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Professor J. Toby Mottram, BSc(Durham), PhD(Durham), DSc(Warwick), CEng, FIStructE

Web Links
Warwick Publications service & WRAP (Direct access to the green versions of my journal publications)
Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) (Research Group within the School of Engineering)

  • BSc (Engineering Science) University of Durham, 1979
  • PhD University of Durham, 1984
  • DSc University of Warwick, 2007

Professional Affiliations 
External interests

Research Interests: for Modern Methods of Construction using Low Impact Materials Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites for modern methods of construction  
  • Structural characterisation of lightweight systems for achieving sustainable construction.
  • Structural engineering towards developing member shapes and methods of connection for traditional and innovative construction.
  • Physical testing, design and analysis of members, connections and joints, and sub-assemblies for load bearing systems of pultruded FRP shapes and systems.
  • Structural integrity and durability of materials and structures.
  • Test methods for characterisation of FRP materials and their structures.
  • Preparation of prescriptive and performance based design rules and procedures for industry-wide standards and codes of practice.
  • Application of finite element analysis and other computational methods to understand static, buckling, dynamic and progressive fracture in FRP structures.
  • Development of novel structural systems combining concrete with FRP material.

PhD Supervision and New Research Students

My research interests are in structural engineering and with shapes and systems of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) materials. The content of this personal web page shall give you an insight to the types of projects that I've supervised since 2000. Most of our research outcomes are directed towards providing quality technical information and understanding that can be used to prepare guidance for the reliable and safe design of primary load bearing structures of FRP in civil engineering works.

If you want to apply for to study for a PhD with the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) researh group follow the instruction at the link Research Degrees in the School of Engineering at Warwick University.

  • IStructE 2011 Service Award: 'For your much valued and extensive support to the Midland Counties Branch over a period of many years'.
External Appointments
  • Member of IStructE Council 2015-2017 and IStructE Research Panel 2015-2016
  • Member of IStructE Midland Counties Regional Group Committee (Sessions 1995 to date)
  • Member of the Editorial Board to Structures the research journal of The Institution of Structural Engineers  
  • Member of EPSRC Peer Review College (2000-)
  • Academic member of Composites UK and the Construction Sector Group
  • BSi (Technical Committee BS/525 Building and Civil Engineering Structures) nominated UK member to CEN/TC 250 (Structual Eurocode) Working Group 4 for Fiber Reinforced Polymer Structures (2009-)
  • Affiliated member of ASCE Fiber Composites and Polymers Standards Committee preparing standard Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) of Pultruded Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Structures (Jan 2011-).
  • Member of EditorialBoard for the Structures, journal with the Institution of Structural Engineers (2014-)
  • Member of International Editorial Board for the Journal of Composites in Construction (1997-2013)
  • Member of EPSRC Network LIMESNET (Network for Low Impact Materials and Innovative Engineering Solutions for Ground and Structural Engineering) (2011-2012)
  • Past Chairman to IStructE Midland Counties Branch (Session 2010)
  • Past member of IStructE Journal Editorial Board for The Structural Engineer (Sessions 2005-2011)
 Teaching Interests  
  • Discipline Stream Leader for Civil Engineering in School of Engineering (from 01/06/11)
  • Former Director of MSc Programme (School of Engineering - 01/08/08 to 01/09/10)

Current and Recent Research Fellows
  • Dr Xiaojun Wei, Characterising dynamic performance of fibre reinforced polymer structures for resilience and sustainability, Oct 2016-Sept 2019 (EPSRC funded project)
  • Dr Justin Russell, Characterising dynamic performance of fibre reinforced polymer structures for resilience and sustainability, Oct 2016-Sept 2019 (EPSRC funded project)
  • Dr Behrouz Zafari, 'Providing Confidence in Composite Materials: DURACOMP', 2014-Feb 2016 (EPSRC funded project). Now Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Kingston University
  • Dr Behrouz Zafari, 'Aspects of Bolted Connections for Fibre Reinforced Polymer Structures,' Apr 2013-Mar 2014 (EPSRC funded project).
  • Dr Jawed Qureshi, 'Aspects of Bolted Connections for Fibre Reinforced Polymer Structures,' Dec 2010- May 2013 (EPSRC funded project). Now Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering and Design in the School of Architecture Computing and Engineering (ACE), at University of East London
Current and Graduated Higher Degree Students 
  • A Gand, 'Closed Shapes of Pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymer Materials,' Surpvising with Dr Tak-Ming Chan (now Hong Kong Polytechnic, Department of Civil nd Environmental Engineering), PT PhD 2013-18.
  • T. N. Tien, 'Lateral-torsional Buckling Resistance of Pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymer Shapes,' PhD thesis, May 2014. Co-supervisor with Tak-Ming Chan (First) and funded jointly by Vitnamese Government Scholarship and School of Engineering.
  • N. Matharu, 'Aspects of Bolted Connections for Fibre Reinforced Polymer Structures,' PhD Thesis, September 2014. (EPSRC funded project).
  • B. Zafari, "Startlink Building System and Connections for Fibre Reinforced Polymer Structures," PhD thesis, 2013 (TSB funded project on Startlink Lightweight Building System).
  • K. Butcher, "FEA based Fatigue Life Assessment of an Aircraft Wheel's Locking System," PhD thesis 2011. (Confidential, industry-based project)
  • M. Hazel, "Aircraft Brake Condition Monitoring: A Novel Approach in Determining the Remaining Life of Carbon-Carbon Composite Heat-packs In-service," EngD thesis, 2008. (Confidential industry-based project)
  • I. T. Pearson, "A Method for the Inclusion of Adhesively Bonded Joints in the Finite Element Analysis of Automobile Structures," PhD thesis, 2006.
  • A. Elnur Abbaker, “Behaviour of lightweight framing systems”. PhD thesis, 2006.
  • M. C. Evernden, “Structural evaluation of a novel box beam system of PFRP shapes”. PhD thesis, 2006.
  • C. Lutz, “Structural integrity of bolted joints for PFRP profiles." PhD thesis, 2005.
  • W. Hall, “Finite modelling and simulation for a smart tyre”, PhD thesis, 2003. (Joint supervisor with Dr R. P. Jones)

