Dr Colin Smith
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5717
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700
My work aims to understand how materials and constructions interact physically. This understanding helps to identify the causes of critical collapse, meaning we can design geotechnical structures to minimise the probability of failure, and ensure our infrastructure is as safe as possible.
dr colin smith
Colin Smith graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1987. He joined the Cambridge Soil Mechanics research group in the same year and completed a PhD in 1991. Following two years as a research associate at Cambridge he joined the Department in 1992.
His research aims to improve the design and efficiency of fundamental geotechnical structures, such as foundations, retaining walls, slopes/embankments and tunnels.
His work focuses on:
- Limit analysis and optimisation in geotechnics: numerical and analytical tools, which allow engineers to identify critical collapse mechanisms and associated margins of safety. Also Discontinuity Layout Optimization (DLO), a numerical technique for solution of plasticity problems and its application in a range of areas including offshore and unsaturated soils.
- Masonry arch bridge analysis, modelling and assessment.
- Design code development focusing on theory and application of design codes using numerical methods and Eurocode 7.
- Unsaturated soil-structure interaction: soil physics, soil-biology interaction and micromechanics.
The experimental work has a strong basis in physical modelling, supported in particular by innovative digital imaging techniques. Whilst at Sheffield his research has been funded by EPSRC, NERC and industry.
He is co-founder of University spin-out company LimitState Ltd, specialising in the development of novel ultimate limit state analysis and design software that rapidly analyses geotechnical constructions and predicts the conditions under which they would collapse. The software is used in industry and universities in over 30 countries across the world.
Activities and Distinctions
- Member of the editorial advisory panels of 'Computers and Geotechnics' and 'ICE Journal of Engineering and Computational Mechanics'. Past member of the editorial advisory panel of 'Geotechnique'.
- Secretary to the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering Technical Committee TC205 'Limit State Design'.
- Awarded the 2007 ICE Baker Medal for the paper "Load carrying capacity of flooded masonry arches.", Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Bridge Engineering.
- Augusthus-Nelson L, Swift G, Melbourne C, Smith C & Gilbert M (2017) Large-scale physical modelling of soil-filled masonry arch bridges. International Journal of Physical Modelling in Geotechnics, 1-14. View this article in WRRO
- Smith CC & Tatari A (2016) Limit analysis of reinforced embankments on soft soil. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 44(4), 504-514. View this article in WRRO
- Smith CC & Gilbert M (2015) Modelling rotational failure in confined geometries using DLO. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering and Computational Mechanics, 168(4), 155-168. View this article in WRRO
- Pytlos M, Gilbert M & Smith CC (2015) Modelling granular soil behaviour using a physics engine. Géotechnique Letters, 5(4), 243-249. View this article in WRRO
- Babiker AFA, Smith CC, Gilbert M & Ashby JP (2014) Non-associative limit analysis of the toppling-sliding failure of rock slopes. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 71, 1-11. View this article in WRRO
- Gilbert M, He L, Smith CC & Le C (2014) Automatic yield-line analysis of slabs using discontinuity layout optimization. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 470(2168). View this article in WRRO
- Hawksbee S, Smith CC & Gilbert M (2013) Application of discontinuity layout optimization to three-dimensional plasticity problems. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 469(2155). View this article in WRRO
- Smith CC & Gilbert M (2013) Identification of rotational failure mechanisms in cohesive media using discontinuity layout optimization. Geotechnique: International Journal of Soil Mechanics, 63(14), 1194-1208. View this article in WRRO
- Smith CC & Gilbert M (2011) Ultimate limit state design to Eurocode 7 using numerical methods Part II: Proposed design procedure and application. Ground Engineering, 44(11), 24-29. View this article in WRRO
- Smith CC & Cubrinovski M (2011) Pseudo-static limit analysis by discontinuity layout optimization: Application to seismic analysis of retaining walls. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 31(10), 1311-1323. View this article in WRRO
- Smith CC & Gilbert M (2011) Ultimate limit state design to Eurocode 7 using numerical methods Part I: Methodology and theory. Ground Engineering, 44(10), 25-30. View this article in WRRO
- Gilbert M, Smith CC & Pritchard TJ (2010) Masonry arch analysis using discontinuity layout optimisation. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering and Computational Mechanics, 163(3), 155-166.
- Merifield RS & Smith CC (2010) The ultimate uplift capacity of multi-plate strip anchors in undrained clay. Computers and Geotechnics, 37(4), 504-514.
- Smith C & Gilbert M (2007) Application of discontinuity layout optimization to plane plasticity problems. Proceedings Royal Society A, 463(2086), 2461-2484. View this article in WRRO
- Hulet KM, Smith CC & Gilbert M (2006) Load-carrying capacity of flooded masonry arch bridges. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Bridge Engineering, 159, 97-103.
- Smith CC (2006) Influence of density inversion on thawing around a cylinder in a frozen saturated porous medium. Transport in Porous Media, 63(1), 223-237.
- Jones EH & Smith CC (2005) Non-equilibrium partitioning tracer transport in porous media: 2-D physical modelling and imaging using a partitioning fluorescent dye. Water Research, 39(20), 5099-5111.
- Smith CC (2005) Complete limiting stress solutions for the bearing capacity of strip footings on a Mohr-Coulomb soil. Geotechnique, 55(8), 607-612. View this article in WRRO