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Professor Michael Wisnom

Professor Michael Wisnom

Professor Michael Wisnom
B.Sc.(Lond.), Ph.D.(Bristol), FREng, FIMechE

Professor of Aerospace Structures

Office 0.39 QB
Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS),
University of Bristol, Queen's Building BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 5366


Prof. Wisnom is Director of Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS). His interests are mainly concerned with failure of composites and the application of finite element analysis to understand and predict the behaviour of materials and structures under load:

Failure mechanisms in composites

Fibre direction and transverse tension, compression, shear, delamination, bending. Test methods. Notched strength. Size effects. Fatigue. Modelling of failure mechanisms. Micromechanics. High performance ductile composites.

Finite element analysis

Modelling techniques. Non-linear analysis. Progressive damage modelling. Buckling. Strain energy release rate analysis. Residual stresses and distortions

Predicting behaviour

Failure criteria. Use of fracture mechanics. Statistical methods. Fatigue crack propagation. Influence of defects. Simulating manufacturing processes.

Postgraduate research student supervisor in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT)


Michael Wisnom is Director of Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) which builds on the work of the Advanced Composites Collaboration for Innovation and Science. He is a leading expert on the mechanics of fibre reinforced composites, failure mechanisms and finite element analysis, with over 400 published papers. He is a member of the steering board of the National Composites Centre, Editor in Chief and European Editor for Applied Science and Manufacturing of the international journal Composites Part A and was Director of the Rolls-Royce Composites University Technology Centre from 2007-2017. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the American Society for Composites. Professor Wisnom was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2005 and was President of the International Committee on Composite Materials from 2009-2011.


Prof. Wisnom has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, and a PhD from Bristol University. After working for British Aerospace (Civil Aircraft Division), Hatfield, he joined SDRC Engineering Services as a finite element consultant and later as Technical Director, Europe. He worked on a wide range of projects including structural analysis of the Piaggio Avanti airframe. He joined the Department as a lecturer in aircraft structures in 1987, was appointed as Professor of Aerospace Structures in 1995 and established ACCIS in 2006.


  • failure of composites
  • composites
  • finite element analysis
  • failure mechanisms
  • fatigue
  • failure mechanisms
  • progressive damage modelling
  • failure criteria

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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