Professor Chris Martin graduated from the University of Sydney with the University Medal in Civil Engineering (1990). After working in Sydney as a site engineer for Civil & Civic (now Lendlease), he came to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship to carry out DPhil research on the ‘spudcan’ foundations of offshore jack-up platforms (1990-94).
He then spent three years working in the Industrial Projects Group of Ove Arup & Partners (now Arup), based mainly in London (1994-97). He was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems at the University of Western Australia (1997-2000) before returning to Oxford as a University Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow of Mansfield College (2000-2016).
Chris has been a Professorial Research Fellow since 2016.
Chris has a long-standing interest in the development of efficient computational methods for solving plastic collapse problems in geotechnical engineering (e.g. bearing capacity of foundations; stability of excavations and slopes). He has particular expertise in finite element limit analysis (FELA), and has developed a FELA package called OxLim that leverages the power of specialist conic optimization software (MOSEK) and open-source mesh generation codes (Triangle, TetGen) to obtain accurate plastic collapse loads at a fraction of the cost of conventional incrementaliterative finite element analysis. This work has been supported by EPSRC and by industrial sponsors including Subsea 7 (offshore mudmat and suction caisson foundations under complex 3D loading) and Atkins (monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines). Through a recent collaboration with TU Wien, he has also been involved in the application of FELA to wood at various scales of observation.
He has a strong interest in pipeline geotechnics, particularly pipe/soil interaction (PSI), for both buried and surface-laid pipelines. As a consultant for the SAFEBUCK Joint Industry Project (2006-2013), Chris developed and implemented efficient new models for simulating PSI during thermally-induced lateral buckling of subsea pipelines. A current project, sponsored by EPSRC and Crondall Energy Subsea, is exploring the use of numerical tools such as large-deformation finite element analysis (with Abaqus CEL) and sequential limit analysis (with OxLim) to achieve realistic modelling of PSI during cyclic lateral buckling, incorporating the
complex 3D effects that arise from buckle initiation devices such as sleepers and buoyancy modules. He has also been involved in laboratory-based studies of buried pipeline behaviour for industrial partners including KW Limited and Technip.
His other current research interests, most of which are being pursued through the supervision of DPhil/EngD students enrolled on the REMS Centre for Doctoral Training, include:
• advanced laboratory testing of soils (stress path triaxial and dynamic triaxial testing)
• constitutive modelling and finite element analysis of soils under cyclic loading
• buckling of thin-walled foundations (suction caissons and piles) during installation
• finite element analysis of tunnelling-induced building damage
Prospective DPhil or EngD students, particularly those with interests in computational plasticity, pipeline geotechnics or advanced laboratory testing of soils, are welcome to contact me by email.
Contact Chris for a list of selected publications