Current and Recent Grants 
  • Characterising dynamic performance of fibre reinforced polymer structures for resilience and sustainability, Warwick academic team is Stana Zivanovic (PI) and Toby Mottram (Co-I). EP/M21505/1 from 01/10/2015 to 30/09/2018 (36 months) £721k, with industrial and university support from

    Larkfleet Homes, Network Rail, Optima Projects Ltd., Sinclair Knight Merz(Europe) Ltd. (Jacobs), Swiss Federal Laboratories of Material Science and Technology EMPA, The University Iuav (Venice), and University of Exeter.

  • Providing Confidence in Durable Composites (DURACOMP), (EPSRC project web pages) Multi-university project funded by the 2012 Ground and Structural Engineering Call. Project Team is Toby Mottram (PI), Mark Evernden (Bath), Wendel Sebastian (Bristol), Chris Pearce & Lukasz Kaczmarczyk (Glasgow), Phil Purnell (Leeds) and Peter Gosling & Chris Kilsby (Newcastle). EP/K026925/1 from 01/05/2013 to 04/08/2016. £1.4m, with industrial support from Aquamarine Power Ltd., Formax UK Ltd., Highways Agency and Parsons Brinckerhoff.SUMMARY: Composite materials are at the heart of a fundamental evolution in aerospace and automotive design, offering light-weight responses to the low-carbon agenda. The transformative potential of composites for infrastructure – driven by their extraordinary strength- and stiffness-to-weight ratios – is as an enabling technology in three arenas key to the installation of a resilient, adaptable, low-carbon UK infrastructure: development of advanced low-carbon generation capacity (e.g. wind, wave or tidal turbines); adaptation of existing structural components for amended or extended service (e.g. bridge repair); and realisation of radical structural forms (e.g. load-bearing shells). The main hurdle that composites must overcome is concern over their durability in a 50+ year infrastructure environment. The DURACOMP project will address this by leapfrogging the conservative assumptions used in aerospace and automotive design and developing a stochastic modelling framework specifically for infrastructure composites. This will involve a three-pronged, approach based on: physical testing of structural connections and joints, and materials; computational modelling of multi-scale structures; and probability analysis of properties, loads and environmental (climate change) factors. The multi-university DURACOMP team will deliver the basis of a new paradigm for specification of composite solutions in Ground and Structural Engineering, driven by the need to prepare the UK’s infrastructure for an uncertain future.

  • Collaborating with Dr. Ana M. Girão Coelho, now Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering and GeoSciences at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Ana was a Marie Curie European Intra-Fellow at Warwick University from 08/2013 to 31/07/15, working on the project PFRPStruJoin - Structural Joints for Building Frames of Pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymers. Aim of PFRPStruJoin was to conduct advanced and relevant research for the preparation of scientifically founded design rules for mechanically fastened joints in building frames of pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials. By using Adavanced computational analysis (Abaqus) she simulated the initiation and grow of key distinct modes of failure that determine the structural response in bolted joints.
  • Connections and Joints for Buildings and Bridges of Fibre Reinforced Polymer, Toby Mottram (PI), Standard Research, EP/H042628/1, EPSRC, 01/10/2010 for 42 months, £522k, with industrial support from Mott MacDonald Bridge Engineering Group and Access Design and Engineering (fabricators).
  • Standard for Load Resistance Factor design (LRFD) of Pultruded Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Structures, Toby. Mottram (PI), Sub-agreement with University of Wisconsin-Madison, 01/01/2008 for 33 month, $60k (to Warwick), from total of $1.3m from the American Composites Manufacturers Association. Pre-standard complete in November 2010.

