We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (ECS)


Dr Will Coombs, MEng PhD

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42516
Room number: E213 Christopherson building

(email at


Will Coombs is a Senior 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. 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. 


Will currently teaches in the following areas: finite-element method, non-linear computational mechanics and contact mechanics. In the past he has also taught courses on plasticity for metal forming, structural analysis, land surveying and Critical State soil mechanics as well as coursework in the areas of finite-element analysis, plasticity, contact and geometric non-linearity. 

Research Groups

School of Engineering and Computing Sciences Mechanics research group.

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 Paper

Conference Proceeding

Doctoral Thesis

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article


Show all publications

Related Links

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Engineering:
  • Mechanics:

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
  • 2015: Screw piles for wind energy foundation systems (CI), EPSRC EP/N006054/1
  • 2014: Seabed ploughing: modelling for infrastructure installation (CI), EPSRC EP/M000397/1