Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Colin Smith graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1987. He joined the Cambridge Soil Mechanics research group in the same year and completed a PhD in 1991. Following 2 years as a research associate at Cambridge he moved to the University of Sheffield in 1992 where he is now a Senior Lecturer.
His main research interests focus on:
- Limit analysis in geotechnics: development of new numerical and analytical tools, including development of a new numerical technique Discontinuity Layout Optimization (DLO) for solution of plasticity problems and its application in a range of areas including offshore and unsaturated soils.
- Masonry arch bridge analysis, modelling and assessment, including the development of a full scale plane strain testing tank for soil structure interaction in masonry arch bridges in collaboration with the University of Salford.
- Design code development focusing on theory and application of design codes using numerical methods and Eurocode 7.
The experimental work has a strong basis in physical modelling, supported in particular by innovative digital imaging techniques. Whilst at Sheffield his research has been funded by EPSRC, NERC and industry.
He is co-founder of a University spin-out company LimitState Ltd. The company specialises in the development of novel ultimate limit state analysis and design software applications which make use of research methods developed in the University, including LimitState:GEO, a rapid tool for geotechnical limit analysis in use in industry and universities in over 30 countries across the world.
His teaching portfolio includes teaching of geotechnical analysis and design at undergraduate and MSc level. He has led four externally funded teaching development projects within the Department, and contributed to several teaching publications.