Dr Rob Barthorpe

MEng, CEng, PhD

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Photo of Rob Barthorpe
+44 114 222 7762

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Dr Rob Barthorpe
Department of Mechanical Engineering
D213, Central Wing
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Rob Barthorpe is a lecturer in the Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has a first degree in Mechanical Engineering with a Modern Language from the University of Sheffield and was awarded his PhD from the same university in 2010.

Rob's research is in the areas of structural health monitoring, uncertainty analysis and the verification and validation of numerical models.

Research interests

Dr Barthorpe's research covers a range of problems in the field of structural dynamics and beyond, with an underlying theme being the integration of numerical modelling and experimental data. Structural health monitoring is one of his major research themes. The broad aim of an SHM system is to be able to identify, at an early stage, occurrences of damage that may ultimately lead to the failure of the component or system being monitored.

Established approaches to this task typically fall into one of two categories: they are either based entirely on experimental data, or make use of a numerical model that is periodically updated as new data becomes available. Both of these approaches have distinct drawbacks: for the former, lack of appropriate experimental data is the major issue; for the latter, model-form uncertainty is among the challenges faced.

Part of Rob's work is in investigating ways to circumvent the lack of data problem through novel experimental and data-modelling techniques. A larger part is in developing new methods for integrating experimental and numerical methods, such that uncertainty in both the experimental measurements and the numerical model may be accounted for.

These methods are being developed for application to aerospace structures, wind turbines and civil infrastructure. However, the domain of applicability is much broader as the issues of handling uncertainty, solving inverse problems and overcoming test-model discrepancy are pervasive in many branches of science and engineering.

Applications being investigated include the energy performance of buildings and the modelling of human bones.



Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers


  • Simmermacher T, Cogan S, Horta LG & Barthorpe R (2012) Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series: Preface. Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series, 4. RIS download Bibtex download

ESPRC/Wellcome Trust fellowship, 2010-11, £44k (PI)

Teaching interests

Dr Barthorpe currently teaches Signal Processing and Instrumentation (MEC409) to fourth year undergraduates and MSc students.