Professor Martin Mayfield


Professor of Engineering Design
Infrastructure Leader, Faculty of Engineering
RISE - the Resources, Infrastructure Systems and build Environments Research Group

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5054
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700
Room: E111


CEng BEng (hons) MIMechE MCIBSE


Professor Martin Mayfield is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Martin is passionate about the role of Engineering in Society.  Engineers work at the nexus of human and natural systems holding a crucial responsibility to create solutions and develop our infrastructure in a manner that allows humanity to thrive within the carrying capacity of the planet. He is fascinated by the opportunities presented by Complexity Science to improve the resilience and performance of complex adaptive systems such as future energy systems, cities and our national infrastructure. His expertise spans a diverse array of systems engineering, sustainable design, climate change mitigation and adaptation, mission critical systems, city systems and mapping infrastructure interdependencies. This has included system of systems resilience studies for a range of organisations including cities and banks. He has designed a wide range of resilient energy and infrastructure systems such as stadia, data centres and city quarters.

He holds the Chair of Engineering Design at the University of Sheffield after 25 years in practice. As a Director of Ove Arup and Partners Ltd, he held a portfolio including Sustainable Building Leader for the UK, Middle East and Africa, Education Leader for the UK, Middle East and Africa and Leader of the Arup office in Sheffield, leading a team of professional Engineers, working on a diverse array of projects in the UK and overseas. Within this team, he led a Built Environment Research Group, providing thought leadership to the wider group and Arup on the future of sustainable design, identifying and driving the research strategy, horizon scanning and leading the technical progression of sustainable building design and research.

He has led and supported many applied research projects for major industrial clients in the field of sustainable infrastructure including projects such as the definition of a route to zero carbon for the Further Education sector, defining Scope 3 carbon footprinting for the Higher Education Sector and the design of the UK's only Hydrogen powered zero carbon building. He is a regular speaker at conferences on a wide range os tops relating to Sustainable Infrastructure, Cities and Systems. This track record, spanning design and research is focused on the pursuit of sustainable design solutions that balances complex engineered systems with natural systems.

He believes that society needs Engineering Graduates capable of making a difference in the world through their ability to engage with society to deliver creative engineering solutions to address global issues. Teaching Systems Thinking to Engineering, Martin promotes Engineering as a school of thought in the synthesis of design, his focus is to help student develop their ability to make good decisions that allow them to develop their ability to combine robust elemental solutions to create holistic solutions through a greater understanding of the behaviour of complex engineering systems.

His research interests are in the Built Environment, City and Infrastructure Systems interdependencies.

Current research projects include:

  • Principle Investigator for the EPSRC ENCORE Network+ Engineering Grand Challenge for Risk and Resilience to identify, develop and disseminate new methods to improve the resilience and sustainable performance of complex engineered systems, including Cities and National Infrastructure, Digital and Energy Infrastructure, Complex Products: Aerospace (both Jet Engines and Space Systems). []
  • Co-Investigator for EPSRC TWENTY65 Engineering Grand Challenge for Water developing Future Water Scenarios and exploring goal alignment across the water-energy nexus.

Current PhD Research projects :

  • Energy storage characteristics of cities
  • Urban Energy Systems for South American cities
  • City morphology and energy patterns
  • Smart grid optimised buildings
  • Smart grid evolution
  • Integrated infrastructure & devolution
  • Engineering challenges for Climate Change adaptation in retail buildings
  • Reducing end use energy demand through multi channel information streams

Activities and Distinctions

  • UK-India joint future city research symposium - Energy Theme leader (2014)
  • COSTAction Energy Region network - UK Management Committee (2014-2016)
  • Member of All Party Parliamentary Group on Smart Cities
  • Member of CIBSE Resilient Cities Special Interest Group
  • HS2 Panel Debate, Labour Conference (2014)
  • ICE Engineering Sustainability Editorial Panel Member (2014-2016)
  • Sheffield City Region (SCR) LEP Infrastructure Executive Board
  • Education Funding Agency Environmental Standards Advisory Group (2011)
  • Critiques for Sheffield School of Architecture (Sheffield/Zanzibar projects) (May 2014)
  • GREAT Festival of Britain Conference Istanbul - Paper on learning for future cities (May 2014)
  • GREAT Festival of Britain Conference Istanbul Chair of Future Cities Debate (May 2014)
  • Sheffield City Region Growth Plan Steering Group Member (2014)
  • Sheffield Green Commissioner

Previous Grants

  • University of Sheffield, Climate Change Adaptation Study, Study to consider and establish how a Building would be designed under the projected 2050 climate criteria.
  • Energy Strategy, University of Sheffield, Development of a detailed energy strategy and scenario planning tool for the University.
  • Resilience Scoping, University of Leeds, A study to establish the critical infrastructure that support the University and establish a strategy for ensuring that these are managed. This included learning and research strategies, governance, Energy and IT infrastructure.
  • Technology Strategy Board Future City Study, Sheffield, Creating the concept and developing the strategy for Sheffield’s £24m Future Cities proposal.
  • Energy Strategy, Major UK City, Development of an energy strategy and scenario planning tool for a large UK city.

Selected publications

  • A.H. Buckman , M. Mayfield , Stephen B.M. Beck , (2014) "What is a Smart Building?", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 3 Iss: 2, pp.92 - 109
  • Buckman A. H, Mayfield M; Meijer R, Beck S. B. M. (2013). Progressing for Intelligent to Smart Buildings. Energy Systems Laboratory (; Texas A&M University ( Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /151455.
  • Mayfield M (2014) Editorial Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability pp 187 - 188
  • Progressing from Intelligent to Smart Buildings, Buckman, A.H.; Mayfield, M; Meijer, R.; Beck, S.B.M, Proceedings from the International Conference for Enhanced Building Operations 2013, Montreal
  • M.R. Braun, S.B.M. Beck, P. Walton, M. Mayfield, Estimating the impact of climate change and local operational procedures on the energy use in several supermarkets throughout Great Britain: Energy and Buildings, Energy and Buildings 111 (2016) 109–119

Conference Papers

Examples include:

  • Optimising building design for smart grid efficiency", 2015 IEEE International Smart Cities Conference, Gaudalajara, 2015
  • Green buildings, disruptive technology and the diffusion of innovation, Futurebuild Conference, Sheffield, 2014
  • Resilience Paradigms: Exploring spatial, temporal and spectral learning opportunities - an engineering perspective, RE-ARCH Conference, Sheffield, 2014
  • Decarbonising Data Centre Infrastructure Data Centre Transformation Conference, Leeds, 2013
  • Technology and solutions over the next 5 years - horizon scanning study for a Major UK Construction Contractor. March 2012
  • How delivering upon the carbon reduction targets can improve the academic and financial position of a University - Greening Higher and Further Education Conference, London, 2012.
  • Building Design for Warmer Climates - various conferences 2010-11
  • Route to Zero Carbon Colleges published by UK Government 2008
  • Sustainable School Design - International Schools Conference 2008
  • What do Engineers need from Building Simulation Tools - IBPSA Conference, London, 2006
  • Hitting the 80% carbon reduction target - LSC Annual Conference, London, 2008
  • Optimising Low Carbon Design for Buildings - Hong Kong Sustainable Design Conference, London,  2008
  • Sustainability in Design - LSC Annual Conference 2005
  • Towards the Zero Carbon School - IMechE Conference , London, 2006
  • Designing High Quality Learning Environments - BSEC Annual Conference, Nottingham, 2005