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Martin Williams Professor, Engineering Science


Martin Williams FIStructE CEng FICE PhD MA BSc

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)

Professor, Engineering Science

David Clarke Fellow, New College


Professor Martin Williams was awarded BSc and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering at Bristol University in the 1980s, worked in industry as a structural designer for a few years, and then joined the Oxford Engineering Science Department in 1989. He was made a Professor in 2008. His research is on the dynamic behaviour of structures, due to diverse loadcases including earthquake, wind and human footfall.

Having undertaken various leadership roles over his career, Martin is currently serving as the University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education.

Research Interests

Martin's research aims to improve the resilience of structures to dynamic loads, which have the potential cause large, resonant structural responses. These may be extreme, rare events such as earthquakes or exceptional winds, with the potential to cause catastrophic failure, or everyday loads caused by building occupants, which can give rise to serviceability problems. His group uses a mix of experimental and analytical methods, and is particularly noted for work they have done to develop more accurate response predictions by fusing the two approaches into a method known as hybrid simulation.

Current Projects

• Dissipative design: Improving the seismic resistance of structures using novel energy dissipators
• Hybrid simulation: Developing realistic laboratory test methods for simulating earthquake loading of large structures
• Ancient monuments: Structural appraisal and development of earthquake protection strategies for historic monuments, particularly those of ancient Rome
• Human-structure interaction: Estimating and mitigating pedestrian-induced vibrations of footbridges and stadium structures
• Condition monitoring: Automated condition monitoring of structures using vibration measurements

DPhil Opportunities

Given my other commitments, I am currently only able to act as co-supervisor of DPhil students alongside other structures academics.