School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Francis Franklin




PhD in Mechanical Engineering (Tribology) from Sheffield University, 1999
MSc Industrial Mathematics from Strathclyde University, 1995 (Joint course between Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian)
BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Physics from Edinburgh University, 1994

Previous Positions

Research Associate at Sheffield University 2000-2004
Research Associate at Newcastle University (NewRail) 2004-2007


Research Interests

  1. Metaheuristic methods for structural optimisation, e.g., of domed roofs.
  2. Computer modelling of materials and microstructural.
  3. Damage evolution in rail steels leading to wear and/or crack initiation.
  4. Laboratory analysis of low-adhesion leaf film (i.e., the notorious 'Leaves on the Line').

Other Expertise

  1. Computer programming, mainly in C/C and Python; including Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
  2. Python scripting in ANSYS Spaceclaim for 3D geometric modelling.

Postgraduate Supervision

1 current & 3 completed PhD students, studying:

  1. Analysis and optimisation of ship structure.
  2. Structural optimisation of dome roof structures.
  3. Effect of heat generation at the wheel-rail interface on wear and crack initiation.
  4. Bridge dynamic response to trains passing.


Undergraduate Teaching

- Stage I/II Introduction to Computing
Introduction to MatLab programming
- Stage II Mechanics of Solids
'Failure of Materials': fracture, fatigue, stress.
- Stage III Stress Analysis
Introduction to (1) plasticity, buckling; (2) ANSYS
2005-2007: Brief introduction to Inventor for Stage II Design direct entry students
2005-2007: Supervision with ANSYS for Stage III Stress Analysis
2006: Strengths lab. supervision for Stage II Mechanics of Solids