Dr Keith Tarnowski

MEng, CEng, PhD

Keith TarnowskiUniversity Teacher

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
RC02e Mappin Mining Block,
Mappin Street,
S1 3JD

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 7721

Email: k.tarnowski@sheffield.ac.uk


I am a lecturer in the Design, Manufacturing & Management group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a Chartered Mechanical Engineer. I obtained my first degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2004, before working for Atkins Engineering Consultants for 8 years on a variety of projects which incorporated structural integrity, design and finite element analysis. I subsequently returned to academia to undertake a PhD in fracture mechanics at Imperial College London which I completed in 2016. I was awarded an EPSRC Doctor Prize Fellowship at the University of Sheffield in the same year.

During my time in industry I worked as a lead engineer and project manager responsible for a wide variety of projects including: finite element analysis of nuclear submarine impacts using DYNA; design, manufacture and installation of linear friction welding tooling for aerospace gas turbines; fatigue and damage tolerance assessments of civil aircraft using NASTRAN and PATRAN; probabilistic fatigue crack growth and fracture assessment of wind turbine structures to BS 7910; development of an Incredibility of Failure safety justification for nuclear pressure vessel components including ASME III design assessments and R6 failure analyses.

Teaching Interests

I am module leader for Machine Element Design and Failure Analysis (AMR333) and Finite Element Analysis of Machines (AMR338). Both of these 20 credit, Level 3 modules are taught at the AMRC Training Centre as part of a degree apprenticeship course. I am also module leader for Engineering Techniques and Manufacturing Technology (MEC130). This is a 10 credit, Level 1 module on the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate course.

Research Interests

My research focuses on fracture mechanics aspects of structural integrity, encompassing crack growth mechanisms such as fatigue and creep, as well as brittle and ductile fracture. My research combines experimental techniques with numerical modelling and I have experience of a wide variety of finite element analysis software packages including, ABAQUS, DYNA, NASTAN and PATRAN.

I have developed improved methods of accurately measuring crack initiation and growth in ductile materials and in hostile environments. These methods, based on the electrical potential drop technique, facilitate improved material models that enable the continued safe operation of cracked structures and avoid the premature introduction of unnecessary inspection and maintenance programmes. This provides potentially huge social, environmental and economic benefits to variety of industries, e.g. power generation. As part of an ASTM task group I am revising the standards on fracture toughness testing (E1820) and creep crack growth testing (E1457) to incorporate this research.

Research Grants

  • EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship, 2016-17, £53k (PI)

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers