wolfson College Cambridge. 
  • 2017 - Extraordinary Doctoral Prize & Best PhD Thesis in Engineering. University of Oviedo (ranked 1st out of 99 Theses) 
  • 2017 - Acta Materialia Student Award
  • 2017 - Springer PhD Thesis Prize 
  • 2016 - H.C. Orsted Fellowship. Technical University of Denmark - Marie Curie Actions (EU FP7) 
  • 2013 - University of Oviedo Pre-doctoral Fellowship DPhil 

Research Interests

Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda’s research focuses on understanding, predicting and optimising the mechanical response of materials. He combines experiments, theoretical analysis and computer simulations to develop mechanistic models that can reliably capture material deformation and fracture. Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda’s research is problem-driven and thus both basic and applied in nature; he enjoys addressing fundamental scientific conundrums that have important implications for technology development and engineering practice. His recent focus has been on tackling challenges related to our energy and sustainability crises; examples include:

  • Understanding hydrogen embrittlement and other hydrogen-metal interactions
  • Li-Ion battery degradation, including interfacial phenomena in all-solid-state batteries 
  • Constitutive material modelling across scales, from dislocation-based plasticity to the micromechanics of rock materials 
  • Predicting material-environment interactions, including corrosion, oxidation and other coupled phenomena
  • Mechanistic ice-sheet fracture model to understand iceberg calving and improve sea-level rise projections 
  • Integrity and durability of structures and materials 
  • Computational mechanics, including phase field and coupled problems (multi-physics modelling)

Please see Prof Emilio Martínez-Pañeda’s research group website, the Mechanics of Materials Lab, for more information and opportunities to join these research endeavours as a summer undergraduate intern, final year project student, PhD student or postdoctoral researcher.

Current Projects

  • Turning defects into allies to develop intrinsic resistance to hydrogen-induced fractures (ResistHfracture). ERC Starting Grant. 2024 – Present
  • Reliable Corrosion Fatigue Predictions Using Physically-based Models (CF-Predict). EPSRC Supergen ORE Hub. 2024 – Present
  • New Phase Field Models for Unravelling Multi-Physics Material Degradation Challenges (NEWPHASE). UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. 2021 – Present.
  • Virtual Testing of hydrogen-sensitive components. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). 2022 – Present
  • Simulation-based assessment of the interplay between hydrogen, defects and plastic straining (SimHdefect). Shell. 2022 – Present.
  • The HIgh Silicon content anOdes for a solid state batteRY Project (HISTORY). Innovate UK. 2022 – Present
  • Next Generation Electro-Chemo-Mechanical Models for Hydrogen Embrittlement (NextGEM). EPSRC New Investigator Award. 2021 – Present
  • A Virtual Platform to Assess the Integrity of Hydrogen-Containing Components (VIRTUALH). TENARIS. 2022 – Present.
  • Nanovoids for Developing New Hydrogen-resistant Materials (NanoHMAT). EPSRC New Horizons. 2021 – Present.
  • SINDRI: Synergistic utilisation of INformatics and Data centRic Integrity engineering. EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships. 2021 – 2025

Finished research projects

  • UnderstandH. Royce Materials Challenge Accelerator Programme. 2022-2023
  • MICROROCK. Royal Commission for the 1851 Exhibition. 2019-2021


Google Scholar

DPhil Opportunities

Opportunities There are multiple PhD projects available within the group. Motivated students are encouraged to get in touch via e-mail.