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School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (ECS)

Profile

Dr Will Coombs, MEng PhD

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42516
Room number: E328 (Floor 3.5 Christopherson)

(email at w.m.coombs@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Will Coombs is a Lecturer in the Mechanics Research Group in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (SECS). He graduated in Civil Engineering with a first class MEng honors degree from Durham University in 2008. During vacation periods throughout this degree, he worked for Capita Symonds (previously Symonds Group), a multidisciplinary engineering consultancy company. Following his undergraduate studies, Will began a PhD at Durham University within the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. He successfully completed in 2011. The research conducted during this time concentrated on the theoretical development and numerical implementation of finite deformation constitutive models for pressure-sensitive particulate geomaterials.

Will's research remains in the area of computational mechanics, focused on: (i) material (or constitutive) models for geomaterials, (ii) finite-deformation mechanics, (iii) non-linear finite-elements, (iv) non-mesh-based numerical methods and, more recently, (v) fracture. He has an established track record of publishing high quality journal papers, mainly targeting the top journal in the computational mechanics area (Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering). 

In more detail, Will's primary research interest surrounds inelastic constitutive modelling of geomaterials subjected to finite deformations. Included within this is the theoretical development and numerical implementation of a range of material constitutive models, from simple, rapid and robust isotropic models to complex anisotropic material behaviour frameworks. In addition he has developed a series of cutting-edge, compact and freely available finite-element scripts. His research continues on the development on constitutive models for a variety of engineering materials, including complex particulate behaviour. One aim in this area is relating the observed material behaviour to tangible and measurable material properties and fabric constituents whilst respecting the fundamental laws of thermodynamics. 

In the last year Will has attracted £478k of UK Research Council (RCUK) funding, £188k of which as the sole investigating PI, winning an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Bright IDEAS Award. Will is currently a co-investigator on the EPSRC funded seabed ploughs project. Since becoming a lecturer at Durham University he has also secured £90k of industrial funding, in addition to some smaller RCUK grants. Will is active in attracting and supervising research students and has seen three students through to completion. Will currently manages three PhD students as primary supervisor and has several other available projects.

Research Groups

  • Mechanics Research Group

Research Interests

  • Elasto-plasticity
  • Finite deformation mechanics
  • Finite-elements
  • Fracture prediction
  • Geomaterials
  • Hyperplasticity
  • Material point method
  • Stress integration

Selected Publications

Conference papers

  • Charlton, T J, Coombs, W M & Augarde, C E (2014), A review of the Material Point Method and its links to other computational methods, in Javadi, A & Hussain, M S eds, 22nd UK National Conference of the Associated for Computational Mechanics in Engineering. Exeter, England.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Geomechanics from Micro to Macro (2014), Fabric anisotropy & DEM informed two-surface hyperplasticity: constitutive formulation, asymptotic states & experimental validation, in Soga, K., Kumar, K., Biscontin, G. & Kuo, M. eds, TC105 ISSMGE international symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro. Cambridge, UK, CRC Press, 777-782.
  • Coombs, W.M. (2014), UNIQUE CRITICAL STATE SINGLE-SURFACE ANISOTROPIC HYPERPLASTICITY, in E. Onate D.R.J. Owen, D. Peric & B. Suarez eds, XII International Conference on Computational Plasticity. Fundamentals and Applications (COMPLAS XII). Barcelona, Spain.
  • Ullah, Z., Augarde, C.E. & Coombs, W.M (2013), Three-dimensional FE-EFGM adaptive coupling and its applications in the nonlinear adaptive analysis, in Osman, A., Akkerman, I., Augarde, C., Coombs, W., Crouch, R., Koziara, T & Trevelyan, J eds, CM13. Durham, UK, School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, Durham University.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Heaney, C.E. (2012), Plane-strain Mohr-Coulomb inelasticity, in Yang, Z.J. eds, 20th UK National Conference of the Association for Computational Mechanics in Engineering (ACME). Manchester, UK, 259-262.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Augarde, C.E. (2011), On the f fields of inadmissible stress space, in Oñate, E, Owen, DRJ, Peric, D & Suárez, B eds, Computational Plasticity XI: Fundamentals and Applications (COMPLAS XI). Barcelona, Spain, International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE).
  • Coombs, W.M. & Crouch, R.S. (2011), Reuleaux plasticity: improving Mohr-Coulomb and Drucker-Prager, in Barends, F.B.J. Breedeveld, J., Brinkgreve, R.B.J., Korff, M. & van Paassen, L.A. eds, Geotechnical Engineering: New Horizons. Proceedings of the 21st European Young Geotechnical Engineers' Conference. Rotterdam, the Netherlands, IOS Press, 241-247.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Augarde, C.E. (2011), Unique Critical State Hyperplasticity, in Laghrouche, O., EL Kacimi, A. Woodward, P. & Medero, G. eds, 19th UK National Conference of the Association for Computational Mechanics in Engineering (ACME). Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, 49-52.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Augarde, C.E. (2010), 70-line 3D finite deformation elastoplastic finite-element code, in Benz, T. & Nordal, S. eds, 7th European Conference on Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering (NUMGE). Trondheim, Norway, Taylor & Francis Group, London, 151-156.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Augarde, C.E. (2010), On the use of Reuleaux plasticity for geometric non-linear analysis, in Zervos, A. eds, 18th UK Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACME). Southampton, England, 113-116.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Augarde, C.E. (2009), Influence of Lode Angle Dependency on the Critical State for Rotational Plasticity, in Oñate, E., Owen, D.R.J. & Suárez, B. eds, Computational Plasticity X: Fundamentals and Applications (COMPLAS X). Barcelona, Spain.
  • Coombs, W.M., Crouch, R.S. & Augarde, C.E. (2009), On the necessity for rotational yielding in anisotropic plasticity, in Sansour, C. eds, 17th UK Conference on Computational Mechanics (ACME). Nottingham, England, 345-348.

Journal papers: academic

Theses: PhD

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Media Contacts

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Selected Grants

  • 2015: Resilient rail infrastructure: dissipation driven fracture analysis of concrete support systems (£188326.00 from Epsrc)
  • 2015: Resilient rail infrastructure: dissipation driven fracture analysis of concrete support systems (PI), EPSRC EP/M017494/1
  • 2014: Seabed ploughing: modelling for infrastructure installation (CI), EPSRC EP/M000397/1

Supervises