Dr Linwei He

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Lecturer in Structural Engineering

Image of asian man with dark hair and glasses wearing blue checked shirt. He is smiling at the camera.

Full contact details

Dr Linwei He
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

I use optimisation in structural design and analysis to reduce the carbon footprint in new buildings as well as to protect and repair existing structures.

Linwei He

Linwei received his PhD in 2015 from our department, funded by a University of Sheffield Scholarship. His research involves two main areas: highly efficient structural layout/topology optimization methods and novel limit analysis methods using discontinuity layout optimization.

After completing his PhD, Linwei worked as a software developer at LimitState Ltd, where he was offered many opportunities to disseminate his research outcome to practitioners and researchers by developing user-friendly software tools, such as LimitState: SLAB, a fast slab limit analysis tool used by many prominent engineering consultants (e.g. AECOM, Amey and Kier); and LimitState: FORM, an interactive layout/topology optimization tool to design 3D printed light-weight mechanical components for aerospace and automotive applications.

Linwei started his post-doctoral research in our department in 2016, seeking solutions to the climate crisis by developing world-leading structural optimization methods to significantly reduce carbon footprint in multi-storey buildings and long-span canopy roofs. He developed the Peregrine plugin, allowing engineers to use a wide array of powerful structural optimization and rationalization tools to generate material-efficient building designs in their daily commercial design work. His work also led to the development of the www.LayOpt.com webapp, a public educational tool that demonstrates his structural optimization methods to engineers, educators and students.

He is also interested in environmentally friendly building materials such as timber and masonry. He joined a multi-institution project in 2020 to develop efficient limit analysis methods for masonry arch bridges, using the novel discontinuity layout optimization method in conjunction with a homogenization approach.

Years of research experience gave Linwei a wide range of digital skills, e.g., programming, high performance computing, parametric modelling, computer aided design and analysis, etc. In addition to digital work, he also helped make physical models, such as titanium components for aircrafts, timber bridges, and skew masonry bridges, to validate his optimization and analysis methods.

Linwei started his lecturer position in 2022, seeking solutions to the climate crisis by employing optimization methods in structural analysis and design. He is also keen on bringing tangible impact by developing digital tools for engineers and applying them to real-world applications.

Research Themes




Research interests
  • Structural layout optimization methods to reduce carbon footprint in multi-storey buildings and long-span canopy roofs with buildability constraints.
  • Structural topology optimization for 3D printed metallic components, e.g., connections between building elements and parts for aerospace and automotive applications.
  • Multi-material optimization using environmentally friendly building materials such as timber and masonry.
  • Novel limit analysis methods to reveal hidden reserves of strength in existing structures, so as to reduce the need to demolish and rebuild.
  • Holistic structural optimization and analysis methods to identify structurally efficient reinforcement to maintain the function of existing buildings, and also to design new structures with recycled building materials.

Journal articles

Research group

Computational Mechanics & Design

Intelligent Infrastructure

PhD Opportunities

Please contact me if you are interested in doing a PhD project in my research area.