School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Staff Profile

Dr Ben Bridgens

Lecturer in Architectural Technology

Background

Background

Ben is a Lecturer in Architectural Technology in the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape at Newcastle University. His research focuses on the role of materials in design, fabrication, and experience. Collaborations with product designers, artists and architects have enabled him to apply his technical expertise in material testing and characterisation, material 'ageing', responsive materials and lightweight tensile structures to broader questions of sustainable design, consumption and the circular economy.

His research is informed by five years working at Arup (www.arup.com)  where he carried out concept to detailed structural design of a wide range of structures including the National Tennis Centre Reception Building (London) and an innovative cow shed (http://www.roundhouseltd.co.uk/en/) and gained Chartered Civil Engineer status..

Qualifications

PhD Structural Engineering (Newcastle University, 2005): “Architectural fabric properties: determination, representation & prediction” 

MEng Civil Engineering (Durham University, 2000)

Memberships

CEng MICE Chartered Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers



Research

Research Interests

Ben is a Lecturer in Architectural Technology in the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape at Newcastle University. His research focuses on the role of materials in design, fabrication, and experience. Collaborations with product designers, artists and architects has enabled him to apply his technical expertise in material testing and characterisation, material 'ageing', responsive materials and lightweight tensile structures to broader questions of sustainable design, consumption and the circular economy.

Google Scholar profile: http://tinyurl.com/bridgens-google  

Researchgate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ben_Bridgens

Current projects include:

The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment www.bbe.ac.uk The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) is a joint £8 million initiative between Newcastle University and Northumbria University. The Hub will involve the recruitment of 35 new academic staff including Architectural Designers, Bio Scientists and Engineers and development of three new facilities including two new Bio Design Labs and a unique Experimental ‘Living’ House, we call ‘The OME’. The Hub also includes 14 industrial partners including IBM, P&G, RIBA and Arup. Our vision is to develop biotechnologies to create a new generation of Living Buildings which are responsive to their natural environment; grown using living engineered materials to reduce inefficient industrial construction processes; metabolise their own waste, reducing pollution, generate energy and high-value products and modulate their microbiome to benefit human health and wellbeing.

Hygromorphic Materials for Sustainable Responsive Architecture. Development of responsive wood based composites. https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/responsive-materials/

ENDURE - Enabling Designers to Understand mateRial changE. https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/materialmetamorphosis/. EPSRC funded Impact Acceleration project in collaboration with Loughborough Design School, building on research outcomes from the CLEVER - Closed Loop Emotionally Valuable E-waste Recovery project (http://www.clever-research.com).

NUFEB - New Frontiers in Engineering Biology. EPSRC funded multidisciplinary 'Frontiers' project, which  aims to model and design large scale biological systems. http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nufeb/

The Key - full scale structural monitoring of a tensile fabric structure (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/sciencecentral/urban/thekey/)


Current PhD supervision

Assia Stefanova (Application of living metabolic processes within buildings)

John Naylor (How can architects increase the use of full-culm bamboo to provide adequate urban housing in tropical developing economies?)

Mark English (Building Delhi: towards a sustainable solution for mass housing)

Artem Holstov (Hygromorphic materials for sustainable responsive architecture) - successful completion

Recently completed PhD students

Artem Holstov (Hygromorphic materials for sustainable responsive architecture)

Nicola Bartle (A probabilistic material framework for the analysis of fabric structures)

Alex Colman (A pragmatic approach to determining the mechanical behaviour of structural fabrics)

Chris Iliffe (A predictive model for the design of functional textiles)


Teaching

Contribution to Undergraduate Technology modules and Design studios.

Publications