  • Startlink Lightweight Building System, Toby Mottram (local PI) with EXEL Composites (project PI), and six industrial partners (Startlink Ltd., John Hutchinson Architect, Larkfleet Homes, OCS Plastics, Optima Projects Ltd. and Costain), Technology Strategy Board (Low Impact Building Competition of Summer 2008), 01/01/2009 for 36 months, £80k from total funding of £1.3m.

Publications co-authored by Toby Mottram

List of publications since 1984.

Commenatary to DSc thesis that delevlops my research in context of its contribution to engineering knowledge and scientific understanding.

Literature database on R&D with Pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymer shapes and systems (Updated on the first of the month)
Towards 2500 entries and 176 pages. Link to database (details of publications not in the database are always welcomed: e-mail them to

Connections and Joints for Buildings and Bridges of Fibre Reinforced Polymer

Toby Mottam was the PI of a programme of research work (2010-14) with two Research Fellows (Dr Jawed Qureshi & Dr Behrouz Zafari) and PhD graduate (Dr Navroop Matharu). Publications from this project are continuing to be published and written.The objectives of this EPSRC project had been to:

  • to develop a test methodology for the determination of pin-bearing strength, and to characterise this key strength property required for the design of bolted connections with FRP shapes.
  • to complete a series of plate-to-plate tests that characterise the resistance of bolted connections of pultruded material, having details that correspond to practice, and which, by addressing current knowledge gaps, identified by the PI from drafting a ASCE ‘code of practice’, shall lead the research team to propose new or improved design guidance that is required for a structural Eurocode and that will reduce the risk of failure.
  • to conduct and evaluate a programme of new tests on sub-assembly specimens to characterise bolted connections for bracing members and frame connections for simple construction, for both serviceability (static and fatigue) and ultimate limit states, so that we can understand their structural limitations for code writing.
  • to develop and characterise a new mechanical fastener that shall give slip (and fatigue) resistant connections and can be used with FRP shapes to fabricate larger built-up members than present and, with appropriate connection components, could allow joint details to provide stiffness and strength properties for bridge engineering.
  • to use a critical evaluation of the targeted test results to either revise or modify current design provisions so that the risk of structural failure is minimised as we strive for minimum weight structures for sustainable construction.

Startlink Lightweight Building System (for low cost housing) (Project ended July 2012 and the first house was executed on land with Larkfleet Homes at Bourne, Lincolnshire.)

Toby Mottam was the PI of a programme of work with PhD graduate Dr Behrouz Zafari) for the £1.3m project "Startlink lightweight building system", sponsored by the UK Government (Technology Strategy Board) and industrial partners, including Exel Composites, OCS Structural Plastics, Larkfleet House and Costain. The consortium has developed an energy-efficient, low-cost housing by developing a family of lightweight pultruded fibre reinforced polymer with integrated off-site assembly techniques. Using thin or core-filled profiles to reduce material cost, the consortium has engineered a system without th need for conventional house building components. In June 2012 the consortium built a two-storey, three-bed, low-cost house that automatically meets Passivhaus standards. Designed for buildability and adaptability, the Startlink system will avoid all site waste and require no skilled labour, concrete or wet trades. Water saving measures and flood resistance is integrated into the building design.

Standard for Load Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) of Pultruded Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Structures (prestandard finalised November 2010)

Prestandard with ASCE Fiber Composites and Fibers Standards Committee to pass though an ANSI standards process before being adopted as a national standard in December 2013. Professor Mottram is an affiliated member of the committee and leads the transformation of Chapter 8 for the design of bolted connections from the pre-standard to the balloted standard.The team of Professor Larry Bank (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Professor Russell Gentry (Georgia Institute of Technology), Professor Carol Sheild (University of Minnesota) and myself have completed two chapters on "Design for Members in Flexure and Shear" and "Design of Bolted Connections" for a new America Society of Civil Engineers standard. I led the task for the a chapter to design bolted connections. Three year project had $1.4m of funding from the Amercian Composites Manufacturers Association.'Rationale for Simplifying the Strength Formulae for the Design of Multi-row Bolted Connections Failing in Net Tension,' Presented at the 6th International Conference for Advanced Composites in Construction (ACIC 2013), Queen’s University of Belfast, 10-12 September 2013.





Google Scholar Citations

ResearchGate entry

Publications with JTM as an author, 1984-

Introduction to our MSc in Tunnelling and Undrground Space (H214)

Structures an Elsevier journal with the Institution of Structural Engineers - flyer.

DURACOMP project web-page with literature database for Confidence in Durable Composites