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Staff Profile

 

Title

Professor

Contact

School of Engineering
University of Warwick
Coventry
CV4 7AL
T:   +44(0)24 765 23138
E:   W.J.Lewis@warwick.ac.uk

Research Interests

Tension Structures: Form and Behaviour book cover

General research is concerned with FORM-FINDING: Conceptual Design of Fabric Structures, Minimal Structures and Nature, Structural Form in Engineering, Nature and Art. The main focus of the work is on the achievement of optimum structural forms by using nature's own design principle: maximum stability and strength with minimum weight. Interests in natural structural forms go beyond flexible tension structures and include rigid-type engineering components for use in automotive, aerospace, and biomedical engineering sectors. Research relevant to the automotive and aerospace industries included the convertible roof for the Jaguar XK8, and, at a feasibility level, compressor blades (Engineering Structures 2011, 33, 9, 2612-2620). Biomedical engineering work on minimal scaffolds for bone replacement awaits funding.

Current research concerns natural form of arch bridges (Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2016, 472 (2190)) and Analysis of Suspension Bridge Structures.


Biography

After a short spell in industry, I joined the University of Warwick in 1986, where I am based to this day. I am an Emeritus Professor in the School of Engineering, University of Warwick, as well as chartered engineer, and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. My 30 years of research experience is reflected in the monograph 'Tension Structures: Form and Behaviour' (review), numerous research articles, and press releases. I develop form-finding methods that predict optimal shapes of buildings and bridges, as a function of statistically prevalent loads (a feature observed in natural structures).

I have led a number of national and European research projects in collaboration with industry (Arup, Jaguar, Roll-Royce, SL-Rach, Canobbio) as well as a multi-disciplinary projects, such as 'Designing for the 21st Century' - in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Research Projects

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Publications

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