Professor Luca Susmel

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Professor of Structural Integrity

Professor Luca Susmel
+44 114 222 5073

Full contact details

Professor Luca Susmel
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building (Broad Lane Building)
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

The costs of structural breakages are not only financially huge but become unacceptable whenever failures result in casualties and deaths. In this challenging scenario, our mission is to devise design


Luca Susmel studied his undergraduate degree in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padova, Italy, and completed his PhD between Padova and Dublin, Ireland.

From 2001 to 2011 he spent at least six months every year lecturing and doing research in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Trinity College, Dublin. In 2005, he was appointed Associate Professor in Structural Integrity at the University of Ferrara, Italy. He joined the Sheffield Department of Civil and Structural Engineering in 2011 to continue his research on the fatigue and fracture behaviour of engineering materials, components and structures.

Since 1998 Luca has focussed his attention mainly on problems related to the structural assessment of engineering materials and components. By working both in Italy (University of Padova, University of Ferrara, University of Udine), in Ireland (Trinity College, Dublin) and in the UK (University of Sheffield) he has devised several novel engineering methods suitable for designing components (experiencing stress concentration phenomena of all kinds) against static, dynamic, and fatigue failures. Luca’s modus operandi involves taking a conjoint theoretical and experimental approach to cracking problems and all the design methods he has formalised so far have been fully validated through systematic experimental work. Luca has unique expertise in designing notched and welded components against constant and variable amplitude multiaxial fatigue.

The work done in the above research areas has led to a large number of scientific articles published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as to a book devoted to multiaxial fatigue assessment. His scientific papers have attracted significant interest from the international scientific community, as it is evidenced by his h-index as well as by the total number of citations. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the two leading international journals in the fatigue and fracture field, namely “International Journal of Fatigue” and “Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures”. Luca is also the Associate Editor of “Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale: The International Journal of the Italian Group of Fracture” and the Editor-in-Chief of “Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics” (published by Elsevier) which is one the top journals in the fracture mechanics field.

In terms of the transfer of his research outcomes into engineering practice, in recent years Luca’s expertise has been sought on many occasions by a number of European and non-European structural engineering companies that have successfully applied the approaches developed by Luca to design real components and structures.

Luca’s work has applications beyond traditional structural civil engineering. For example, in the past, he collaborated with General Motors (via American company ADACS Inc.) on the fatigue design of engines, and with Italian Company Filippi on the determination (in their Olympic medal winning boats) of the loads being applied by athletes during rowing.

Research Themes





  • Susmel L (2009) Multiaxial Notch Fatigue: From Nominal to Local Stress-Strain Quantities. Cambridge: Woodhead & CRC. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Research group

Computational Mechanics & Design



EU-funded research into fracture processes across a variety of scales, materials and processes.

Structural performance of 3D concrete printed composites

This project, we will develop and validate a novel design-for-manufacturing paradigm, where closed-loop iteration across all scales of the concrete being 3D-printed, from the fresh to the hardened state, will be combined with an innovative approach to reinforcement design.

Potential PhD offerings

Unfortunately I am not seeking any PhD Students at this time, however please contact me if you are interested in doing a project in my research area.