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Durham University

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Professor John Brigham, BE MS PhD

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John Brigham received a BE in civil engineering and mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 2003, and a MS and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Cornell University in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Following his PhD he joined the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor, and was later promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Bioengineering. John joined the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Durham University as an Associate Professor in Applied Mechanics in 2016 and was promoted to a Chair in the Department in 2019.


John’s research is focused on fundamental concepts in mechanics and computation, which span a broad range of applications, from assessing service life of civil, marine, or aircraft structures to diagnosing physiological changes in biological structures. His particular interests include developing accurate and efficient computational methods for the representation of multiphysics and multiscale systems, solution strategies for inverse problems associated with non-destructive and non-invasive testing, and numerical modelling of biological systems.

Focusing on computational mechanics and inverse problems, John’s research group, the Computational Diagnostics and Inverse Mechanics Group, is actively involved in a number of diverse projects, including kinematic analysis of the heart for improved diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, novel design concepts and optimal design strategies for smart material morphing structures, and efficient and accurate quantitative nondestructive evaluation algorithms.

Research Groups

Department of Engineering

Research Interests

  • Biomechanics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Inverse Problems
  • Multi-physics Modelling
  • Non-destructive Evaluation
  • PDE-Constrained Optimisation
  • Reduced-Order Modelling
  • Shape Analysis

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2015: Professor of the Year, Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers:
  • 2013: Best Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor, University of Pittsburgh Chi Epsilon Chapter:
  • 2012: J. Tinsley Oden Faculty Fellowship, Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, UT Austin:
  • Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers Elasticity Committee:

Selected Publications

Journal Article

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